WIT Press

The role of public space to achieve urban happiness


Free (open access)


Volume 12 (2017), Issue 4



Page Range

724 - 733

Paper DOI



WIT Press




Urban happiness can be defined as a concept that gives a positive perception of a place to the people who live in it and which induces them to spend a long time there and/or to opt to live there again with the same experience. While the identification of a happy place is something that is quite achievable, it is more difficult to investigate how to obtain it. The aim of this article is to present the Happy place mapping, which is carried out in the framework of CNR research projects. The Happy place mapping aims at identifying sustainable urban happiness and the factors that make places happy from the users’ point of view as well as identifying design interventions to enhance or create it. The method consists of surveys, observations and questionnaires. A series of case studies have been carried out in Europe, the United States and China. These case studies resulted in a Charter of Urban Happiness of 20 principles, which is part of the method. The description of the software that can support the method, still under development, and observation both on the method and software conclude the article.


place identity, public space, sustainable development, urban design, urban happiness