I want to say that this is important, but is it? Maybe in an emergency a person who recognizes me might be more likely to stop and help, but even in that unlikely situation I think a good person would stop and help regardless of whether they're a friend or a stranger.
Is it important for people to know their neighbors, or at least recognize them?
I don't think there's a clear answer. I just know that I enjoy living in a place where I can go to the post office and small talk about the new building going up with my vet and the person who bags my groceries and the person I helped with a return the previous day.
For my fellow Nanoers--have you backed up your Nanowrimo project? Don't put it off!