Charles Montgomery

Founding Principal
Charles Montgomery is an award-winning author, urbanist and leader of interventions to improve wellbeing in cities around the world.

Charles’ acclaimed book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, examines the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness. Collaborating with the Guggenheim Museum, Futurewise, the World Health Organization, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Congress of New Urbanism, among others, Montgomery has created experiments and design methods that help participants alter their relationships with their cities, and with each other. Among his numerous awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards the public’s understanding of climate change science. Charles is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Solutions Networks sub-council for Happy Cities.

Projects Charles has worked on

Global Happiness Policy Report: Happy Cities in a Smart World

Healthy Communities

Global Happiness Policy Report: Happy Cities in a Smart World
Granville Island 2040

Healthy Communities

Inclusive Engagement

Granville Island 2040
Wellbeing principles for British Land

Happy Homes

Healthy Communities

Wellbeing principles for British Land

Articles posted by Charles

Charles talks towers and sociability on the TV show 26 Minutes
Charles talks towers and sociability on the TV show 26 Minutes
How can we make Vancouver happier?
How can we make Vancouver happier?
A night of social experimentation at the Guggenheim
A night of social experimentation at the Guggenheim


The city you live in has a powerful effect on how you behave. How, then, do we design happy cities?

Charles looks for answers at the intersection of urban design and the new science of happiness. In psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, and in cityscapes from Disneyland to Dubai, he explores the link between the ways we design our cities and the ways we think, feel, and act. His keynotes demonstrate how each of us can change our own lives by changing our relationship with the cities we inhabit.

Charles is represented by the Lavin Agency for all keynote events.


Happy City is not only readable but stimulating. It raises issues most of us have avoided for too long. Do we live in neighborhoods that make us happy? That is not a silly question. Montgomery encourages us to ask it without embarrassment, and to think intelligently about the answer.”

The New York Times


“Charles Montgomery offers a convincing, cogent argument for using happiness as an urban design lens. During his time in Halifax, Charles provided constructive ideas and thoughtful comments to help our city achieve its potential as a place where people can experience the best of what urban life has to offer.”

Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax


“Charles provides an insightful, informative, and very important message on how individuals relate to, and are psychologically impacted by, the built urban environment. Charles is extremely engaging, entertaining and a really personable guy!”

The Planning Institute of BC

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