The Urbanist

Why so moody?

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18 August 2016

Episode 253

30 minutes


Photo: Sam Greenhalgh

There’s a correlation between the built environment and the way we feel as an individual but how does that apply to the population as a whole? This week we assess if there’s such a thing as a “collective mood” in our urban environments and what essentially makes a city happy or sad.

18 August 2016

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Chapter 1

4 minutes


Photo: Nico Kaiser

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Chapter 1

Vienna: a moody city

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Our Vienna correspondent tells us why she feels there’s a strange underlying melancholy among the city’s inhabitants.

4 minutes

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Chapter 2

6 minutes


Photo: David B Young

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Chapter 2

Can a city ‘feel’ happy or sad?

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Following the Brexit vote here in the UK we believe it’s fair to say that London “felt” a bit sad but can events such as this really have an impact on the mood of a city? Monocle editor Andrew Tuck is joined by Ruut Veenhoven, an emeritus-professor of social conditions for human happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

6 minutes


Photo: digitalpimp.

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Chapter 3

Singapore: towards a kinder city

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While some cities are happy or sad, others have a bit more attitude. In the 51 years since it became an independent city-state Singapore has certainly become wealthy and very successful – but some worry that its focus on success has come at a price.

6 minutes

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Chapter 4

7 minutes


Photo: Gatanass

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Chapter 4

Helsinki: using Flow Festival to promote urban wellbeing

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How can festivals and other arts events lift the mood of a city? We report from Flow Festival, where city-planners, musicians and designers get together to conjure a utopian vision of urban culture – feeding off the notion of urban wellbeing and using it to provide inspiration for the rest of the year.

7 minutes

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