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

Machines for Happiness

by Seth Geiser on

By Seth Geiser Can art and design make us kinder? Can we design more trust or altruism into the city? These are questions everyone can help answer. Working with the Museum of Vancouver, we challenged students from Simon Frasier University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology (SIAT), Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD), and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) to create design interventions that would test or boost feelings… Continue reading

Hug a stranger, change your city: a social trust photo album

by Seth Geiser on

‘Do you two know each other?” Study after study has confirmed that social connectedness is a prime determinant of human well-being. It’s interesting to note then, that the vast majority of people in our lives, from passing acquaintances to old friends, were initially strangers. When is the moment that strangers become people worth trusting?┬áRichard Renaldi explored this idea in his photo series, ‘Touching Strangers’, in which he encouraged strangers in… Continue reading

Upcycled Urbanism: street hacking with MOV

by Charles Montgomery on

My flat-out funnest moment in 2013 involved one street, hundreds of giant building blocks and two fire trucks, in an experience that shouted loudly about the alchemy the that happens when people–lots of people–are empowered to play with urban design. I’ll get to the fire trucks later, but here’s the back story: For one day in July, hundreds of people came together to re-invent a Vancouver street using giant blocks… Continue reading