City Stress (12-13-21)

Robin Mazumder investigates links between urban design and mental wellbeing.  He reports that during his dissertation research “participants were brought into an urban environment, in the real world, but also via virtual reality, through the use of 360-degree videos of cityscapes.”  Data collected via surveys and from physiological measurements indicated that “tall buildings make people uncomfortable when they’re surrounded by them. Conversely, people have less of a stress response when they’re in environments that are built at what’s considered ‘human scale,’ or the European model where buildings tend to top out at five storeys. . . . [Mazumdar] says cities are ‘where human potential is on display.’ And when we get them right, they can be vibrant ecosystems filled with public art, architecture that doesn’t feel oppressive, cycling infrastructure, accessible green space for all and affordable housing.”

Michael Kissinger.  2021.  “Stress and the City.”  UVic (University of Victoria) News,