A Recipe for Urban Happiness

Nine essential ingredients for happier, healthier cities

What’s the recipe for happier cities?

When we ask this question of friends who design and plan cities, they are unfailingly generous with their opinions. Some architects answer that it’s all about aesthetics. Some traffic engineers say it’s about level of service — that is, how efficiently they can move cars around. Landscape architects wax poetically about nature. And when they all start to argue and throw things at each other, we ask them to take a deep breath, press pause, and start the conversation again.

Because the first step in planning a happier city has nothing to do with design. It has nothing to do with buildings or roads or trees or bicycles. The first step is to agree on what matters for wellbeing. First we need to figure out what we want to achieve, then we’ll be ready to look at the evidence that links design and systems to human emotions, behaviour and health.

Read more at Happy Cities

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