2023APCS Keynote Speaker - Charles Montgomery


Charles Montgomery is award-winning author, who helps people across the world live better together using research, storytelling, public experiments and collaborative design. 

He is the author of acclaimed book, 'Happy City'. His award-winning essays and books combine investigative reporting with true stories to explore the connection between culture, science, design and human wellbeing. Of his work, the New York Times wrote: "Happy City raises issues most of us have avoided for too long. Do we live in neighbourhoods 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." 

Charles is the co-founder of Happy Cities, an interdisciplinary team that uses evidence, engagement and design to nurture happier, healthier, more inclusive communities. He and his team have helped transform urban spaces on four continents. They developed the world's first Happy Neighbourhood design guidelines for the government of the United Arab Emirates, and helped British Land, the UK's biggest property development firm, become a leader in designing places for wellbeing. The team also helped produce the world's first co-housing lite community in Vancouver. In recognition of their remarkable contributions, the Canadian Institute of Planners awarded Happy Cities with the 2020 Healthy Communities Planning Award for Planning Excellence. 

Building on his research, Charles also collaborates on experiments that challenge us to see our cities - and ourselves - in entirely new ways. His Home for the Games charity led hundreds of people to follow his example and open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, he transformed an empty lot into a machine to boost feelings of trust and altruism. Each experiment is driven by insights from the science of human wellbeing. 

Charles looks forward to meeting you all at the 2023APCS:

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