Happiness, Public Spaces (07-09-19)

Benita, Bansal, and Tuncer set out to learn more about the emotions people feel in public spaces. They specifically probed momentary subjective wellbeing (M-SWB).  During the data collection process, students (age 7 to 18) “wore a sensor for one week, and happy moments were captured as well as geospatial and environmental data throughout the country. This is a large-scale in-the-wild user study. The findings provide weak empirical evidence that visiting parks and community centers increase the probability of experiencing M-SWB compared with commercial areas. . . . On the other hand, immediate noise levels and air temperature were strongly associated with M-SWB. . . . Weak evidence supporting the positive link between proximity to green or blue spaces and momentary happiness [were found].”

Francisco Benita, Garvit Bansal, and Bige Tuncer. 2019.  “Public Spaces and Happiness:  Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment.”  Health and Place, vol. 56, pp. 9-18, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.014