A brilliant young thinker shows how lessons from the emerging science of happiness can be used to fix broken cities--and lives--around the world.
More of us than ever are moving to inner cities, mixed-use suburbs, and densely constructed towns. Our surroundings have certainly changed--but is city living cheering us up, or are we as gloomy on our walks to the subway as we were on our long, predawn commutes? And if that's the case, how can we turn things around? In breezy, vivid prose, Montgomery reports from such exciting and dysfunctional places as Bogotá, once a dangerous, car-obsessed city, now a bike-loving model of civic excellence; California's San Joaquin Valley in the apocalyptic aftermath of the housing crisis; and a suburb of Vancouver where a power company gathers energy from sewage to provide its citizens with heat and hot water. Full of cutting-edge insights from behavioral economists and leading urban thinkers, Happy City offers a completely new way to examine city life, showing us how small innovations can radically improve our experiences. Practical, genial, and fiercely open-minded, Montgomery has written a brilliant book about what today's cities are getting right--and how tomorrow's cities can do even better.