Urban innovation that takes emotional economy into account.

A conference on urban innovation was held last month in Shanghai, focusing on holistic urbanism. An important take-away from Young Foundation director Geoff Mulgan’s overview of the conference is the centrality of human happiness in the future of successful urban design. Mulgan acknowledges that new applications of IT and other network technologies can lead to reductions in carbon emissions, as well as other significant gains. However, Mulgan argues that without taking into account both the social and emotional consequences of design, more efficient designs can miss vital dimensions of human happiness, such as meaning and community.

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