BBC News – Project aims to crowdsource what makes a happy city


Is this an “urban gem?” You decide. From urbangems.org.

I had a cache of stories backed up from the time I was working on my British Isles regions project, and I decided to dump them since they are no longer fresh, with the exception of this one, because I think it is just too cool. Researchers at Cambridge University has created a website, UrbanGems, where people will pick one of two side-by-side images to decide which one is the most beautiful, happy, or quiet, and what percentage of people agree with you. This is somewhat reminiscent of Anton Nelesson’s Visual Preference Survey, but is broader in that it isn’t based on a single public effort and is more meant to form a consensus over what good design is. I’ve done the survey more times than I should probably admit, and really enjoy it. I wish we could take it to other cities so that they can be compared and that more good and bad examples can be found.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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