News

'Happy City' author to speak at Lulu Series

Author Charles Montgomery recounts a story of a condo owner whose life is miserable—until he moves within the same complex.  - Lee Satkowski
Author Charles Montgomery recounts a story of a condo owner whose life is miserable—until he moves within the same complex.
— image credit: Lee Satkowski

Journalist and urbanist Charles Montgomery, whose book examines the intersection of urban design and happiness, will deliver a lecture in Richmond Thursday.

Montgomery's lecture begins at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall, as part of the Lulu Series: Art in the City program.

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design explores whether dense urban living is better or worse for our happiness by taking readers through some of the world's most dynamic cities. Montgomery explains how cities and their designs influence how we feel, behave and treat each other. He draws on scientific research and personal stories, arguing that a happy city is also a green city—and is within reach.

Montgomery, a frequent speaker on urban planning issues, spends most of his time in East Vancouver and Mexico City. His writings on cities, psychology, culture and history have appeared in magazines and journals around the world.

Condo living is among his latest book's topics. Montgomery writes about Rob McDowell, a single man who moves into a small condo with beautiful views. He was happy, but the feeling didn't last.

It was lonely living; people lived close but didn't know each other. He later moved in the same complex to a row of townhouses along the base of the tower. Main doors faced a garden and volleyball court, and he got to know his neighbours. Many became close friends.

"Rather than bumping into any one of three hundred or so strangers each day in the tower elevator, McDowell experienced repeated contact with fewer than two dozen neighbors, making the social world of the garden more manageable, somewhat like a fareej, a domestic enclosure common in the Arab world that is big enough for several extended families," writes Montgomery.

The May 15 talk will be preceded by a performance by M'Girl, an ensemble of aboriginal women who blend percussive-based hand drum songs with contemporary song.

Admission is free. Seats may be reserved by e-mailing lulu@richmond.ca.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ELECTION 2014: Malcolm Brodie won all polls, councillors split
 
Council orders Richmond property owner to clean up
 
Operation Red Nose ready to hit the road for another season
Christmas in Williams Park cancelled
 
Two survive fiery Surrey crash
 
Man sentenced for three bank robberies
Cloverdale Chamber calls off vote to join Vancouver Board of Trade
 
Mission Arts Council sets up gallery downtown
 
Stevens solo councillor to return

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.