Pavement-to-Plaza Wellbeing Assessment

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Visitors enjoying the shade at Vancouver's Jim Deva Plaza. (Credit: Alison Boulier)

Can transforming underused roads into places for people improve resident wellbeing?  During fall 2018, the City of Vancouver hired Happy City to assess its Pavement-to-Plaza program and find out. In September 2018, we surveyed over 700 Vancouverites at three places where road space had been replaced by plazas, as well as at three control sites. Participants answered our short, academically-validated subjective wellbeing assessment about the influences of the interventions on… 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

Happy City Denver Experiments

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Image of participants holding signs

Does the way we commute affect how generous we are? And what happens when city dwellers share their feelings and personal burdens with complete strangers? Happy City explored these questions with the Denver Theatre District and contemporary artist Stuart Semple in two very different social experiments. Both were part of Happy City Denver, a citywide, six-week series of art interventions that launched in May 2018. We discovered some interesting answers.… Continue reading

Happy Streets Living Lab

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Happy StreetsSmall scale interventions have become a popular way to enhance public life in cities. How do they influence our feelings and behaviour? This question inspired Happy City to create an experiment in Vancouver, Canada to measure the effect that colourful or lush interventions have on people’s wellbeing. In particular, the experiment sought to understand how urban design influences people’s sense of trust in strangers, their feelings of happiness and their… Continue reading

Shore to Core

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Can more fascinating public space designs actually boost human wellbeing? This question drove an experiment by Happy City and collaborators in our winning submission to Shore to Core, a research competition staged by the Van Alen Institute and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. The competition challenged us to investigate the influence of urban spaces on human wellbeing and to reimagine social wellbeing in waterfront cities. Happy City worked alongside… Continue reading

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