Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

By: Charles Montgomery

Meeting Date: October 4, 2023 6:30 PM

This is a book about what makes people happy and the role that cities, suburbs and the way we live today adds to happiness or diminishes it.

The “big ideas” for Urban Atlanta:

  • People involved in urban design, from planners to developers, need goals to guide their work. Creating happiness is a good one.
  • The book makes it clear there are no shortcuts to creating happiness through urban design. Many things are needed, from the right kinds of transportation and housing to neighborhood parks, sidewalk cafes and famers markets.
  • As we design residential housing, let’s keep human scale in mind. As the book shows, density that does not bring people together fails the test.
  • We need to identify models of happiness-inducing urban design in the Atlanta area that city leaders, developers and citizens can visit and learn from. And we need a variety of models that cities, suburbs and neighborhoods can choose from.