What is urban experimentalism?

by Charles Montgomery on

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 essence of the happier city as a journalist, searching for experts among planners, mayors, psychologists and… Continue reading

Why cities need streets activists now

by Charles Montgomery on

‘Our cities are malleable. They can change. And all of us can play a part in that change.’ The activists at New York City’s Transportation Alternatives are among the greatest of urban heroes. These guys proved that smart activists can totally transform a city. So it was a special pleasure to sit down for a chat with Transalt scribe Graham Beck to talk about the intersection of design, happiness and livable streets activism.… Continue reading

Choosing the Happy City (video)

by Charles Montgomery on

Behavioural economists have demonstrated that when it comes to maximizing utility–or what you and I might call happiness–we constantly fail to make the best decisions. We get it wrong as individuals, as city-builders, and as politicians. As my own region teetered on the brink of making some bad decisions, I had a chance to reflect on how we might choose a happier urban future, as part of TransLink/SFU ‘Rethinking Transportation’… Continue reading

Author Archives: Charles Montgomery