An ode to women in the happy city movement

by Editor on

Women’s Day got us thinking about many of the leaders who have inspired our healthy, happy city movement: The activism and enduring wisdom of Jane Jacobs. The pragmatic audacity of Janette Sadik-Khan. The brave public advocacy of Jennifer Keesmat, who risks her job by speaking evidence-based truth to power in Toronto. Clair Cooper-Marcus, whose research and ideas flow through all our work on housing. And Eva Kail, who showed us that building a… Continue reading

Envisioning a happy, healthy Granville Island

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Granville Island workshop

Early in 2016, the federal government launched a planning initiative for stakeholders to reimagine what Vancouver BC’s iconic peninsula Granville Island could look like. The Granville Island 2040 Plan was a call to set a course for Granville Island’s future and to articulate its shape for the next 25 years. Aimed to address potential for land use options, including the repurposing of Emily Carr University buildings and the potential expansion… Continue reading

Happier by design

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Like many American cities, West Palm Beach is facing challenges of rapid growth, inequality, and environmental discomfort. But urban design can be part of the solution. Our research has found that certain places have the power to improve human feelings and behavior. So we were thrilled to win the research competition for Shore to Core, a research competition led by Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. The… Continue reading

Happy City released in Taiwan

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Charles Montgomery’s critically acclaimed book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design was published in Taiwan in November, 2016. The news is exciting for Taiwanese cities, but also for the region as a whole. Asian cities struggle with choking traffic, intrusive mega-projects and seemingly-uncontrollable sprawl. But the evidence in Happy City demonstrates that cities can achieve sustainable growth at the same time as boosting health and happiness. This version… Continue reading

That’s a wrap! Happy Housing Design Studio

by Charles Montgomery on

The Happy City team hosted an inspiring one-night studio to create sociability-boosting tools for multi-family house design. Sponsored by BC Housing and led by Happy City associate Patricia Rios, the Happy Housing Design Studio invited a roomful of multi-talented planners, designers, developers and also a few wildcards. The fun began when we added markers, tracing paper, snacks, and beverages courtesy of Faculty Brewing. This enthusiastic squad of interdisciplinary super-heroes turned evidence into actions and visual tools to change how housing is designed in the near future.

Preliminary findings will be shared on December 8 at CONNECT-Catalyzing a Social Movement forum by the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health at the Museum of Vancouver. The Happy Housing Toolkit and report will be released in March 2017.

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