Plenary Speaker

Charles Montgomery

Charles Montgomery

Author, Urbanist, Experimentalist


Charles Montgomery is an author, urbanist and leader of a team investigating wellbeing in cities. His award-winning book, Happy City, examines the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness.

Montgomery and his collaborators create experiments and design methods that help participants alter their relationships with their cities–and with each other. His Home for the Games initiative tested the limits of trust, convincing hundreds of residents to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, he used mobile phone applications to map the psychology of public space. In Seattle, he used new social tests to measure the effect that buildings have on altruism.

Montgomery and his team have advised planners, decision-makers and activists in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the UK. His writings on urban planning, psychology, culture and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. Among his numerous awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards understanding of climate change science. He lives in Vancouver and Mexico City.