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Enhancing collective happiness in the city: Felicitas publica and the availability of relational goods


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Informed by positive psychology and the fields of urban studies, design, economics, political philosophy and sociology, this paper presents an exploration of different conceptual models of happiness and well-being and considers their potential to be applied in an urban context. It introduces the ideas of ‘public happiness’ (felicitas publica), ‘relational goods’ and ‘third places’ and makes a case for their foregrounding in urban policy and practice. A case study, focusing upon a project implemented in the city of Lisbon, Portugal is used to demonstrate the ways in which policy makers might actively intervene to enhance collective happiness in the city.

Keywords: cities; eudaimonia; felicitas publica; relational good; relationships; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Politicas ISCSP and Centro de Administração e Politicas Publicas, Universidade de Lisboa 2: Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Politicas ISCSP, and Centro de Administração e Politicas Publicas, Universidade de Lisboa 3: CIAUD, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal is the essential peer-reviewed journal for all professionals concerned with physical, economic and social regeneration of urban communities. It publishes in-depth articles and real world case studies on the latest strategy, policy making and current and best practice in the field. Guided by its expert Editor and Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue does not publish advertising but rather in-depth articles written by and for urban regeneration professionals analysing current and best practice in the planning, consultation, funding, delivery and long-term management of regeneration programmes, as well as the latest policy making, developments and research in the field.

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