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Urban Design

Cell Phone Use Leads People to Ignore Their Environments

Individuals talking on cell phones are not as aware of information being presented in the area they are passing through as individuals who are not talking on cell phones.

Recent research has shown that individuals talking on cell phones are not as aware of information being presented in the area they are passing through as individuals who are not talking on cell phones. Women talking on cell phones did notice more objects placed on the ground, however, than women who were not talking on the phone. It seems that women look down when talking on the phone. This research is consistent with previous research linking car driver distraction and accidents with cell phone use. Cell phone users also travel to places generally viewed as dangerous that they would not visit if they did not have a cell phone. Designers should be aware of this reduced situation awareness among cell phone users and mark potentially dangerous areas and conditions (such as steps) accordingly.

Nasar, Jack., Peter Hecht, and Richard Wener. 2004. Poster presentation at the Environmental Design Research Association annual meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 20–26.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The Rudy Bruner Award searches for urban places that embody excellence, and celebrates their contribution to the richness and diversity of urban experience.

2005 Call for Entries

The Rudy Bruner Award searches for urban places that embody excellence, and celebrates their contribution to the richness and diversity of urban experience. These places often transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design, and planning. They are born through processes of transformation—the renewal of something old, or the creation of something new that resonates in the history of community life. Applications and additional information can be downloaded from: http://www.brunerfoundation.org.

Restorative Urban Places

The value of restorative natural settings is well established. Little is known, though, about the potential restorative effect of well-designed urban environments.