General Session: Keynote Address
February 28, 2013
General Session — 4:30 p.m.−5:30 p.m.
Can the shape of your city affect how happy you are? Yes, says Charles Montgomery, who explores the intersection of urban design and the new science of happiness. In psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, and in cityscapes from Disneyland to Dubai, he finds the link between the ways we think about risk and reward and the ways we design our cities. How is happiness connected to housing? Join this intriguing discussion to find out.
Watch the Session
Below is a YouTube playlist of six short videos recorded during the session. Watch all six videos or advance using the Playlist feature.
Richard M. Rosan, ULI Foundation
Rick Rosan is the president of the ULI Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Urban Land Institute. ULI is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in sustaining and creating thriving communities worldwide.
The ULI Foundation, which has a corpus of more than $40 million, supports many of the Institute’s general research and education activities, as well as local programs offered through ULI’s District Council network. In addition, the Foundation provides endowments for specific activities, including those related to workforce housing, infrastructure, sustainability, and public leadership in land use.
Rosan recently transitioned full-time into the role of ULI Foundation president after stepping aside as chief executive officer of ULI Worldwide. For more than 17 years, he served simultaneously as the Institute’s top executive and as the ULI Foundation president. Under Rosan’s leadership, ULI experienced a fourfold increase in membership, expanded its global outreach into Europe and Asia, and secured many new funding sources. He broadened the Institute’s intellectual content through the creation of the ULI Senior Resident Fellows program and the funded Centers, which are supported through endowments from the ULI Foundation.
Rosan is an architect and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Prior to his service at ULI, he spent 22 years in New York City in several capacities, including 12 years with the city of New York, concluding with his service as the city’s economic development director. Rosan also served for six years as president of the Real Estate Board of New York, and spent five years in the private development business as a project director for several large New York City development projects.
Rosan received a bachelor of arts degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1964. He received a master’s degree in architecture in 1967 from the Architecture School of the University of Pennsylvania and continued postgraduate work in regional planning in 1968 at the University of Cambridge, England.
Kerry Nicholson, Legacy Partners
Kerry Nicholson started work with Legacy Partners Residential Inc. in 1999 and is the senior managing director for the Pacific Northwest. In this role, he has been responsible for the financing, management, and acquisitions/disposition activities of the company for the region.
Prior to joining Legacy Partners, Nicholson had a career in commercial real estate finance, procuring more than $2 billion in debt and equity commitments as a senior executive of GE Capital, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. He is currently chair of ULI Northwest, a vice chair of ULI’s national Urban Development Mixed-Use Council, and a board member of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington.
Nicholson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
Charles Montgomery, Urban Experimentalist, Award-Winning Journalist, and Author of Happy City
Can the shape of your city affect how happy you are? Yes, says Charles Montgomery, who explores the intersection of urban design and the new science of happiness. In psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, and in cityscapes from Disneyland to Dubai, he finds the link between the ways we think about risk and reward and the ways we design our cities.
An award-winning author and urban experimentalist, Montgomery is the author of Happy City, forthcoming from FSG in 2013. In his work, he has used insights in happiness science to drive high-profile experiments that help citizens transform their relationships with each other and their cities. His “Home for the Games” initiative, for example, tested the limits of trust, convincing hundreds of residents to open their homes to strangers during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, Montgomery used mobile apps to map the psychology of public space. He is currently working with the Museum of Vancouver to build programs that invite everyone to treat the city as a laboratory.
Montgomery’s 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 to public understanding of climate change science. Montgomery has advised and lectured planners, students, and decision makers across America, Canada, and England. His first book, The Last Heathen, won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction and praise from reviewers in the New York Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere.