Phooey on that. Jonah Lehrer boils this down in his latest post:
In the late 1990s, Frances Kuo, director of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois, began interviewing female residents in the Robert Taylor Homes, a massive housing project on the South Side of Chicago. Kuo and her colleagues compared women randomly assigned to various apartments. Some had a view of nothing but concrete sprawl, the blacktop of parking lots and basketball courts. Others looked out on grassy courtyards filled with trees and flowerbeds. Kuo then measured the two groups on a variety of tasks, from basic tests of attention to surveys that looked at how the women were handling major life challenges. She found that living in an apartment with a view of greenery led to significant improvements in every category.So when people tell me cities are great...I say "yeah, for everything except living."
I'm not saying there aren't creative, brilliant people living in Boston. I can think of more than one close friend who lives there and seems sane enough (Hi, Ryan). But for me, the stress-reduction found in looking at nature vastly overwhelms any other opportunities I could find living in a bustling metropolis of concrete and steel. Which is why I happily take a lower salary at the edge of the Plains over a higher salary and a concrete jungle on the coast.