Regular price: $24.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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 improvements 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 Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris' urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the designs 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.

©2013 Charles Montgomery (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The book will likely make you a believer." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great book

I love how or brought a lot of different ideas and issues together and solved them all with one idea. Enjoyed the read....I listened to it at 1.5 speed. We all need to walk and bike more.. .

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Politicians & Civil Engineers

Politicians and civil engineers must read this book. This is another example of how we must analyze and rethink how we live our lives.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

lots to think about.

Made me happy that be spending the summer car free and at the community garden.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A 21st century approach to urban design.

Absolutely mind-blowing.
The dreams of a bright future are made whole by collection of this work.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Must read

Anyone who has ever wondered why it's so hard to make friends as an adult, or why it no longer feels safe to let their kids play outside, or who hates traffic and wants to see less of it, or who wonders why it's so hard to keep fit, or any other complaint about modern life, this book is a must read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worthwhile, but didn't gel for me.

Great for an urban enthusiast and worth listening through, but it was hard to follow a coherent through line. It was a bit all over the place. Also, the narrator has the same enthusiastic tone throughout and makes it hard to maintain attention.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Canon of Great Ideas

At a time when Metro Manila tries to figure out how we got into the big mess that it is currently stuck in, this is a canon of ideas for the future. Entertaining, well researched, and comprehensive. It makes you excited about what things are possible in our lifetime.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved It

Loved it! Provided many real life stories supporting reasons to avoid Urban Sprawl. Eye Opening.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

fun to listen to while commuting

If you could sum up Happy City in three words, what would they be?

entertaining, informative, insightful

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

that it's hopeful.

What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

His unexpected accents.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the couple in Vancouver adopted the daughter of the dying woman because of the close knit bond of the community.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting and useful perspective

A great read for anyone interested in cities, or for anyone who is relocating and wants to know what aspects to look for in a place which would provide a good overall quality of life. Applies an interesting perspective and provides useful insight into good urban design.