A recent study in Urban Affairs review found that the key to happiness might lie in high-density cities, and not the suburbs.

Looking at 10 major international cities — New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, Toronto, Milan, Berlin, Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo — the survey took aim at what exactly makes city dwellers happy.

So what were the results? It turns out that design and conditions of cities are associated with the happiest residents.

Factors like easy access to public transportation and cultural and leisure activities put the biggest smiles on residents’ faces. And cities that are affordable and serve as good places to raise children raise the happiness stakes, as well.

All of this is part of those in the know becoming more aware of how cities affect the behaviour and mood of its residents.

According to the researchers, “Some [neighborhoods] are designed and built to foster or enable connections. Others are built to discourage them (e.g., a gated model) or devolve to become places that are antisocial because of crime or other negative behaviors,” say the researchers. “Increasingly, researchers and practitioners have become aware that some neighborhood designs appear better suited for social connectedness than others.”

What do you think?  Does the city put an extra spring in your step, or are you a natural suburbanite? Weigh in on our forum or in the comments below!

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