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This content was previously published in RDC's July 2014 issue.  

Research Conversations

Meeting area design can make successful sessions more likely.


Well designed lobbies are organizational assets.

What we touch matters, a lot.

Including areas with prospect and refuge in designed spaces is an important principle of biophilic design.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

Developing quiet and healthy cities.

Review of optimal retail design practices

More links between temperature and opinions

Lighting that makes desirable behavior more likely

Eliminating LED induced glare

Create spaces for people with varying sensory capabilities.


“Every design is a hypothesis waiting to be tested.”

Designing to smooth prisoner/guard interactions.

Book Reviews

Classic Articles

Researchers Sandra Whitehouse, James W. Varner, Michael Seid, Clare Cooper Marcus, Mary Jane Ensberg, Jennifer Jacobs and Robyn Mehlenbeck examined the Leichtag Healing Garden at the Children’s Hospital and Health Center in San Diego to identify aspects of gardens that relax and heal. Originally published in Issue 3, 2002.


Building a diversified mix of stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues can draw pedestrians to urban centers and spur further economic development. Creating the initial nucleus for such development, though, is often difficult. One study reviews relevant research on these “catalytic buildings” to see what is known about their effectiveness. Originally published in Issue 1, 2003.


Transportation and health experts continue to tout the benefits of walking for exercise and for neighborhood errands. One recent review examines eighteen separate studies on walking to determine common factors in the environment that might help or hinder walking, while another lays out guidelines to help quantify what makes a street or walkway comfortable for pedestrians—laying the groundwork for an assessment tool. Originally published in Issue 4, 2004.

Measures to protect pedestrian safety sometimes seem counter-intuitive. What interventions are effective, and what can we do to reconcile the difference between what is safer, and what we think is safer? Originally published in Issue 3, 2004.


Evidence from two recent studies support the view that trees and grass around public housing sites can reduce some aggression and deter crime. Originally published in Issue 1, 2002.


Trail through a natural wetland

Visits to parks and natural areas have long been known to provide mental and psychological benefits. Supporting ecological diversity within those human-managed areas is often another important goal. More research is now being done on how those two aims may differ or align.