“Consider this—one hundred cities are responsible for most of the economic, cultural, and innovative activity in the world. And that will only grow in the years ahead. The cities that invest in infrastructure that supports the inventive human spirit will succeed. The cities that don’t will unquestionably fade.”


– An excerpt from The Joy Experiments

Buy your copy today
Buy your copy today

Welcome to The Joy Experiments — a discussion about city building for the human spirit.

Cities have always been the source of invention, resilience, tolerance and prosperity. Given our current and unprecedented need for all these things, how can we start creating better cities?

Scott Higgins, President of HIP Developments and writer/creative director Paul Kalbfleisch, invite you to join a new discussion about the role cities play in our lives. The Joy Experiments offers an honest dialogue for politicians, citizens, architects, city planners, and business leaders to come together and create a model for building communities that reflects the needs of our souls and future.

While not an academic text book nor a political platform, this book does not shy away from big issues, big ideas or big hopes. It is a form of musings and a notebook from two people who, in the trenches of experimentation, are trying to improve the connection between citizens and their cities.

Enjoy a Sample Read
  • “There is a popular phrase ‘The whole world pivots’ which can be interpreted as – when one big change happens it can cascade throughout the rest of life. That is certainly true of our times. On the streets, life and living have changed…forever. Disruption now rules the game. This disruption is profoundly affecting the structure and very purpose of mid-sized cities as societal norms are being reset and the role of mid-sized cities is re-imagined as the spawning ground for innovation, creativity, prosperity and a wonderful place to Play, Work and Live.

    The Joy Experiments gives us insight into what might be possible at this pivotal moment in city building by laying out a compelling case that human joy should be seen as a practical objective for cities. The book takes a hard look at the current challenges to “community” yet paints an optimistic path forward.

    The Joy Experiments invites us all to find the courage to shake off our planning conventions, parochial shackles and reconsider what cities give us and what we give cities.”

    Roger Farwell
    Architect, WalterFedy

  • “As city builders, much of our attention goes to the obvious aspects of urban planning and infrastructure – where will people reside and work? How will they travel about? How does it all function? How will we pay for it all? But by limiting our focus to the hard practicalities of building, we forget that ‘living’ is a generative and emotional experience.

    This engaging book challenges us to embrace the idea that curiosity, beauty and joy are legitimate and desired goals of modern city building. The authors encourage us to position these emotions as key outcomes and in doing so, illustrate that they are foundational in helping us build communities that foster physical and mental health, attract needed talent, and encourage inclusion.

    They also position housing accessibility as a key element of a healthy community – one in which everyone has a safe and decent place to call home. As part of Canada’s affordable housing sector, I know that access to housing is getting harder and harder every day, for so many people. Breaking this pattern of inaccessibility will require a creative perspective to building more housing and public spaces that are welcoming to all citizens.”

    Karen Coviello
    VP of Affiliate Success