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

On the sunny side of the street

by Charles Montgomery on

Architects love to hate Disneyland for its shameless nostalgia and fakery. But psychologists and neuroscientists are fascinated by the place. Disney and his designers showed an uncanny understanding of the way that architecture affects emotions, neuroimmunologist Esther Sternberg told me. “They figured out in the 1950s and ’60s, long before we understood neuroscience, exactly how to use design to get people from a place of anxiety and fear to a… Continue reading

Vancouver plans for social connections

by Charles Montgomery on

Cities are realizing that social connections are a key driver of well-being. The City of Vancouver has tried to turn this truth into action. Last year the city formed an Engaged City Task Force. We were pleased to see that the team took inspiration from Happy City. Read the report here. The team recognized that it’s not enough to get neighbours talking to each other. Government needs to join the conversation. We need new… Continue reading

Tag Archives: public space