Urban Experimentalist, Award-Winning Journalist, & Author of Happy CityBook Speaker
An award-winning author and urban experimentalist, Charles Montgomery is the author of Happy City, forthcoming from FSG in 2013. In his work, Montgomery has used insights in happiness science to drive high-profile experiments that help citizens transform their relationships with each other and their cities. His Home for the Games initiative, for example, tested the limits of trust, convincing hundreds of residents to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, he used mobile apps to map the psychology of public space. He is currently working with the Museum of Vancouver to build programs that invite everyone to treat the city as a laboratory.
Montgomery’s writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. Among his awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science. Montgomery has advised and lectured planners, students, and decision-makers across America, Canada, and England. His first book, The Last Heathen, won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and vigorous praise from reviewers in The New York Times, The Guardian and elsewhere.
What is the future of your city—of all cities around the world? How can the design and planning of a city, small changes and big decisions alike, affect how happy its inhabitants are? Urban experimentalist Charles Montgomery presents a message that is as surprising as it is hopeful. Doomsayers have warned that action to tackle the urgent challenges of climate change and energy scarcity will lead us into decades of hardship. But, in this talk, he looks to cities around the world that are doing it right, and he points to endless evidence that suggests the opposite: that the green city, the low-carbon city, and the happy city are the same place. Drawing on his own experiments within cities, and using his deep understanding of history, neuroscience, psychology, and cultural studies, 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.
Urban Land Institute
Hi, Charles- Thank YOU! We so appreciate your participation last week and we continue to hear raves about your presentation and interactions with attendees. I am really thrilled that you were able to join us for so much of the program. We were just talking this morning about what a cool guy you are. You were great in terms of substance, message and style. Your presentation was exactly what I was looking for and the proof is in the pudding. You presentation was referenced in some way during all of the sessions on Friday including the closing general session.
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