Urban Environment

More on Walkability (09-14-21)

Baobeid and teammates built on earlier research to investigate what makes an area walkable. They share that “This review advocates that long-term health benefits from walking and physical activity are the premier incentive to repurpose our cities to be more sustainable and more walking friendly, and spark behavioral change into reducing car dependency for all daily transportations. . . .

Density and Loneliness (08-13-21)

How are neighborhood residential density and loneliness related?  Lai and colleagues share that they used “high-resolution geospatial built environment exposure data to examine associations between residential density and loneliness and social isolation among 405,925 UK Biobank cohort participants. Residential unit density was measured within a 1- and 2-Km residential street network catchment of participant’s geocoded dwelling. . . .

Urban Green Spaces (08-11-21)

Chang and colleagues continue research into the implications of experiencing natural environments.  They report that “viewing green urban landscapes that vary in terms of green-space density elicits corresponding changes in the activity of the human ventral posterior cingulate cortex that is correlated to behavioural stress-related responses. . . . these findings raise a therapeutic potential for natural environmental exposure.. .

Willingness to Commute (08-10-21)

Ruger, Stawarz, Skora, and Wiernik studied individuals’ willingness to commute and their findings have implications for locating both homes and workplaces.   The researchers report that  “We use unique longitudinal data from four European countries – Germany, France, Spain, and Switzerland – to examine the relationship between individual level willingness to commute long distances (i.e. at least 60 min one-way) and actual commuting behavior. . .

Future Cities (07-22-21)

A new book reviews how future cities should be designed; conclusions are drawn from data collected during visits to 53 cities in 30 different countries and conversations with a variety of experts.  The Ideal City’s website reports that “our vision for the cities of tomorrow is built around five guiding principles. . . . A resourceful city manages to be both ecologically and economically sustainable. . . .  An accessible city is built for diversity, inclusion, and equality. . . . A shared city fosters a sense of community, collaboration, and togetherness. . .

Urban Greenspace, Happiness Links (06-24-21)

Researchers have tied citizen happiness to urban greenspace.  Kwon and colleagues report that “By measuring the urban green space score (UGS) from high-resolution satellite imagery of 90 global cities covering 179,168 km2 and 230 million people in 60 developed countries, we find that the amount of urban green space and GDP are correlated with a nation’s happiness level. More specifically, urban green space and GDP are each individually associated with happiness. Yet, only urban green space is related to happiness in the 30 wealthiest countries. . . .

New Walkability Research (05-21-21)

Koo and teammates researched how design can enhance walkability.  They share that “The built environment characteristics associated with walkability range from neighborhood-level urban form factors to street-level urban design factors. . . . . This paper uses computer vision to quantify street-level factors from street view images in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Correlation analysis shows that some streetscape factors are highly correlated with neighborhood-level factors. . .

Adding Nature Sounds Outside (04-12-21)

Hong and teammates studied adding nature sounds to outdoor spaces.  Study participants wore a mixed-reality head-mounted display and saw a hologram of either a sparrow or a fountain or a loudspeaker while hearing birdsong or a stream.  The researchers determined via data collected outdoors, near an expressway, that “both natural sounds significantly reduced the PLN [perceived loudness of the traffic noise] and enhanced the OSQ [overall sound quality]. . . .  Analysis on the preferred signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), i.e.

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