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Thread: Transportation Happiness Mapping

  1. #1
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    Default Transportation Happiness Mapping

    It shouldn't be novel to think about whether our transportation infrastructure is making us happy, but I've never heard of anyone seriously measuring it until today.

    Local news story on the study: U study identifies Twin Cities roads where commuters are happiest - StarTribune.com

    Fan took data from a smartphone app developed at the U that recorded the emotional responses of nearly 400 people to their transportation activities in real time to create what she calls the Transportation Happiness Map. It’s her latest effort to explore the notion of happiness — which she defines as one’s well-being — as a useful metric to assess transportation systems and guide policymaking.

    “If we don’t improve the experience in public spaces, we miss opportunities to make cities more livable and happier places,” Fan said.

    Americans on average spend 70 minutes a day getting from place to place. Amenities such as bike lanes, better bus stops and lighting, safety features and aesthetics to improve the experience are just as important as roads that move lots of traffic, she said.

    “We need to bring happiness into the equation to make it pleasing and improve the experience for those who use the transportation system,” said Fan, whose research was funded by the U’s Center for Transportation Studies.

    Traffic jams can sour any commute, one reason Interstate 35W and Interstate 94 in Minneapolis might not be happy places, Fan said. But traffic is hardly the sole factor in determining happiness.

    Other factors include how one travels and the purpose of the trip. Fan found that biking brought the most happiness when compared with other modes of transportation. Trip length and traveling companions influenced commuters’ emotions. Trips for dining and shopping brought higher levels of happiness.

    Aesthetics and the condition of infrastructure play a role, she said, noting that those factors likely contributed to lower happiness ratings by study participants traveling in parts of north Minneapolis and along Hiawatha Avenue.
    Interactive map of the Minneapolis metro in case you're interested in poking around: Transportation Happiness Visualization

    The implication seems like a no-brainer: let's build less infrastructure that makes people unhappy, and more of the sort of infrastructure that makes people happy.
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Transportation Happiness Mapping

    Fuck yea-
    ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those that are killing it have names and addresses-‘ Utah Phillips

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