A Vision for Happier Cities

Post by at the Huffington Post:“…Governments such as Bhutan and Venezuela are creating departments of happiness, and in both the US and UK, ‘nudge’ teams have been set up to focus on behavioral psychology. This gets more interesting when we bring in urban planning and neuroscience research, which shows that community aesthetics are a key contributor to our happiness at the same time positive emotions can change our thoughts, and lead to changes in our behaviors.
It was only after moving to New York City that I realized all my experiences… painting, advising executive boards, creative workshops, statistics and writing books about organizational change…gave me a unique set of tools to create the Dept. of Well Being and start a global social impact initiative, which is powered by public art installations entitled Happy Street Signs™.
New York City got the first Happy Street Signs last November. I used my paintings containing positive phrases like “Honk Less Love More” and “New York Loves You” to manufacture 200 government-specification street signs. They were then installed by a team of fifty volunteers around Manhattan and Brooklyn in 90 minutes. Whilst it was unofficial, the objective was to generate smiles for New Yorkers and then survey reactions. We got clipboards out and asked over 600 New Yorkers if they liked the Happy Street Signs and if they wanted more: 92.5 percent of those people said yes!…”