Top Ten Happy Cities?

As we've seen, there are many indicators with which to judge a city. Melbourne often scores highly in liveability indicators, but how 'happy' is our city?

One market research team has conducted a 10,000 strong survey looking at places to go that make people happy.  Apparently, these places include cultural locations, outdoor activities, shopping centres, performances and amusement.  The cities are ranked based on these.  Interestingly, there's an extra marker in Amsterdam; 'coffee shops' that do not appear on the rankings for other cities.  Given that Melbourne (and most other cities on the list) also have great coffee, maybe it's the other kind of coffee shops (the special Amsterdam kind) that it refers to.

Anyway, according to the survey, the ten 'happiest' cities are:

10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
9. Paris, France
8. Rome, Italy
7. San Francisco, USA
6. Madrid, Spain
5. Melbourne, Australia
4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3. Barcelona, Spain
2. Sydney, Australia
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

So this is another kind of indicator that is quick to judge based on some surveys.  It is not clear how exactly the research was collected, and what was asked.  I'm also not sold on the link between the kinds of activities ranked and happiness.  Sure, it's fun to participate in outdoor activities, but not everyone will enjoy this.  Even more so for things like shopping centres (I mean the people that describe Chadstone as fun are few and far between), this could be a bit of a stretch. 

Interestingly, good old Oz has two cities is the top ten, apparently thanks to its "attractive weather conditions, inclusive local communities, Australia as a sought after travel destination, and the allure that the people Down Under exude to outsiders".  Why thank you. 

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