Major Urban Parks Audit and Assessment

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Mexico City is home to two of the largest urban parks in the word: Chapultepec and San Juan de Aragon. Both parks offer green space, forested areas and amenities such as playgrounds and skate parks.  Happy City assessed the Ministry of Environment’s new vision for these major urban parks. We measured how the ministry’s investments in new infrastructure, landscaping and social programming impacted social wellbeing elements such as equity, safety,… Continue reading

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

Designed to Engage: Policy recommendations for promoting sociability in multi-family housing

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Fostering strong social relationships is one of the most important ways to ensure community happiness, health, and resilience. Given that multi-family housing is a major source of rental and owner-occupied housing in most cities, how can we boost sociability in these places? A big challenge is that thoughtful, relationship-building design is often stymied by existing policies and old habits. With the support of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and… Continue reading

Global Happiness Policy Report: Happy Cities in a Smart World

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After decades of research into human happiness, it is time to turn evidence into action for human wellbeing. But governments and city-builders need pragmatic strategies and examples for inspiration. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions launched the Global Happiness Policy Report to survey and share best practice policies drawn from the research literature and government experiences around the globe. The Global Happiness Council (GHC) is a global network of leading specialists… Continue reading

Happy Homes: Building Sociability through Multi-family Housing

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Visit our interactive tool The way we design multi-family housing can make or break social connections and trust. Social isolation is a public health concern in cities around the world. The location and design of multi-family housing has a significant impact on local relationships, neighbourhood trust and residents’ sense of belonging. With support from BC Housing’s Building Excellence Research & Education Grant, Happy City developed a toolkit that will change… Continue reading

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