After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?
Award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamic cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in BogotA; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.
Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities.
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by Ben Montgomery
by Charles Dickens
by Charles Benoit
by Charles Grant
by Rob Thurman
by L.M. Montgomery
"Conventional wisdom has it that urban trees and bushes make for danger zones behind which the bad guys can hide. But the reality is that greenery actually reduces crime, increases oxytocin levels (the "bliss hormone"), and adds to a sense of human connectedness. That's just one of the myths dismantled in this informative audiobook, read by Patrick Lawlor with a friendly, transparent delivery. As the author globetrots from Bogota to Copenhagen to Amsterdam, Lawlor adds local color by providing accented voices, and we learn about surprising innovative urban experiments. For example, Paris was once considered too difficult for most citizens to manage by bicycle, but in less than a decade, the city's successful VŽlib' bike system has resulted in more than 170 million two-wheeled journeys. Don't be fooled by the title, this isn't a bright-sided manifesto for city planners. It's a Freakonomics-style explanation about why we often make the wrong decisions about living spaces and how we can fix them. R.W.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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