Design is a large part of what makes life enjoyable for me. In this talk by Rob Forbes, he lays out examples of design that he sees in everyday public spaces. He notes that the cities that he goes to to find good high design are usually cities with strong pedestrian or biking cultures. He doesn't make any causal claims, and notes that those cities usually also have universities, which could explain the correlation. It is still interesting to note that the cities known for fashion, design, and architecture are are walkable and urban.
My thoughts on why this is are twofold. First, when you are not in a car, you are visible to others, but you are hidden if you are in a car. It does not matter what you look like, only what your car looks like. This can explain why pedestrians are often more fashionably dressed than drivers, despite the fact that there are less functional requirements than when you are sitting. Additionally, since everyone is driving along at high speeds, what buildings and streets look like is not really important because you will be by it in a few seconds. In contrast, when you are walking, biking, skateboarding, or scootering, you are acutely aware of the built environment because you are not ensconced in your own bubble.