Happiness best reflected by the beauty of place

Continuing our look at Richard Florida’s new book, Who’s Your City?, one eye-opening study Rich’s team conducted was their Place and Happiness Survey.

The survey received 27,000 responses on what things matter the most to U.S. Americans in their communities, which were later organized into five major categories: economic and personal security (jobs, perceptions of crime and safety); basic services (schools, affordable housing, transportation); leadership (business and civic, opportunity for participation); openness (tolerance, diversity); and aesthetics (physical beauty, amenities, cultural offerings).

The rankings?

1. Aesthetics – Physical beauty of our communities comes first, followed by outdoor parks, playgrounds, and trails. The bottom line? The physical beauty and aesthetics of place does not only matter to the wealthy (as the myth goes), it matters to everyone.
2. Basic services – Jobs and housing are paramount, as usual, but a surprising/not surprising second?
3. Openness – A close third, and the primary correlation with innovation, human capital, income and housing value.
4. Economic and Personal Security – Money and safety aren’t overriding decision-makers.
5. Leadership – This may have something to do with the lack of connection between citizen participation and actual civic and business action, which is the underlying problem identification and solution provision behind the document, Remixing Cities.

Learn more at the Who’s Your City? website.

Image source: Istanbul, Turkey by redxdress.

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