Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Hardback

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: 46,803

Product description

A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can--and do--make us happier people Charles 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 "Happy City" "Beautifully researched, Charles Montgomery's tale cleverly interweaves rigorous inquiry on urban history and the science of happiness with intimate and personal stories that humanize the vast task of understanding urban dynamics. An inspiring book that reminds us that the power to change our cities often lies in our own hands." --Maria Nicanor, Associate Curator of Architecture and Urbanism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York ""Happy City" is its own opiate: an eye-opening, pleasurable, utterly necessary tour through the best and worst neighborhoods of our urbanized world. Charles Montgomery shows us the way to a beautiful city." --Andrew Blum, author of "Tubes" ""Happy"" City" will fundamentally change the way you see, experience, and feel the place you inhabit. It is a hopeful and optimistic vision of our urban future that uses science to argue what we always should have known: in building the good city, we won't just save our planet. We'll save ourselves."--Robert Hammond, cofounder of Friends of the High Line "A brilliant, entertaining, and vital book. Charles Montgomery deftly leads us from our misplaced focus on money, cars, and stuff to consider what makes us truly happy. Then everything changes--the way we live, work, and play in humanity's major habitat, the city." --David Suzuki, host of CBC's "The Nature of Things" and cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation "Charles Montgomery's message is simple: If we're going to save the world, we must first be happier, and that means creating happier cities. "Happy"" City" isn't just a book about urban design written for urban professionals; it's for everyone who's ever wondered if their city could be a better place, and what they can do about it." --Jarrett Walker, author of "Human Transit" "In a word, wow. I thought I had it all figured out, but this is something I was missing. In echoing all the great economic, health, and environmental mandatesd