Otters in Singapore. Neuroscience can support urban planners in allowing for more flexibility and authenticity of nature in urban areas. Image: Mental health in our cities is an increasingly urgent issue. Rates of disorders such as anxiety and depression are high . Urban design and planning can promote mental health by refocusing on spaces we use in our everyday lives in light of what research tells us about the benefits of exposure to nature and biodiversity. Mental health issues have many causes . However, the changing and unpredictable elements of our physical and sensory environments have a profound impact on risk, experiences and recovery . Physical activity is still the mainstay of urban planning efforts to enable healthy behaviours. Mental well-being is then a hoped-for byproduct of opportunities for exercise and social interaction. Neuroscientific research and tools now allow us to examine more deeply some of the ways in which individuals experience spaces and natural elements. This knowledge can greatly add to, and shift, the priorities and direction of urban design and planning. What do we mean by ‘nature’? A large body of research has compellingly shown that “nature” in its many forms and contexts can have direct benefits […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.