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

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Rail tracks on the left, rustic log-built train station painted reddish brown with a green metal roof and concrete platform on the right, evergreen forest and bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds in the background.

More Passenger Rail Coming to Montana

Planning is underway to restore a 45-year-defunct regional passenger rail line connecting southern Montana to Billings and Amtrak’s east-west Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago.

May 14, 2024 - 8KPAX

Aerial view of a line of freight trucks driving on a country highway.

How Cities Can Lead the Way in Reducing Transportation Emissions

Decisions made at the local level can have a significant impact on emissions in the transportation sector.

46 minutes ago - Governing

Glass dome at front of modern San Jose City Hall building in San Jose, California.

San Jose Tests AI Translation Tool to Improve Access to Public Meetings

More than half of the city’s population speaks a language other than English at home, making translation services a key pillar of accessibility.

May 22 - GovTech

Empty subdivision lots with new roads and sidewalks complete and line of evergreen forest in the immediate background under a bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds..

Spokane Imposes Temporary Ban on New Subdivision Housing Due to Wildfire Risk

Citing inadequate fire protection and public safety resources, the Spokane City Council has temporarily halted subdivision development in the wildland-urban interface of Latah Valley.

May 22 - NonStop Local

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.