City Dwellers Happiest in Parks, Angry at Transit Stops

An analysis of geotagged tweets reveals that city dwellers express positive emotions in green spaces and restaurants, while bus stops and transit elicited more frustrated reactions.

1 minute read

February 12, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

What parts of the city spark joy? Which parts fill citizens with sadness or rage? Those were the questions at the heart of a new study that analyzed close to 2 million tweets, geotagged at various locations in London and San Francisco, and compared their locations to the emotions they conveyed. Sri Taylor describes the results of the study in Bloomberg CityLab.

The study revealed that “Green and recreational spaces triggered the most positive emotions for city dwellers, and locations like swimming pools, sailing ports, coastlines and boat ramps had tweets with high levels of joy.” Hotels and restaurants were also associated with positive emotions.

Public transit, sadly, didn’t fare so well, even though London’s transit system is recognized as one of the best in the world. “Tweets made near train stations, bus stops and bridges congested with car traffic conveyed feelings of disgust and anger.” No mention of what emotions tweets posted from office buildings conveyed. 

The researchers acknowledge the limitations of the study, but hope that data like this can help cities understand how to improve their infrastructure and public spaces.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023 in Bloomberg CityLab

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