Essay Topic: Happiness, the environment

How does living in urban areas (the built environment), affect our happiness?

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Consider the research on happiness and walking in cities. Or happiness and mobility.

Please use research beginning in 2005.

Answer to Question: PSYC101 Introductory Psychology

Happiness and Mobility

It is important to consider the lifestyle and environment that a person chooses. This will impact how happy and healthy they are.

What we do and whereabouts have a major impact on this.

The linkage of city structure and health is getting some attention.

Mental health can be affected by the social structure and the surrounding environment.

People who live in areas with good transport links to cultural and leisure venues can create happy environments.

The key to a high quality life is socializing. Without good connections with family and friends, a person may feel unhappy in their environment.

Mobility is a requirement to overcome loneliness and find happiness.

Societies that are more mobile have wider opportunities, less differentiation and less social conflict.

Although loneliness is often cited as a reason for sadness, there may be other causes.

People who live in areas with little or no neighbors tend to be happier than those who live in densely populated areas.

It is a well-known fact that those who are engaged in some activity all the time have higher happiness levels than those who are free.

Mobility and travel play an important role in keeping a person engaged all the time (Berg. 2016).

Because of this philosophy, there is a growing interest to study the relationship between the well-being of a person’s mobility behaviour and their overall health.

Even though the meanings of these two terms may be different, they are very similar.

Although there are less studies showing that happiness and transport are closely connected, they have been more researches.

As curiosity grows, it is more likely to be attracted to the objective actions of social interaction than to travel behavior.

Happiness is directly tied to a person’s social satisfaction.

In terms of mobility, having a separate vehicle for oneself can increase social satisfaction and contentment.

It is simple: Car ownership helps increase mobility of an individual, even if their social network is scattered.

A person’s living situation is considered to have a positive impact on their ability to access public transport (Polydoropoulou. 2010).

A study that looked at personal relationships, neighbours, the behavior of a person when he travels, his interactions and communications with society, as well as the satisfaction he gets from such interaction was done.

A three-item Loneliness Scale was used by participants to assess their sense of loneliness. It asked them how often they feel isolated and left out.

According to Litman (2011), participants who own a car feel the most isolated.

Walking and cycling have the highest levels. This provides them with high social contentment.

Happier people are, the higher their social contentment.

This study demonstrated that mobility plays a crucial role in deciding whether someone is lonely.

Happiness is the most valued quality in society, as it is now.

In order to make people happy, they must also be happy for others. This also has a positive impact on the surrounding environment.

There are four key qualities that can make someone content with life.

The environment in a person’s life determines the quality of their lifestyle and how happy they are.

While one can live in the best possible environment, they may still be unhappy if their environment restricts movement.

Living within four walls will not give a person a good life.

Second is the ability to cope with life’s challenges.

Being in good physical condition does not automatically mean a happy person. If someone is unable or unwilling to face the mental and emotional challenges of life successfully, then it is not only a sign that they are healthy.

Third, if there isn’t an end in sight, the person can be again unhappy and dissatisfied. 2011).

Lastly, self-satisfaction, well-being, and ultimate happiness are the three main qualities.

Jason Cao, an expert on transport policy at the University of Minnesota, conducted a brief study to discuss what a reliable and connected transport system means to people. His study was focused on the Hiawatha Light Rail Line in Minneapolis. It showed that commuters were happy with how easy it was to get to their destination.

The ease of accessing places via public transport is a source for happiness.

Eric Morris (a transport scholar) also did research in 2011 to determine if people who lived within a mile radius of a train line had an impact on the quality and quantity of their lives.

It didn’t matter to them if they had a car but the mere fact of living near a train line made them happy (Jaffe, 2013).

Psychologically, people believe public transport gives them mobility. This allows them to be freed from any form of confinement, in the event that they don’t know how or are unable to drive.

These fascinating pieces of research, which were conducted by a variety of scholars, point to the fact a well-planned transportation system can boost a person’s emotional quotient.

Satisfied people are more likely to feel happy in their lives (Stanley and others). 2011).

While happiness can be measured in terms of mobility, there are many other factors that affect it. These include a strong social environment, friendships with others and loneliness.

Mobility basically seeks to eliminate isolation and make it easier to be social.

Study showed how mobility can alleviate loneliness.

A good transport tool is indicative of a happy and fulfilled life. This is because social networks are able to expand, allowing for seamless communication across all borders.

If the environment is designed to bring joy to others, it can be a source of happiness.

Even if all facilities are present, it is not enough for happiness.

Refer toBanister,D., Anderton,K., Bonilla,D., Givoni,M., & Schwanen,T. (2011).

Transport and the environment.

Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 36. 247-270Berg, P., Kemperman, A., Kleijn, B.D., & Borgers, A. (2016).


Society and Travel Behaviour. 5. 48-55Jaffe,E. (2013).

Happier if you live near good transit. Retrieved from,D., & Krueger, A.B. (2006).

Measurement of subjective well-being.

Journal of Economic Perspectives. 20(1). 3-24Litman,T. (2011).

Mobility as an ‘Operational Good’: Implications in Transport Policy and Planning. Retrieved from,A., Limao,S., Duarte,A., Garcia,C., & Litinas,N. (2010).

Expected and experienced happiness in the transport mode decision making process. Retrieved from,J.K., Hensher, D.A., Stanley, J.R., & Vella-Brodrick, D. (2011).

Mobility, social exclusion, well-being: Exploring the links

Transportation Research Part A. 45(8). 789-801

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