cities | February 09, 2015

Science and the City: Charles Montgomery Builds a Better Way of Life

Urban experimentalist and Happy City author Charles Montgomery took abandoned spaces in New York City and reformed them into an living laboratory. In his inspiring TEDxVancouver talk (embedded above), Montgomery opens up about bringing together the right ingredients to build a social, and therefore happy, city.

We learn how measures of life satisfaction can lead to happy lives. The more people cross paths with their neighbours, the happier they are.

“People who are socially connected are more resilient, they get through hard times more easily, they get over illness more quickly, they live longer—an average of 15 years longer...they’re more productive at work. So if we care about having a happy, resilient, healthy, and wealthy society, we really should care about building social connections,” says Montgomery.

The problem is, we’ve been building communities that don’t foster that. Montgomery aims to educate and ameliorate the situation by fixing the auto-dependent community. He’s striving to foster closer ties in cities by creating interactive experiments that effectively convey the good research scientists have done about happy cities—showing us what is possible.

n his talks, Montgomery presents 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 keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.