Do we live in neighbourhoods that make us happy? Can we design our cities and transportation systems to maximize happiness?
For years, self-help experts have told us that we need to do inner work to improve our lives. But new insights in psychology, economics and brain science suggest that our cities have the power to make or break our happiness.
In his new book, Happy City, Vancouver-based author Charles Montgomery shows how urban systems, including transportation, impact our lives and shape our emotions and behaviour in ways most of us never recognize.
How about you? Is there a place in your community that makes you happy? Or a place that makes your niehgbourhood and community more connected and complete? Is it a neighbourhood café where “everybody knows your name,” a corner store, a park, a busy street or is it a way of moving around to get where you need to be?
At TransLink, they are exploring the role of transportation in building a happy city.
TransLink is giving away a bunch of prizes, including four FareCards, a TravelSmart Travel gift pack worth $50 with a gift card to MEC and TravelSmart swag, two tickets to Don Carlo opera at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and one free yearly membership and $50 car sharing credit from MODO. Join the conversation at #HappyCity to enter the contest. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Take a selfie picture at the place in your city or community that makes you happy.
2. a. Tweet your photo to @TransLink and @VancityBuzz with the hashtag #HappyCity – and add a comment about the place that makes you happy!
b. Post your photo on Instagram with the hashtag #HappyCity and tag @TransLinkBC.
3. Come to the lecture Choosing the Happy City with Charles Montgomery on March 26 at 7 p.m. at SFU Woodwards to claim your prize (if you’ve won) and learn more about the Happy City. RSVP is mandatory.
Contest ends at noon on March 26, 2014. Seven winners will be chosen at random.
Contest rules & conditions:
* Contest open to legal residents of B.C. who are 19 years of age and older
* Photos may be used in the print Buzzer, the Buzzer blog, presentation during the Choosing the Happy City lecture, tweeted by @TransLink and posted on TransLink’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
* Full contest terms and conditions can be found here.
About Charles Montgomery
An award-winning author and urban experimentalist, Charles Montgomery is the author of the new book, Happy City, which the New York Times has recommended as essential reading for that city’s new mayor. He has advised and lectured planners, designers, and decision-makers across America, Canada, and England. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, the Museum of Vancouver and other institutions, he also creates experiments that challenge us to see our cities—and ourselves—in entirely new ways. Montgomery’s Home for the Games initiative led hundreds of people to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. His writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents.
Among his awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science. His first book, The Last Heathen, won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction.
Choosing Happy City by Charles Montgomery is the third lecture in the series Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas, presented by TransLink and the SFU City Program. With one million more people moving to Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years, the conversation about how we travel in our region becomes increasingly important. This lecture series will explore new perspectives on the movement of people and goods in cities, with thought leaders, decision makers and experts from across North America.
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