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Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design [Kindle Edition]

Charles Montgomery
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book 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



This is going to be the century of the city. But what actually makes a good city? Why, really, are some cities a joy to live in? As writer and journalist Charles Montgomery reveals, it's not how much money your neighbours earn, or how spectacular the views from your windows are, or even how pleasant the climate is that makes the most difference. Journeying to dozens of cities - from Atlanta to Bogotá 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 turned some of the world's most dangerous roads into an urban cycling haven; the Danish architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan towns to modern-day Copenhagen; the New York City transport commissioner who made out of the gridlock of Times Square a place where people could lounge in the sun; and the Californian mother with the super-commute who completely rethought her idea of the suburban dream for the sake of her son's health.



These urban trailblazers, as well as the many other planners, engineers, grass-roots campaigners and ordinary citizens, offer a wealth of surprising lessons for the rest of us. From how saying hello to your neighbours is just as important to your sense of trust as contact with close friends and family, and how living close to parks makes us smarter, kinder and reduces local crime rates, to the importance of the 'magic triangle' rule, Happy City shows thatsimple changes can make all the difference.



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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Review

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)

About the Author

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.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent in describing the characteristics of cities and communities that make them enjoyable and happy places to live.

One of the unexpected bonuses from reading this book is that I gained a better understanding of my own preferences for my living environment and the communities where I'd like to live. It also gave me a better understanding of the challenges for both "old" cities like London and "new" cities like Dubai.

Some of the messages in the book might seem like common sense (for example, long commutes make people unhappy) but it is backed by research and the book also describes how we can make poor choices that lead to unhappiness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading and applicable advice 12 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Montgomery offers a broad but exciting look at the science of happy cities in a very easy to read manner. He offers applicable advice for everyone from Mayors and city planners to the everyday member of the public.

A very worthy read with a very worthy goal. I recommend is book to anyone who cares about their community, or has ever felt slightly depressed at parking a car in a massive ocean of asphalt in a big box retail park.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. And spread the word 23 Sept. 2014
Format:Paperback
Highly recommended. And spread the word: we need to reclaim our towns from urban sprawl - the dispersed city - and the dominance of the private car. It affects our well being, relationships, overall life satisfaction and happiness!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
absolutely a great purchase!
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