Happy Place of the Olden Days

Scott Bernstein joins in the Happiness Index conversation, starting with references to the Anatomy of Melancholy.

"On Saturday at a used bookstore, I picked up Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, written in 1620. While mostly focused on what we'd call the psychology of melancholy and happiness, it's full of wonderful homilies on diet, exercise, and the 'digression of air.'"

Scott Bernstein, President and CEO of Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), quotes from Burton. While poetic, it is also still pertinent to the rural-to-urban spectrum of happiness-inducing behaviors today. Bernstein goes on with more up to date journals and studies, throwing in a little new analysis of his own about why people are migrating in significant numbers to walkable metro neighborhoods.

"People could argue that sunbelt outcomes are biased, because things are more dynamic in fast-growing places. The data isn't just an artifact of newer sunbelt / sunburnt cities, but similar outcomes are seen in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. These are points of satisfaction because people value their properties and are holding onto them."

"You can't argue that all the wealthy people are moving to the cool places. Instead, we're finding that walkable, livable, happiness-generating places are increasing in value, and in turn enriching those who live there, monetarily and otherwise."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Urban Happiness Index, Expanded


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