Researchers at Louisiana State University have studied links between parents’ concerns about neighborhoods and the amount of time their children spend playing outdoors. The scientists report, in a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, that “parents who are concerned about their neighborhoods restrict their children’s outdoor play. . . . ‘Parents who do not trust their neighbors or feel they have no control over neighborhood problems were more likely to restrict their child’s outdoor play,’ says lead author Maura Kepper, PhD. . .
Research Design Connections
Smart Growth America investigated incidents in which pedestrians were hit by cars and their entire study is available free at the web address noted in the reference, below. They report that “Multiple studies have found that reducing the number of travel lanes and installing median islands have substantially reduced all crashes, including those that often result in serious injury or death for pedestrians. . . . A Complete Streets approach helps transportation planners and engineers . . .
Population density affects how lives are lived. Sng and his colleagues report that “The world population has doubled over the last half century. . . . Across nations and across the U.S. states . . . we find that dense populations exhibit . . . greater future-orientation, greater investment in education, more long-term mating orientation, later marriage age, lower fertility, and greater parental investment. . . . experimentally manipulating perceptions of high density led individuals to become more future-oriented. . . .
Designing spaces or objects so that they’re fun to use can seem like such a good idea, but is it really? And what is “fun” anyway? Research done by cognitive scientists and other social and physical scientists can help answer not only these questions, but also help identify what people will find amusing in particular circumstances.
Phan and colleagues discuss health-related benefits of experiencing natural light; their work indicates how important it is to optimize the amount of glare-free natural light that flows into a space. The researchers report that “Sunlight has important biological effects in human skin. Ultraviolet (UV) light striking the epidermis catalyzes the synthesis of Vitamin D and triggers melanin production. Although a causative element in skin cancers, sunlight is also associated with positive health outcomes including reduced incidences of autoimmune diseases and cancers.”
Restoration at home is even more important to some of us
Designers developing new places, objects, and services should note that appearing busy is becoming more desirable. Bellezza and colleagues learned that “a busy and overworked lifestyle, rather than a leisurely lifestyle, has become an aspirational status symbol. A series of studies shows that the positive inferences of status in response to busyness and lack of leisure are driven by the perceptions that a busy person possesses desired human capital characteristics (e.g., competence and ambition) and is scarce and in demand in the job market.
Options = Comfort
Physical modeling enhances problem solving