Jun 27, 2016

Book Review: Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

I can't remember who recommended the book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design to me, but I'm glad someone did. It's an excellent book about happiness and how our homes, neighborhoods and commuting affect to our lives.

Book introduces really many interesting facts about how other people and the neighborhood affect to our happiness. Happiness have always been interesting topic for me, so I was keen on reading more about the subject. I've always had a hunch about how important your neighbors and the contacts with them are, but this really gave some good statistics about it.

Happy City goes through data and experiments around the world on how cities and streets affect to us. For almost 100 years cities have been build to run by cars and with current population, it has actually made us less free. Many people spend enormous amount of times in cars and are unhappy because of that.

Book also discusses a lot about cars versus other ways to commute. Maybe on that end, book is bit US centric, but many of the things affect to everyone around the world. Commuting affects to us a lot, the way you commute, how long you commute and with whom you commute affect in numerous ways. Book introduces many interesting studies about the subject. One example was a study that said that commuting to work over 45 minutes raises a risk of divorce by 40%. Book is full on nice anecdotes and studies like this.

As with any other book, it's good to have critical eye on the studies and ideas, but those definitely will raise thoughts for everyone. It's an excellent book and quite easy to read. I recommend the book to everyone.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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