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Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2011)

av Charles Montgomery

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4611155,015 (4.15)3
"A journalist travels the world and investigates current socioeconomic theories of happiness to discover why most modern cities are designed to make us miserable, what we can do to change this, and why we have more to learn from poor cities than from prosperous ones"--
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This book takes you through the history of how urban design got so bad and strategies for how to turn things around, which would lead to both happier citizens and lower carbon impact. ( )
  stardustwisdom | Dec 31, 2023 |
A mind blowing book, full of logical conclusions that are both incredibly insightful, and incredibly obvious. Most of them boil down to the fact that a city based around cars is terrible and makes everyone miserable, and a city based around walkability and public transit benefits everyone's happiness and well being. To me, these are super obvious takeaways, but there was still a ton of value to the book.

It did make me realize that I think I'm missing a lot of life in a traditional suburban neighborhood, and I'm craving to live somewhere a bit more dense and walkable, even at the expense of lot size and privacy.

It also made me realize that I am fascinated by urban planning type policy decisions. I definitely want to read more books on the topic. ( )
  Andjhostet | Jul 4, 2023 |
Excellent book with a hopeful attitude...about time! Well written and a fast read. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
As someone who lives and works in a urban environment, I found this book fascinating. I have many friends involved in projects that address urban design, transportation, and city improvement, and this is a great introduction to the various trends and developments in the field. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
It was close, but a few strong concluding chapters pulls this up to a 4. I'm not sure how much I buy into the general conceit of "happiness" as the guiding principle for urban design, even if the result of such happens to align pretty well with what should be standard planning. But it's undeniable that the toll we've wrought on our cities and towns by designing them for people and not cars has been catastrophic.

In many respects, reading this book was like listening to a sermon as a choir member, but that doesn't make it wrong. And where Montgomery is at his best is actually towards the end, where he begins to offer concrete suggestions for taking back our cities from a half-century of sprawl. It remains faint, but there might be a slight glimmer of hope for the way Americans live in the future. More accurately, this is presented as a matter of choice: while there is certainly a large swath of the population might choose single-family, detached-home suburbia, another portion is forced into such neighborhoods due to a critical lack of supply. It will be an uphill battle, but making it easier to live within walking distance of shops (and restoring mixed-use and adopting a form-based code etc. etc.) will go a long ways towards reshaping the ways we can choose to live, and for the better. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
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"A journalist travels the world and investigates current socioeconomic theories of happiness to discover why most modern cities are designed to make us miserable, what we can do to change this, and why we have more to learn from poor cities than from prosperous ones"--

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