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Dijkwel et al 2022_pursuit of happiness.pdf (4.68 MB)

In pursuit of happiness in a multicultural society: the case of medium density towns in Aotearoa-New Zealand

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-03-08, 01:26 authored by Fiona Dijkwel, jacqueline McIntosh, Bruno MarquesBruno Marques
The increased focus on mental health and well-being in the past few decades has brought renewed attention to our urban environments, where more than half of the world’s population live. Happiness in cities, often measured by tourist dollars or a city’s ability to recruit and retain skilled professionals or estimates of general satisfaction and wellbeing, has fostered a competitive nature between cities. Helsinki (Finland), Aarhus (Denmark), and Wellington (New Zealand) are internationally recognised, ranking as the top three happiest cities in the world according to the World Happiness Report of 2020. However, a close examination of the Happiness Report, the manner in which data is captured and the congruencies between the top cities raises questions about the ability of a second-tier city to ever rank highly. This research investigates the section of the report that addresses the design of cities and compares it with the literature on those elements of the built form that can improve the happiness of city residents. After extracting the key elements of urban design for a happy city, it then uses these constructs to examine a second-tier city in New Zealand and uses the example of an unhappy city to illuminate improvements that might make it happier. The research finds some alignment with the Happy City predicates but also finds sufficient additional complexity in second-tier cities to warrant a set of independent measures.

History

Preferred citation

Dijkwel, F., McIntosh, J. & Marques, B. (2022, January). In pursuit of happiness in a multicultural society: the case of medium density towns in Aotearoa-New Zealand. In Proceedings of the 58th International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) World Planning Congress, 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress, Brussels, Belgium (pp. 543-556). ISOCARP.

Conference name

58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress

Conference start date

2022-10-03

Conference finish date

2022-10-06

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the 58th International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) World Planning Congress,

Contribution type

Published Paper

Publication or Presentation Year

2022-01-01

Pagination

543-556 (13)

Publisher

ISOCARP

Publication status

Published

Place of publication

Brussels, Belgium

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