Urban Design: Positive Repercussions (03-08-19)

Negami and colleagues investigated the psychological repercussions of urban design.  Their published study indicates that “the urban environment has great potential to shape residents’ experiences and social interactions, as well as to mitigate social isolation by promoting trust and sociability. The current study examines the effects of urban design interventions, such as colorful crosswalks and greenery, on participants’ mental well-being, sociability and feelings of environmental stewardship. Participants were led on walks of Vancouver’s West End neighborhood, stopping at six sites . . . [participants] indicate[d] their emotional response to and perception of the environment using a smartphone application. Spaces with greenery and spaces with a colorful, community-driven urban intervention were associated with higher levels of happiness, trust [of strangers], [environmental] stewardship and attraction to the sites than their more standard comparison sites. Our findings demonstrate that simple urban design interventions can increase subjective well-being and sociability among city residents.”

Hanna Negami, Robin Mazumder, Mitchell Reardon, and Colin Ellard.  “Field Analysis of Psychological Effects of Urban Design:  A Case Study in Vancouver.”  Cities and Health, in press, https://doi.org/10.1080/23748834.2018.1548257