If we want to save the planet, we have got to change the way we live in cities.
This urgent cause requires more than peer-reviewed studies. It demands a call to action that appeals to people’s deepest values. The planet’s estimated 1.2 billion Catholics got just that call to action from their Pope this spring.
‘Our cities are malleable. They can change. And all of us can play a part in that change.’ The activists at New York City’s Transportation Alternatives are among the greatest of urban heroes. These guys proved that smart activists can totally transform a city. So it was a special pleasure to sit down for a chat with Transalt scribe Graham Beck to talk about the intersection of design, happiness and livable streets activism.… Continue reading
The best thing about researching Happy City was getting a chance to see how designers, engineers and regular people are using design to improve human experience in cities. Now Jessica Leber at Fast Company has pulled three excerpts from the book that tell this story vividly. The first looks at how the design of our homes and neighbourhoods can influence how many local friends we have, without us even knowing… Continue reading
By Seth Geiser There were no book readings at the NYC launch of Happy City. Instead, we transformed the Participatory City gallery at the Guggenheim Museum into a laboratory of interactive experiments in social trust and happiness. Our goal: to explore, in a visceral way, the relationship between the design of our cities and the shape of human experience. “We are not as free as we might think in cities,” Charles explained.… Continue reading
Back in the fall of 2011, when my collaborators and I began planning an evening of hot chocolate, intimate confessions, and extreme hugging at the BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York City, some people seemed baffled. What did any of this have to do with the Lab’s mandate, which was to explore the future of cities? The answer is that we were exploring one of the most important questions concerning… Continue reading