- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (November 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374168237
- ISBN-13: 978-0374168230
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 94 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #697,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design Hardcover – November 12, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Can cities make us better people? Is the suburban American Dream really a nightmare? In this lively and accessible book, journalist Montgomery (The Shark God) marshals decades of interdisciplinary research into an effective argument against what he calls the dispersed city—the modern city/suburb designed around the automobile. The result is a succession of arguments meant to debunk individualism and show how citizens thrive on contact with others. In Montgomery's hands, urban design proves not only exciting, but integral to our future. He persuasively demonstrates that designing cities with social beings in mind can make them more pleasant places to live, and shows why suburbs are experiencing higher crime, as well as a significant happiness deficit. Furthermore, this passionate jeremiad argues that urban design often reinforces inequality, and Montgomery includes useful prescriptions for creating what he calls the fair city, as well as addressing issues like gentrification. For Montgomery, the city is a happiness project that exists in part to corral our conviviality and channel it productively. Though Montgomery's argument may seem strange at first, the book will likely make you a believer. 68 b&w illus. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Co. (Nov.)
What is considered the happiest city on earth? Improbably, it just might be Bogotá, Colombia, where drug lords ruled, bicycles now roll, and pedestrians stroll in a city with a mayor committed to transforming his town’s image and its people’s lives. What’s the secret to his success? Not surprisingly, restricting traffic plays a huge part in Bogotá’s livability, but banning cars isn’t the be-all and end-all to urban bliss. As Montgomery illustrates through vibrant discussions of the physics, physiology, and psychology of urban, suburban, and exurban dwellers, multiple factors must coalesce before a city, large or small, can achieve perfection. All of which may become terribly muddled as climate change and resource depletion stress urban centers to an untenable tipping point. Touting extensive research tempered by anecdotal examples, Montgomery enumerates the mistakes made not only by the people who plan and govern cities but also by the people who live in them, and he offers cautious reassurance that it’s not too late to turn things around for all cities. --Carol Haggas
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I highly recommend it for any urban studies nerd, and would encourage you to additionally read Walkable City and Street Smarts as companion pieces. Between those three books, they do a great job of giving you the history, the science, the statistics, and the possibilities for the future of smart, happy, walkable cities.
But the rest of the book makes up for it. I was fascinated to read about how proper cities are done, and how such improvements bring life and new experience into citizens' lives.
Living in post-USSR, I see a lot of examples of cities done wrong, not for people but for military parades. So it was like a fresh air to read the thoughts I often had about problems that each one encounters in modern city life, and see these problems solved in communities around the world.
I really hope author does not give up on this topic, and will bring us more insight in how happy cities work and how they are built, hopefully with more examples from real cities all over the world.
Thank you for your hard work and good read, Charles.