Commuting for happiness

by Charles Montgomery on

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 report feeling the most joy on their journeys, followed by car drivers. People who take public transit have almost… Continue reading

Building Happiness

by Charles Montgomery on

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 new book published for the International Festival for Business in Liverpool. Here’s the full essay in a… Continue reading

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