In an open access review of previously published studies, Lee and Spence report on identified links between shapes and tastes that will be particularly useful to people developing culinary experiences. The research team shares that “People tend to associate abstract visual features with basic taste qualities. This narrative historical review critically evaluates the literature on these associations. . . . the majority of shape-taste studies that have been published to date have chosen to focus on curvilinearity.
Moll and colleagues found that kids are mentally refreshed by the same sorts of things as adults. The researchers share that via a literature review of studies related to people from 0 – 19 years old they determined that “Results show that exposure to nature has significant restorative effects. . . . The main objective of this systematic review was to evaluate and synthesize the extant evidence about the effects of exposure to nature on restoring cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural resources for children and adolescents.
Research at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE) indicates that there may be more flexibility in setting workplace temperatures than previously thought.
Loder and Stoner review studies related to nature (plants, nature views, etc.) in work environments. They share, for example, that “Research has shown that contact with nature
Koreny and teammates evaluated how urban design influences the activity levels of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They determined via research with people with mild-to-very severe COPD that “higher population density was associated with fewer steps, more sedentary time and worse exercise capacity. . . . Pedestrian street length related with more steps and less sedentary time. . . . Steeper slope was associated with better exercise capacity. . . . Higher NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] levels related with more sedentary time and more difficulty in physical activity.
Ogletree and colleagues found lower crime levels in areas near greenspaces. They report that they “investigate[d] the relationship between different types of crime and urban greenspace in 59,703 census block groups within the 301 largest cities in the United States. After accounting for . . . demographic, socioeconomic, and climate variables, we found that, on average, census block groups with more greenspace . . . had lower risk of both property [for example, arson, vandalism, and burglary]. . . and violent crime. . . .
Sudimac, Sale, and Kuhn confirm the value of taking walks in natural areas. They share that they “conducted an intervention study to investigate changes in stress-related brain regions as an effect of a one-hour walk in an urban (busy street) vs. natural environment (forest). . . . findings reveal that amygdala [the amygdala is involved in stress processing] activation decreases after the walk in nature, whereas it remains stable after the walk in an urban environment. These results suggest that going for a walk in nature . . .
How much are different sorts of views worth? Crompton and Nicholls report that “Twenty-seven empirical studies were identified that empirically estimated the impact on property values of views of open space. The review differentiated between street level and high-rise building views. Among the 17 street-level view studies, only five found substantial premiums which ranged from 4.9% to 9.29%, while four others reported either a small increase in value or mixed results. Five studies reported low-elevation views had no impact.
Harmon and Kyle studied how natural spaces can support people diagnosed with cancer. They share that they “sought to explore how those diagnosed with cancer use natural spaces as a supportive resource in their healing process. . . . the profound benefit of repeated exposure to restorative natural environments for those diagnosed with cancer establishes how natural spaces become places of healing for people with serious illnesses.”
Balikci, Giezen, and Arundel evaluated how sustainable city development may influence resident experiences. Their work “focusses on the dilemma between compact city and urban greenspace policies and their influence on actual land-use change in Amsterdam and Brussels. . . . The results show that densification indeed decreases the quantity (Amsterdam: −4.7% Brussels: −11.9%), average size (A: −3.1% B: −25.6%) and connectivity of urban greenspaces. . . . .