Charles Montgomery begins his new book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, on a bicycle ride in Bogota, Colombia, with former mayor Enrique Peñalosa. While in office, Peñalosa implemented a number of policies quite progressive for that time and place. He scrapped plans for highways through the city. He built hundreds of miles of bike lanes. He made room for parks and pedestrian plazas.
Peñalosa's goal, explains Montgomery, was to make Bogotans happier. Montgomery's goal with Happy City is equally ambitious: to document whether urban policy and design can really influence well-being.