Well, I finally got off the ground. My flight this morning made it to Montreal without any unexpected delays or cancellations. It was packed too. Every seat on the plane was filled, probably because of all the canceled flights yesterday.
There was a new issue of enRoute Magazine on the plane this morning. I look forward to the beginning of the month, because that’s when the new issue appears in the seat-back pocket ahead of me. enRoute is probably my favorite magazine right now, full of leisure-inspired stories and photos from around the world. I have to find a way to contribute photos to enRoute.
Anyway, I read this fascinating story about cities that have made an effort to focus on the happiness of their citizens. I think it’s a promising trend in urban design. As cities become bigger, and more of the world’s population moves to them, a move to making them better places to live is certainly welcome. When I was in Paris, I really got the feeling that the city was built on a very human level, to allow people to interact with it and move around it easily. With its many parks and public spaces, it made the city feel like a very welcoming place. It felt small-scale, even though it was not. Beijing was similar in many ways. Guangzhou was the extreme opposite. Setting foot on the street in Guangzhou meant you stood a very high chance of being run down by a speeding car or bus, as clouds of noxious fumes spewed everywhere. The entire city was made of concrete, and I don’t think a single living tree exists within Guangzhou’s city limits. I’m fortunate that I’ve had the chance to travel, to see how things are done differently in different places, which gives me a better vantage point from which to decide what I want from my community and my life.