In the pursuit of urban happiness

A report published in Urban Affairs has concluded how important urban surroundings are vital in ensuring people who live there are happy. 

With this year set to become the first year in which most of the world's population live in cities, more emphasis is being placed on the importance of our urban architecture and surroundings. This article has shed more light on what makes city dwellers happy, and steps that can be taken to increase happiness. 

Focussing on ten major international cities, including New York, London, Seoul, Paris and Tokyo, the authors found that "people were happiest when their cities had easy access to public transportation, cultural activities, libraries, shops and sports facilities."

The authors also concluded that beautifully designed urban environments had positive impacts on happiness and social interaction.

At the Foundation we have always believed in the importance of designing with people at the heart of the process. This encouraging research shows us just how important it is engage with people, and build communities with their input, to ensure we are building sustainable urban environments condusive to social welfare.

For more information read this blog post by Ariel Schwartz on living in well-designed cities, or follow the link to the research paper published in the Urban Affairs Review