The countryside is NOT best for happiness: Cities are just as beneficial 'even ...

Cities can boost happiness just as much as the countryside - as long as they are scenic, according to experts.

Naturally open spaces are typically considered to create a better mood, in contrast to built-up urban areas.

But in the first study of its kind, scientists found areas with lots of old buildings but not much green space can be just as good for our wellbeing.

And the effect could be the same regardless of the weather, how wealthy the area is, the activities that take place there and the day of the week.

Scientists said the findings should inform governments on how to make areas more aesthetically pleasing. 

Cities with churches and towers can boost happiness just as much as the countryside as long as it is scenic, experts at the University of Warwick have said

Cities with churches and towers can boost happiness just as much as the countryside as long as it is scenic, experts at the University of Warwick have said

Ultimately, the scientists led by University of Warwick said people are happier in beautiful settings, whether in natural or built-up places.

The team, led by researcher Chanuki Illushka Seresinhe, said: 'We find that people are indeed happier in more scenic environments, even after controlling for a range of variables such as potential effects of the weather, and the activity that an individual was engaged in at the time.

'Crucially, we show that it is not only the countryside with which we see this association.

'Built-up areas, which might comprise characterful buildings or bridges, also have a positive link to happiness.'

The researchers analysed nearly one million ratings of photographs of Britain from an online game called Scenic-Or-Not.

The researchers combined the data with three years of measurements from more than 15,000 users of the iPhone app Mappiness.

Mappiness asks people to report on their happiness multiple times per day while recording their current location, who they are with and what they are currently doing.

Images from Scenic-Or-Not. A: The four most scenic images in England. B: A sample of the most unscenic images. C: The top five per cent scenic images in built-up locations

Images from Scenic-Or-Not. A: The four most scenic images in England. B: A sample of the most unscenic images. C: The top five per cent scenic images in built-up locations

To determine whether individuals are happier in more

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