How City Design Affects The Way You Feel

Have you ever heard of the famous Winston Churchill quote “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.” He said this when considering repairing the House of Commons in 1943 after multiple bomb attacks.

The idea behind this may have seemed a little strange now as well as at the time, but it seems that Winston Churchill may have just hit the nail on the head.

In fact, more than 70 years later on, it seems that experts have taken this quote as a basis for some research and found that there may be some truth to this idea. That buildings and architectural design can actually have an impact on the hippocampal regions of our brain, in turn affecting our wellbeing and mood.

Plenty of open spaces
Have you ever noticed that even the largest, most urban cities in the world have a few spots of open green spaces scattered through them? There is a good reason for this. Having nature spots or green, public spaces means that you have a place to escape to when city life becomes all too much. It encourages people to be physically active, such as going for a walk or playing with children and not only this, but it also helps to encourage social interaction and spending time with your family and friends.

Old and tatty buildings
Every city has some areas that are less than picture perfect, of course, this happens over time and it can be hard for the council in the area to raise the funds to change these issues. What is the impact of this on the way that people feel when they live in the city? Old, derelict or worn down buildings can make you feel drab and depressed, it can conjure up negative feelings about where you live of work which in turn can have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing too.

Plenty of lighting
Feeling safe where you live, raise your family and work is vital for us all. As people we are much more likely to feel safe when we are in a well-lit area, particularly if we have to walk through it at night. This means that when it comes to city design, thinking about lighting and where it will be placed is vital. Of course, this does need to be balanced with not being intrusive for those who may live in these well-lit areas, which can be a difficult balance to try and achieve.

Shopping centres and high streets
Having an area that you know that you can head to when you need something is a great boost to many people. This is why you will find that cities and even towns have shopping centres or town centres as a part of their city design. Not only does this bring shops, restaurants and other places together. But it also creates a social centre, a place for people to spend time, catching up or just treating themselves to something nice. All things that are going to have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of the people who live there.

Plenty of things to do
Another key factor to city design is to ensure that there are a variety of things for the residents to do. Boredom, particularly for those who you are younger can have a huge impact on vandalism and crime rates, as these people are likely to think that there is “nothing better to do”. Leisure centres, swimming pools, youth centres and attractions are key when it comes to ensuring that there is a positive feeling about living in the city.

You might not realise it, but city design is important when it comes to the mental wellbeing of those people who live there. This means that those who plan in the architecture, design and facilities of a city need to tread carefully, else they may find themselves with a whole variety of unhappy residents.

There are plenty of us who have an interest in psychology but don’t know quite where to start when it comes to delving deeper into the subject. Especially if you want to do this alongside other commitments that you have. One of the best ways to go about learning more is with a distance learning psychology course. Which, not only allows you to study at your own pace, but also means that you can carry on with your family life and career whilst you learn.

1 comment:

  1. At first i thought it a weird topic - now i appreciate anf agree what you are saying