• Avant Urbanism

    • According to the journalist Charles Montgomery, a wise urban plan must focus on its inhabitants’ happiness, which can be achieved through a cosmopolitan perspective.

    Striving for happiness from urban planning / 

    For the journalist and creator of the Happy City book, Charles Montgomery, urban design is essential for current cities, characterised by a cosmopolitan and essentially urban lifestyle. This is where we are born, develop, work and, in general, fulfil our living projects. Montgomery considers that the science of happiness should be the foundation for every other science, because if knowledge does not focus in that direction then the objective lacks a true sense.

    Humans have historically adapted spaces according to different objectives, such as mysticism, comfort, practicality, etc., a trend that has become more sophisticated in recent decades. Architecture has increasingly emphasised the relationship between spaces and our mood, as well as the conditions for our brain’s optimal function. An example of this is biophilic design, which focuses on the intrinsic relation between wellbeing, living standards and our connection with nature.

    Neuro-Architecture is also in sync with this tendency, which attempts to optimise spaces so our brain can work to its full potential, similar to urban psychology, which studies the effects of an urban lifestyle on mental health and living standards, analysing areas like urban fatigue, stress, overstimulation, fear, anxiety, happiness and our relation to space. Apparently in the following ten years, these sciences will become even more prominent, alluding to the improvement of safety issues and public health, since space contributes to a healthier environment, so that this phenomenon will permeate the interactions that take place within the city.

    In Montgomery’s words, “When you design a city to be happy, you simultaneously design one that is green and resilient—even if that was not the original intention.”

    Fortunately, architecture has begun considering human and social wellbeing in relation to everything, which entails a greater responsibility. If last century’s architecture was based on individual wellbeing, this time its sense is taken beyond, thus acknowledging the importance of human interactions and procuring and inclusive benefit. 

    Tagged: urbanism, happiness, cities