Happy Places

According to Richard Florida in his book Who’s Your City? [1] The following seven factors are critical to community satisfaction:

  • A good place to raise children;
  • A good place to meet people and make friends;
  • A place with physical beauty;
  • Good schools;
  • Parks and open space;
  • A safe place;
  • A good place for entrepreneurs and new businesses.

Also, based on a cluster analysis of all 26 separate dimensions of community satisfaction in the Place and Happiness Survey, the study found three clusters of factors to be key to our happiness in communities:

  • Smart and vibrant:
    • Local universities and colleges
    • Arts and culture
    • Vibrant nightlife
    • Availability of job opportunities in one’s field
    • A good place to meet people
    • A good place for young college grads, singles, entrepreneurs, artists and scientists
  • Aesthetics and liveability:
    • Physical beauty
    • Parks
    • Open space
    • Playgrounds and trails
    • Climate and
    • Air quality
  • Equity:
    • Affordable housing
    • Manageable traffic patterns
    • A good place for seniors and the poor

The author points out that these things are not frills.  We expect them from our communities.


[1] Florida, Richard, Who’s Your City? Vintage Canada (Random House) Toronto 2009 p 193,194.

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