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We believe that evidence on the design-happiness connection can empower designers, planners and common citizens to co-design better communities. We partnered with Laboratorio para la Ciudad, an urban innovation lab, to do just that, amid a complex and contested district in Mexico City.

Using the Happy City framework, we led designers, planners, students and residents of Colonia Doctores through a happy neighbourhood audit of the district around the historical Arena Mexico. Participants first translated key elements of wellbeing into local objectives. Then they worked in teams to conduct audits of the site. Finally, residents and designers worked together to propose design interventions to boost local wellbeing.