How can we make Vancouver happier? (Video)

A quick chat with CBC TV’s Andrew Chang about how to build more happiness in Vancouver (and other big cities):

Are some streets kinder than others? A social test in Seattle

How does the built environment influence how feel and behave? Our collaborators at Futurewise agreed that this is an important question for cities like Seattle, which has experienced rapid redevelopment of its core neighbourhoods in the last few years. The city has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build happiness into–or out of–these places. Historical studies have suggestedContinue Reading

Happy City workshop for municipal leaders: join us March 20

If you are a new civic politician, you may not be aware of the ways that urban design and policy can contribute to health, resilience and happiness in your community. We’re thrilled to have the chance to introduce municipal leaders from British Columbia to new happiness-based urban design tools. Join us on Mar. 20 in VancouverContinue Reading

Fixing Our Cities: A CBC National Feature

Chris Brown of CBC’s The National (Canada’s evening news program) put together this terrific story connecting the dots between urban health, resilience, design, and yes, happiness. I was thrilled to participate, along with happy city heroes Brent Toderian and Dr. Karen Lee. Here’s the video, with very compelling footage with Brent in Medellin:   TweetContinue Reading

Happy City workshop with the World Health Organization

After the release of Happy City in 2013, we received dozens of requests from policymakers and city-builders to translate lessons from the book into tools to help guide urban design. In response, we developed a new framework to bring wellbeing into design processes. We were excited to roll out this framework at the WHO International Healthy Cities conferenceContinue Reading

Testing social trust in Mexico

By Charles Montgomery What happens when you challenge hundreds of young Mexicans to reach out to strangers? Something amazing: they change their view of a society that is chronically low in trust.                     I was invited to give a talk to several hundred youth at theContinue Reading

TIME Magazine Happy City survey launches

I worked with Chris Wilson at TIME Magazine and Chris Barrington-Leigh at McGill University to create this survey looking at happiness and urban factors in the USA. If you live in the USA, give it a click. We hope the results will reveal new insights about the relationship between cities and happiness. After a few thousand responsesContinue Reading

Commuting for happiness

A new survey of thousands of British commuters is turning years of accepted wisdom on its head. It turns out that taking transit can actually make us happy.                         Over the years, surveys of commuters have shown that people who cycle or walk reportContinue Reading

Building Happiness

Whatever creates or increases happiness, or some part of happiness, we ought to do; whatever destroys or hampers happiness, or gives rise to its opposite, we ought not to do.” — Aristotle There should be no question that happiness should be a worthy goal for city-builders. That’s the argument I make in Connected Worlds, a newContinue Reading

What is urban experimentalism?

ex·per·i·men·tal·ism: noun 1/ reliance on or advocacy of experimental or empirical principles and procedures. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) 2/ an orientation that favors experimentation and innovation. Related to instrumentalism, a philosophy advanced by philosopher John Dewey, who held that the truth of a thing or idea lay in its usefulness. I began my search for the essenceContinue Reading