22 responses to “Can Cities Help You Forget Your Troubles, C’mon Get Happy?

  1. Great post. I should be a regular on your blog!

    I am writing a book on live-work, in which I will make the case that not commuting and what results from that simple omission is –if treated properly–a far stronger sense of community.

    Under the weather today, more later.

  2. This post really hits home as I sit in our City budget deliberations. I wish my colleagues could read it now. Their definition of happiness seems to be related to “low taxes”, whatever the effect on municipal services.

  3. Brandon Rypien

    I have thought about this topic often. I have a note on my computer that reads, “Overall Goal, Improve Quality of Life.” Why do we plan? Because the environments in which we live have an impact on whether or not we have a happy and fulfilling life. I agree, we need an urban happiness index.

  4. Jim Schultz

    Urban Happiness Index

    Loved the idea and rather than reinvent the wheel how can we combine the existingWalkability, Housing + Transportation and Gallup-Healthways with other newer ones related to aesthetics, cultural diversity perhaps….

    And I always liked this Recipe for Happiness…not sure of the author….

    Recipe For Happiness
    2 Heaping cups of patience
    1 Heart full of love
    2 Hands full of generosity
    Dash of laughter
    1 Head full of understanding
    Sprinkle generously with kindness
    Add plenty of faith and mix well.
    Spread over a period of a lifetime
    And serve everyone you meet.

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  6. The EU has been studying quality of life for some time, and their report direct policy of the EU member states.

  7. Another factor in the Urban Happiness Index would also be whether the streets are ‘spatially just’ through the (re)allocation of rights to space in favor of the least powerful users aka pedestrians, public transit users and cyclists. The concept of spatial justice has the potential to transform our thinking on planning cities, urban spaces, and sustainability.

    Check my Blog for more

  8. Pingback: Which city has the world’s happiest residents? | Better Cities Now

  9. Thanks, everyone, for the insights. Here are a few more interesting studies released since this post:

    Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards
    indicates “Canadians are a stubbornly happy bunch.” [..] “The most important reason for geographical variation in happiness in Canada is differences in the sense of belonging to local communities, which is generally higher in small CMAs, rural areas, and Atlantic Canada.”

    Reviews of this study:

    Soul of the Community

    3-year study of 26 cities shows the importance of community attachment, with the top 3 things that make people feel connected to their community:

    – area’s physical beauty
    – opportunities for socializing
    – city’s openness to people

    Soul of the Community indicates that the cities with the highest rate of
    attachment had the highest rates of GDP growth.


  10. Writer and Vancouver resident Charles Montgomery has a book coming out on this theme. Happy City will be published in 2011 in the USA by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, in the UK by Alan Lane/Penguin, and in Canada by Doubleday. Here’s a description of the book: http://www.charlesmontgomery.ca/happiness.html.

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  12. Wow, Hazel, can’t believe I missed this one! Excellent post. I’ve been dealing with similar issues recently both here (http://bit.ly/e4NEFJ) and in the Original Green Scorecard I’m working on, which will include coding for lovability. That’s the hardest part of it… how do you define lovability?

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  15. There are a lot of means and paths to happiness. Acting as if you were already happy, helping someone else, smiling at people as they pass you – you can trick your brain into feeling happy – the rest of your body, mind and spirit will follow! This week on my blog is “H” – and I have several posts on Happiness – it’s a great topic for today or any day! Enjoy the day!

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  17. mahboubeh

    Hello everyone
    I’m 4th year student of Architecture , in School of planing and Architecture in New Delhi in India.
    I’m doing a dissertation on Impact of Built Environment on people’s behavior, I would appreciate if any one knows any source which can help me get related data on this topic.

    thank you

  18. Pingback: The Passion of Place | PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

  19. Pingback: The Secret of Provo’s Success: Passion and Happiness | (pro(vo)cation)

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  21. Производство полуфабрикатов из крестьянского сырья.

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