Designing for Difference

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Public space isn’t always truly public: the way we look, sound and move affects our experiences in city space. Here in Vancouver, residents continue to face barriers to access, comfort and safety in public space based on their identities, from race, gender and sexual orientation to age, income and ability. When residents experience overlapping identities, these barriers can be even more challenging.  We envision a future where Vancouver’s public spaces… Continue reading

National Policy for Happier, Healthier Communities in the United Arab Emirates

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In January 2019 the United Arab Emirates unveiled a global first: a national community design policy for building happier, healthier communities across the country. We led the development of this policy, and we’re excited to see it roll out in the UAE. Beyond that, our hope is that creating such a policy may represent the start of something critical: a list of everything communities need to support human wellbeing. The… Continue reading

Tomo on Main

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Can we design multi-family housing to nurture strong, supportive social relationships? Hundreds of hours of research led us to believe the answer is Yes. Tomo House brings this idea to life. Tomo House has brought Happy City into a unique collaboration with an enlightened developer (Take Root), a creative design team (Lanefab and MA+HG Architects, and a group of future residents determined to find an affordable, pragmatic path to cohousing… Continue reading

Dubai Plan 2021

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Happy City contributed to the Dubai 2021 Plan by co-facilitating an urban design workshop, helping develop design criteria and KPIs that are focused towards happiness, sharing evidence on the happiness-design connection, and providing design input for the pilot neighbourhood project. The result of our consultation will inform the design of a pilot project in Al Barsha, one of Dubai’s residential neighborhoods. The project outlined key objectives for the following 100… Continue reading

Granville Island 2040

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In the summer of 2016, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) embarked on a powerful re-imagining of Vancouver’s Granville Island to 2040. The Island has been an incredible Canadian success story, a place where arts and industry and surprises collide. But the island needed a refresh to maintain and enhance its relevance for the future. Happy City collaborated with an interdisciplinary team led by HCMA to create an updated and compelling vision for the iconic island. We co-created… Continue reading