Friday, May 28, 2021

Happy City

I read a book that I really like! 

The book explains how city layouts make a big impact on our happiness. If you can walk from home within 5 minutes to a grocery store, a restaurant, and a park, you will get to know your neighbors naturally. You'll see each other at the park. Trust will build over time.

If you must drive to all stores and to work, you won't ever know your neighbors. You'll feel isolated and bored.

Many older cities were built before cars existed. They have public plazas because they were designed for citizens who primarily walk or bicycle.

This explains why I felt so calm visiting Copenhagen, which has focused its city center on walking and biking in the past 20 years. I also was happy in Puerto NuriƱo, a 6000-person town in Colombia that does not allow cars anywhere in town. Visiting Santiago, Chile and taking daily bike tours was peaceful too.  The city is safe for cyclists.

When I look back at my childhood, I felt happiest living in a town of 60,000 people where I could walk and bike to stores and parks. I felt independent as a 10-year-old. As a teenager, we moved to a million-population city where I had to rely on car rides, and it was more isolating.

I hope to read this book again in 5 years, to keep it in my memory!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

sea bug, not C bug

Me: The Chinese word for "lobster" is "dragon shrimp".

Aff: Oh. Not "sea bug"?