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GenYChron Ep. 0009 – The most livable cities, #CitiesForPeople and thoughts about happiness

Show summary

On today’s show we talk about two cities that make the top-five list on both Mercer’s and Monocle’s “the most livable cities” rankings: Munich and Vienna. Having lived in both cities, we compare our own anecdotal evidence with these two livability rankings. We also chat about how some cities in North America are starting to plan their cities for people instead of cars. To finish, we discuss how happiness is not a goal, but rather a side effect.

Show notes

0:28 – The most livable cities in the world (Wikipedia article)

1:48 – Many of the most livable cities are in Canada and Germany

3:15 – The ranting U-Bahn operators in Munich

4:48 – Strangers in Munich are friendlier than strangers in Vienna

5:10 – Comparing Munich’s infrastructure to Vienna’s infrastructure

7:15 – Munich has hundreds of bicycles hanging upside-down in trees (The Local news article)

7:54 – Why are there so few American cities in “the most livable cities” rankings?

9:29 – The affordability of accommodations doesn’t seem to be accounted for in “the most livable cities” rankings

11:00 – Some of the Viennese apartments we looked at appeared to have never been renovated since Mozart’s time

12:17 – Fun fact: Bavaria has over 5000 castles (List of the major castles in Bavaria)

13:12 – The first step to making a city a better place to live in: change the attitude to change the living standards

15:48 – Old school city planners designed most North American cities for cars

17:07 – Halifax, Nova Scotia used to have a railway network of street cars, but they were replaced by cheaper electric and later diesel buses (Article by the Halifax Transit)

18:46 – Organic city design vs. planned city design

21:00 – In Canada, not being a car owner impacts your social standing with your friends, family and co-workers

24:12 – North American cities like Halifax are starting to change the way they plan cities #CitiesForPeople

24:35 – Some cities are starting to convert their car-only streets to pedestrian streets (See the before-and-after photos)

25:52 – Dodging cars while walking to work in Canada was commonplace (cars turning right on a red light was often a problem)

27:40 – Was the #CitiesForPeople concept always a thing in Germany?

28:34 – A free universal transport system might be an option for some cities (New article)

31:02 – Only investing in a city’s outer-core and suburbs is a losing strategy for the city’s tax payers

33:45 – Happiness is not a goal; it’s a side effect (Podcast on YouTube)

37:36 – Preparing for Father’s Day: appreciating the importance of fathers and grandfathers in society

40:09 – Roughhousing is beneficial for a child’s physical and psychological development (Research article about rough-and-tumble play)

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