Marselle and colleagues link more street trees closer to homes to a decreased likelihood that residents will be depressed. The investigators report that they “analysed the association of street tree density and species richness with antidepressant prescribing for 9751 inhabitants of Leipzig, Germany. We examined spatial scale effects of street trees at different distances around participant’s homes, using . . . buffers of 100, 300, 500, and 1000 m. . . . we found a lower rate of antidepressant prescriptions for people living within 100 m of higher density of street trees. . . .
Strong study, important insights
Nature around our home may help reduce some of the negative psychological effects of the current pandemic. According to a study published in Ecological Applications, data collected online in Tokyo “quantified the link between five mental-health outcomes (depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem, and loneliness) and two measures of nature experiences (frequency of greenspace use and green view through windows from home).
Satisfying diverse sets of user needs
Buyers value particular features
Meagher and Cheadle researched links between mental health and home design during the COID-19 outbreak. They determined that people who were attached to their homes are less stressed and anxious. As the researchers report, “Many people are spending more time in their homes due to work from home arrangements, stay at home orders, and closures of businesses and public gathering spaces. . . . we explored how one’s attachment to their home may help to buffer their mental health during this stressful time. Data were collected from a three-wave . . . sampling. . . .
Vaez and colleagues studied how people using different wayfinding tools traveled through a place they had never been before. Researchers worked with “three groups of participants who used different navigational aids: a group with a paper map, a group with the Google Maps app, and a group relying on local signage only. . . . participants who had never visited Brisbane, Australia. . . . undertook a two-hour pedestrian wayfinding task. . . . The GPS group preferred to follow the suggested route by their navigator, most of them ‘locking in’ as digital navigators throughout the task.
Of our time, important for our era
Li and colleagues studied how streetscapes influence walking in Boston. They report that “Publicly accessible Google Street View images were used to estimate the amount of street greenery. . . . Statistical analysis results show that the associations between human walking activities and the streetscape variables vary among different land use types after controlling the confounding variable of the Walk Score and population. . .
A research team headed by Hollander studied how we look at neighborhoods/cities. They conducted a study during which participants “looked at different scenes of New York City public buildings in a set up with an eye tracker in front of a monitor displaying images. Half of the images had design characteristics exemplary of traditional neighborhood design (TND) (like narrow streets, complex facades, and bilateral symmetry). Subjects tended to show greater eye fixation on building fenestration [openings in building envelope] in TND environments, as opposed to the non-TND environments.”