Instead, happiness is most easily attained by living in an aesthetically beautiful city. The things people were constantly surrounded by—lovely architecture, history, green spaces, cobblestone streets—had the greatest effect on their happiness. The cumulative positive effects of daily beauty worked subtly but strongly.Tens of thousands of people are now carrying around a phone ap that asks them twice a day what they are doing and how happy they are. The happiest people are having sex, but after that the happiest activities all have to do with art or beauty.
I take it seriously because it fits so well with my own experience. I have many times had my mood darkened just by walking by a massive concrete structure, or through a barren parking garage, and just as often had it lifted by a flowering tree of a lovely facade.
So this is another part of my theory about why our wealth has not made us happier: because we spend too much of it building ugly things.