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

Three stories, one message: we can all use design for happiness

by Charles Montgomery on

The best thing about researching Happy City was getting a chance to see how designers, engineers and regular people are using design to improve human experience in cities. Now Jessica Leber at Fast Company has pulled three excerpts from the book that tell this story vividly. The first looks at how the design of our homes and neighbourhoods can influence how many local friends we have, without us even knowing… Continue reading

Category Archives: Science of happiness