How Do You Move Throughout Your City? ‘Secrets of the World’s Happiest Cities’

Photo taken by Paul Krueger

Photo taken by Paul Krueger

 

“There is nothing worse for mental health than a social desert.” – Charles Montgomery

The design of city life has great impact upon one’s overall happiness and health. How we choose to move within our cities, may it be cars, bikes, walking and/or public transit, speaks volumes about the importance of social connectedness and the effect our relationships with one another and to our city, have on our lives. As Montgomery quotes American economist, Eric Britton, “embrace complexity, not only in transportation systems but in human experience…. abandon old mobility, a system rigidly organised entirely around one way of moving, and embrace new mobility, a future in which we would all be free to move in the greatest variety of ways.”

Cities have risen to the occasion, looking for ways to strengthen social capital by implementing experiments around how we move from point A to B. Urban design has now taken into consideration the positive outcomes of fostering social connectedness through means such as being active and having choice, or simply put, being able to ride one’s bike to work. Montgomery explores the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Cities, looking at how we can “make cities that help us all get stronger, more resilient, more connected, more active and more free.”