National Geography sponsored author Dan Buettner recently studied the happiest communities worldwide and profiled several of them in his book "Trive". He looked at them with regard to an extensive study of economics, sociology and individual interviews with experts in the field as well as residents. He found that two of the four cities he profiled were very strong bicycling and walking communities. What cities did he find were the happiest? Copenhagen, despite their weather and long winters, and St. Luis Obispo. St. Luis Obispo has a strong culture of individual entrepreneurialism, and civic involvement. The were the first city in the US to ban smoking, and also banned food drive throughs, watch out Dunkin Donuts!
In the final section of the book he makes recommendations on how to make a happy community. Walking and biking trails and lanes are important parts of a happy healthy community. It is interesting reading and Check out his book "Thrive" for some insight on tips for creating more happiness in your life.
A brief article on St. Luis Obispo is noted below: Scott