2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

Happy City

Charles Montgomery 
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design 
Doubleday Canada


Jury Citation

More than 70 per cent of Canadians now live in cities. Charles Montgomery’s timely book, Happy City, argues that well-designed urban spaces create happier, healthier citizens – young and old, rich and poor. With impressive research, Montgomery examines city planning gaffes and successes around the world. By book’s end you will look at your own neighbourhood with new eyes.

About the Book

After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. By 2030 almost five billion of us will be urban. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. With new insights from municipal politicians, psychologists, and Montgomery’s own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities.

About the Author

Charles Montgomery is a Vancouver-based journalist and urban experimentalist. His writings on cities, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals around the world. He was nominated for the Pearson Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction for his first book, The Last Heathen: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in Melanesia. Montgomery was an original team member of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, and continues to produce city programs with the Museum of Vancouver.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


Recommended Reading List

We asked some of Canada's finest writers about what they are reading this summer.

Read their Recommendations.


E Newsletter Sign Up

Sign-up for our eNewsletter. Get info about Authors and our latest Events.

Sign up now!

Site design & development supported by

ecentricarts inc