Felicity (n):

happiness: state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy

“What if a city is built on a foundation of happiness?”

The FeliCity project is based on the idea of developing a poly-centric urban region based on the Gross National Happiness concept. Through an Internet search of expressed feelings by inhabitants of each City in the Belt1, the Happiness Index of each city is calculated. This index is then mapped on the region, creating an emotional landscape of the region. This emotional landscape shows a range of peaks and troughs which is not analogous to the physical size of the city nor its economic prowess.

The project proposes that the key strategy in developing this region is to regulate the levels of happiness so as to maintain a state of ’emotional equilibrium’ across it. The concept of ’emotional equilibrium’ is deeply embedded in the idea that a region is able to develop at its maximum potential when it has a high Happiness Index. Thus, through regulating and transferring the emotional energy of happiness from one city to another, this ideal state can be achieved.

In order to achieve this, it is proposed that the M8 be replaced by a new transport system, named Plutchik2, which other than being a mass rapid transit system is also a means to regulate the emotions of commuters from one city to another.

The Plutchik system is based on the metaphor of a roller coaster which represents the emotional journey of humans up and down the track. The system is made up of stations along a common track, much like a conventional mass transit system but, beyond that, every aspect of it will be based on the emotional landscape map. Each Plutchik station will be located in response to how it fares in the happiness index study. For instance, a town with a low score will find its station located at high altitudes in order to evoke a strong emotional response; probably a cocktail of fear, happiness and anticipation of going down a slope. The opposite will be true for a city with a high index score.

In all, this project aims to ask the stakeholders in the built environment, “What if a city is built on the concepts of happiness?”

1- A Google search was done with the key word “I Feel + ‘Name of emotion’ + ‘Name of city’ ” and the results tabulated.

2- The system is named after Robert Pluchik whose psychoevolutionary theory of emotion is probably one of the most influential classification approaches for general emotional responses.

Paskalis Khrisno Ayodyantoro | David Lee | Adib Jalal

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