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The Place(s) Where We Live

From The Atlantic, an article about the connection between good public transportation and happiness. It refers to a survey of Minneapolis citizens who have access to a light rail line that connects them to vital pieces of their civic infrastructure.

Quote:

"...Respondents rated the quality of transit in their area (namely, service quality and accessibility) as well as the quality of their lives (how satisfied they were). To form points of comparison, Cao sent the same survey to residents of four other corridors: two in urban areas with transit but no light rail, and two in suburbs with similar demographics but no transit.

What he found spoke to the power of living along the rails. People in the Hiawatha corridor had higher ratings on questions related to the quality of their lives compared to people in the other four corridors. These were items like "In most ways my life is close to my ideal" and "The conditions of my life are excellent." In short, they were satisfied with their lives.

Cao believes this high quality of life emerged primarily through the quality of the light rail. When he controlled for transit service and regional access, for instance, the advantage in life satisfaction disappeared — a clear sign, to him, that service and access were responsible for this satisfaction in the first place. Contentment with travel was leading to contentment with life."

Full article here.