cities | April 06, 2014

Charles Montgomery: An Engaged City is a Happy City [VIDEO]

For those who ignore their surroundings, for those who think cities are simply infrastructural boxes storing people and jobs, Charles Montgomery’s new video (embedded above) will come as a shot in the arm. The urban experimentalist and Happy City author presents the city as a force for good—a force for happiness. How effective a city can be in bringing joy to residents, however, is deeply rooted in how we go about designing it.

The new Lavin-exclusive video showcases Montgomery’s comfort and sense of humour around creating better public spaces and takes viewers on a tour of his recent urban experiment projects at the Guggenheim. He stresses that focusing on designing good cities by bringing people together through common experiences can shake off the often negative presumptions about the value of good urban design. In some cases, embracing spaces might lead you into an actual embrace of “giant crazy cuddle puddle of hug-ness”—just one of Montgomery’s thought-provoking experiments detailed in the clip.

In his talks, Montgomery draws on his own experiments within cities and uses his deep understanding of history, neuroscience, psychology, and cultural studies to present a picture of effective urban planning, of cities flourishing, and of everyone—from governments to corporations to citizens—working together to make it happen. To book Charles Montgomery as a speaker, contact The Lavin Agency.