To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

The Happy City Experiment

Submitted by Christie Nash on May 17, 2016 - 5:26am

"If we care about having a happy, resilient, healthy and wealthy society, we really should care about building social connections."- Charles Montgomery

In his book, The Happy City, author Charles Montgomery explores the intersection between happiness and urban design. In this book he asks the question, "How do we create happier cities?" Throughout his research he discovered that the most important ingredient for human happiness is social connections, and he argues that, "the happy city is a social city." In his book, he builds the hypothesis that the systems and forms of our cities influence how we feel and how we treat each other. Essentially, cities design emotional life.

Despite a plethora of academic research supporting his claims, the findings almost never reaches the people who plan and build public spaces, buildings, neighbourhoods and cities.

In order to address this, Montgomery thought it would be interesting to take some of these lessons that scientists are learning and convert them into participatory experiments that give people a visceral experience of the science. 

In this fun and imaginative TEDx Vancouver talk, Charles Montgomery walks us through some of the creative experiments he is running to build empathy, and invite people to think more altruistically and more coorperatively. All of which, he believes, helps to build a common response to some of the greatest issues we face in this generation.

If you are looking for some inspiration, please take 20 minutes to watch this video.



Learn more about The Happy City here

Watch the TEDx Talk on The Happy City Experiment