Are some streets kinder than others? A social test in Seattle

by Charles Montgomery on

How does the built environment influence how feel and behave? Our collaborators at Futurewise agreed that this is an important question for cities like Seattle, which has experienced rapid redevelopment of its core neighbourhoods in the last few years. The city has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build happiness into–or out of–these places. Historical studies have suggested that the design and programming of street edges can either draw people or repel them.… Continue reading

Testing social trust in Mexico

by Charles Montgomery on

By Charles Montgomery What happens when you challenge hundreds of young Mexicans to reach out to strangers? Something amazing: they change their view of a society that is chronically low in trust.                     I was invited to give a talk to several hundred youth at the International Youth Conference in Queretaro, Mexico, in January. With a captive audience of 500, this… Continue reading

TIME Magazine Happy City survey launches

by Charles Montgomery on

I worked with Chris Wilson at TIME Magazine and Chris Barrington-Leigh at McGill University to create this survey looking at happiness and urban factors in the USA. If you live in the USA, give it a click. We hope the results will reveal new insights about the relationship between cities and happiness. After a few thousand responses we’ll be reporting back with info graphics. Continue reading

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

A Night of Social Experimentation At the Guggenheim

by Seth Geiser on

By Seth Geiser There were no book readings at the NYC launch of Happy City. Instead, we transformed the Participatory City gallery at the Guggenheim Museum into a laboratory of interactive experiments in social trust and happiness. Our goal: to explore, in a visceral way, the relationship between the design of our cities and the shape of human experience. “We are not as free as we might think in cities,” Charles explained.… Continue reading

Tag Archives: experimentalism