Happy Streets Living Lab

by Administrator on

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

by Editor on

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

Happy City Workshop at the 23rd Congress for the New Urbanism

by Charles Montgomery on

The Congress for the New Urbanism is a natural home for urban wellbeing work. CNU emerged in part as a response to the harms associated with urban sprawl. Since their formation, CNU members have promoted the creation of sustainable, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods that lead to better health and economic outcomes. The CNU Charter, specifically, is aimed at reclaiming cities and towns from the destructive force of suburban sprawl. But as… Continue reading

Love night

by Charles Montgomery on

During Love Night, Charles Montgomery invited an interdisciplinary team of collaborators to reconfigure an urban space in order to nudge participants to feel and behave with more trust for total strangers. Partners included Project for Public Spaces, Psychologist Emanuele Castano, Neuroeconomist Paul Zak, artist Ryan Brennan, and students from the Fashionable Technology Lab at Parsons The New School for Design. The collaborators induced hundreds of New Yorkers to engage in… Continue reading

Testing, Testing

by Charles Montgomery on

How do urban environments influence our brains and emotions? Psychologists have long conducted laboratory experiments to understand these effects. We were interested in testing actual city spaces. Research psychologist Colin Ellard and Happy City principal Charles Montgomery created a participatory experiment to test the effect of public spaces in New York, Berlin, and Mumbai. The method: guide groups of volunteer participants through the urban terrain and measure the effects of… Continue reading