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

On the sunny side of the street

by Charles Montgomery on

Architects love to hate Disneyland for its shameless nostalgia and fakery. But psychologists and neuroscientists are fascinated by the place. Disney and his designers showed an uncanny understanding of the way that architecture affects emotions, neuroimmunologist Esther Sternberg told me. “They figured out in the 1950s and ’60s, long before we understood neuroscience, exactly how to use design to get people from a place of anxiety and fear to a… Continue reading

Secrets of the world’s happiest cities: excerpt – Guardian UK

by Seth Geiser on

What makes a city a great place to live – your commute, property prices or good conversation? The Guardian seeks answers in this adapted excerpt from Happy City.  “By designing cities in a way that values everyone’s experience, we can make cities that help us all get stronger, more resilient, more connected, more active and more free. We just have to decide who our cities are for. And we have… Continue reading

Category Archives: Neuroscience