Urban Design and the Knowledge of Happiness.

Umbrella Installation in Market Fair Shopping Center

The presence of art changes people’s perceptions of a place. What might be considered a dilapidated building, or a drab and unimaginative neighborhood, can be significantly changed by only a few public works of art or an art gallery nearby. The status of a neighborhood can thus be elevated, helping people to

look beyond stigmas and see the true beauty of a place. When perception

changes, behavior follows suit. People are more open to dormant business opportunities, and businesses soon follow the lead of artists who have moved into these neighborhoods. Furthermore, once a particular place has established itself as an artists’ hub, it is much more likely to attract tourists, who in turn contribute more to the micro economy of a neighborhood.

In the study, “Quantifying the link between art and property prices in urban neighborhoods” by researchers at the University of Warwick, it was found that neighborhoods in London that contained the presence of “art photographs” on social media sites also produce higher gains in property prices. These results aren’t surprising as graffiti has become mainstream in the past decade and as cities become more inhabited by young creatives (read: millennials). Today in Bushwick, Brooklyn, for example, a place well-known for its street art, tour companies are popping up to show tourists around the street-art littered neighborhood.

Urban happiness is a concept which can be defined through the observation both of many tangible and intagible aspects of a place and the activities carried out by the people who live and use it. At every instant, there is more than the eye can see, more than the ear can hear, a setting or a view waiting to be explored. Nothing is experience by itself, but always in relation to its surroundings the sequences of events leading up to it, the memory of past experiences. Once of the concepts which helps to circumsbrie the many aspects which can describe the Urban happiness include the place making, in the sense of "the art of making places for people"- this is because it includes the way places work, and such matters as community safety, as well as how they look.

The presence of artistic elements in different forms is desirable, sculptures games, or other elements give a sense of freedom and Joy. If we would plid more attention to the growing body of knowdlege about happiness, they could craete cities that enhace the contentemnt of those around. 

Next time, make sure you pay attention what's around you and look for color and elements that bring joy, because they are everywhere!



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