The U.S. is a pretty unhappy place compared to Europe, Australia, and South America. That’s according to a survey of 10,000 people in 29 countries from market research company GfK Custom Research. Conducted in 2009, the Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index, claims that San Francisco is the only U.S. city to crack the list of the 10 happiest cities in the world. Who else came out on top, and why?
If Kansas City wants to attract growth and residents, it should emulate these cities, and not copy cities like Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, and Dallas. Cultural amenities, shopping, and outdoor activites help create attractive, healthy cities that people want to live in. Several of the cities on the list are known for their history, art, architecture, and street life as well as entertainment, theatres, museums. and parks. Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco are also known for their beauty.
The other thing to note is that many of them are popular for their architecture and built environment. A city doesn't necessarily have to be in the sun belt. Paris and Amsterdam have weather similar to the Midwest. Their residents endure cold and dreary days.
I would like to see the day when "short commute time" and "high number of highway miles per capita" is not among of the main things that the Metro touts as one of the great advantages of living here.