Studies have proven that people are happier when they're surrounded by more natural elements, like trees, grass, and water. Cities have been investing in green spaces with small parks here and there, but not many have taken a hard look at their rivers - commonly a space of sewage, industry, and flood control.

These seven cities in Wired's round up hope to change that. For example, in Chicago, the city has invested in the Chicago River Corridor Development Plan. The once sewage-filled waterway has been re-imagined as a place of recreation and escape with restaurants, kayak rentals, and docks for watercraft.

Similarly, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, and San Antonia have created their own river redevelopment plans. In Oklahoma City, a one-cent sales tax allows authorities to update the Boathouse district with walkways, performance spaces, and restaurants - all usable spaces that make the hindrance to society a new destination spot.

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