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Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Paperback

By (author) Charles Montgomery

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 27mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 7 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846143209
  • ISBN 13: 9781846143205
  • Illustrations note: illustrations (black and white)
  • Sales rank: 36,503

Product description

Happy City is the story of how the solutions to this century's problems - from climate change to overpopulation - lie in unlocking the secrets to great city living. Why are some cities a joy to live in, and others chronically miserable? As award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery reveals, the answers lie in the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness. Journeying to dozens of cities - from Atlanta to Bogota to Vancouver - he talks to the new champions of the happy city to discover the progressive movements already transforming people's lives. He meets the visionary Colombian mayor who used a "sexy" bus to ease status anxiety; a Danish architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan towns to modern-day Copenhagen; the activist who turned Paris' urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their own lives by hacking the design of their neighbourhoods. In these stories, and in the fascinating realm of urban experimentation, Happy City finds new insights for better living. From how saying hello to neighbours is just as important to your mental health as contact with close friends and family, to how gardens make us kinder, and how simple changes in road design can alter the hormonal state of commuters, Happy City shows that simple changes can make all the difference. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: the green city, the low-carbon city and the happy city are the same place, and we can all help build it. Charles Montgomery is a journalist and urban experimentalist from Vancouver, Canada. His writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. He is the author of two previous books, and is a member of the BMW Guggenheim Lab team.

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Author information

Charles Montgomery is a journalist and urban experimentalist from Vancouver, Canada. His writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. He is the author of one previous book, and was part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab's New York Team.

Review quote

Excellent ... Montgomery believes in the importance of smart town planning and Happy City is a compendium of its major ideas ... It's a castigating economic, social, moral and environmental argument for planning urban spaces around the thing they effect the most: people -- Will Dean The Independent A valuable book ... [it says] forcefully what can't be said too much. It is surely better, most of the time, for most people, to spend as little time as possible in cars and to increase the possibilities of encountering other people and new experiences -- Rowan Moore Observer Admirable ... past writers on this subject have mainly praised existing communities they find conducive to human well-being. Montgomery is all about creating new ones ... not only readable but stimulating. It raises issues most of us have avoided for too long -- Alan Ehrenhalt New York Times