Project Team

Happy City is an interdisciplinary firm working at the intersection of urban design, policy, engagement and human wellbeing. We turn evidence into action for happier, healthier and more inclusive communities.

Where we’re coming from

Since 2016, Happy City has been researching the keys to addressing the loneliness crisis in multi-unit buildings. We now know that planning and housing design decisions can makre or break social connections, elevate or reduce health and happiness, foster inclusion or deepen disconnection. Our team of experts in housing design and social connectedness have identified unexplored challenges and opportunities to work toward systemic change. 

In 2017, Happy City created and publicly released the Happy Homes (HH) Toolkit, complete with design and programming actions to boost sociability in multi-unit buildings. The following year, Happy City convened housing practitioners to address the barriers to implementing HH recommendations. This resulted in a practical guide called Designed to Engage

The project inspired Concert Properties and the City of Vancouver to pilot social programming in rental buildings. HH was instrumental in the design of TOMO, the first “co-housing light” development in Vancouver. 

Happy City has also helped numerous developers implement best practices for affordability and sociability in their communities. Now that they have been implemented, the team will test the design and programming actions, creating data that reveals how they affect social connectedness and wellbeing. 

Project team

Paty Rios

Paty Rios

Senior Housing Expert

Paty is a designer, researcher, housing expert and seasoned facilitator. She leads our Happy Homes team.


Madeleine Hebert

Intern Architect

Madeleine is an Intern Architect AIBC and a project coordinator on our Happy Homes team.


Bryan Wong

Research Analyst

Bryan is an urban planning researcher and data analyst. He supports our research and consulting projects.



Uytae Lee

Videographer and Engagement Collaborator

Uytae is a videographer, storyteller, urban planner and musician. He helps us tell stories that inspire urban change and civic engagement.


Hanna Negami

Research collaborator

Hanna is a cognitive neuroscientist. She helps us with research and data analysis to better understand how people experience urban environments.

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