Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design


By (author) Charles Montgomery

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  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Format: Hardback | 358 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 231mm x 36mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 12 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0374168237
  • ISBN 13: 9780374168230
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 69,197

Product description

A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can--and do--make us happier peopleCharles Montgomery's "Happy"" City" will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamiccities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogota; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, "Happy"" City" is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it."

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Author information

Charles Montgomery is an award-winning journalist and the author of "The Shark God," which won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction under its Canadiantitle, "The Last Heathen."

Review quote

Praise for "The Shark God ""Vivid . . . Entertaining . . . [This] story has rich layers of history and anthropology." --Holly Morris, "The New York Times Book Review ""A very real and memorable talent . . . The quality of [Montgomery's] prose seems matched only by the wisdom of his observations." --Simon Winchester, "The Globe and Mail"