From Happy City to Happy Cities
Our journey began with a question: If we understand the effect that urban design has on people’s feelings and behaviour, can we make cities happier? This question drove more than a decade of research, culminating in Charles Montgomery’s bestselling book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design.
Our team came together and founded Happy City, a planning, design and research firm that would turn the lessons of that book into action. But as we collaborated with city-builders, designers, planners and researchers, we realized we needed to create new tools for change. We needed to expand our curiosities across disciplines. And we needed to balance insights from the science of wellbeing with wisdom from city-dwellers themselves.
Now we work with partners in dozens of cities around the world. We learn and play across disciplines. We know that happier cities reflect not just the evidence, but also the experience and the hopes of unique and diverse communities. And we believe that wellbeing comes not from a single, utopian vision, but from emergent complexities that make cities unique, wondrous and inviting.
That’s why we’ve changed our name.
We are Happy Cities.
Our mission remains the same: to make cities happier, healthier and more inclusive. We invite you to join us in this mission, and compassionately hold us accountable to it.
Happy Cities is a certified B Corporation
Our team works every day to support wellbeing for urban dwellers around the world, and we are deeply committed to building an organization that embodies that mission.
Our team lives and works on the traditional territories of several Indigenous peoples and nations. We are based in two primary locations: Vancouver and Halifax. The City of Vancouver occupies the unceded territories the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. The City of Halifax is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq people. We thank these nations for caring for the lands and waters we live, work and learn on.