This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Charles Montgomery explores what happens when you take an abandon city space in NYC and populate it with urban social experiments. The outcomes are unexpected as city dwellers explore this public space, interact with each other, and change their attitudes towards social connections, values, and each other.
Charles Montgomery explores what happens when you take an abandoned NYC space and infuse it with social experiments. The results are surprising and inspiring.
An award-winning author and urban experimentalist, Charles Montgomery is the author of Happy City which the New York Times recommended as essential reading for their city’s new mayor. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, the Museum of Vancouver and other institutions, he creates experiments that challenge us to see our cities—and ourselves—in entirely new ways.
Montgomery’s Home for the Games initiative led hundreds of people to open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Operating in cooperation with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, he transformed an empty lot into a device to maximize feelings of altruism.
His writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. Among his awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science. His first book, The Last Heathen, won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction.
He currently creates programs with the Museum of Vancouver and other institutions that enable people to use their own cities as laboratories, and he continues to advise and conduct lectures for planners, designers, and decision-makers across America, Canada, and England. For more information, visit www.charlesmontgomery.ca.
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