Using the Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool (ORVal), developed at the University of Exeter, researchers have determined the values of parks, beaches, and other green spaces in the United Kingdom. The investigators found that “small parks deliver ‘pound for pound’ the highest recreation value, and that good access to quality green spaces, the weather and dog ownership are key drivers of increased outdoor recreation. . . . Large country parks and beaches are generally the most valuable green spaces.
Grabalov and Nordh investigated future roles for current cemeteries. They share that “the role of cemeteries in cities under densification pressure, such as Oslo and Copenhagen, is shifting. . . . cemeteries have the potential to become more public in the future. Based on the empirical material, we expect the cemeteries in these cities to maintain their spiritual dimension while becoming . . . more multifunctional and more multicultural. Over time, their role could become more diversified. . . .
More insights into neurodiversity
Arshamian and teammates determined that worldwide people tend to find the same odors pleasant to smell. As they report, they “asked 225 individuals from 9 diverse nonwestern cultures—hunter-gatherer to urban dwelling—to rank . . . odorants from most to least pleasant. Contrary to expectations, culture explained only 6% of the variance in pleasantness rankings, whereas individual variability or personal taste explained 54%. Importantly, there was substantial global consistency, with molecular identity explaining 41% of the variance in odor pleasantness rankings. . . .
Being in a place that seems too small or too large is stressful, and stress has negative effects on our quality-of-life, how we think and behave. Neuroscience research can help us right-size perceptions of the places where we find ourselves and deal with space size related stress.
Personality, gender, and professional training all have significant effects on how humans experience the physical world that surrounds them, how they process the information that flows from it into their brains. Neuroscience research makes it clear how design can support positive experiences for different personalities, genders, and types of professional expertise.
A case for their use
Post-pandemic residential design
People who design public spaces where crowding can be an issue will be intrigued by the findings of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (and available free of charge here: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2089). A related press release reports that “A new model . . . takes the point of view of an individual crowd member, and is remarkably accurate at predicting actual crowd flow, its developers say. The model . . .