Is your neighborhood making you depressed? Urban planning can influence your health – Rachel Belle | MyNorthwest.com

Ellard breaks down landscape types by complexity. A low-complexity landscape might be a long, stark, unbroken facade in front of a big, corporate building, like a bank. High complexity offers lots of architectural variety, quirky mom-and-pop shops, and lots of greenery.”What we’re finding is the low-complexity environments tend to produce boredom,” Ellard says. “People really don’t like them, people tend to behave differently in front of them. They tend to speed up when they’re walking through one of these areas. In contrast, when you look at how people behave in front of a high-complexity facade, then people are happy, they’re engaged, they’re looking around. They’re much more likely to want to pause and dwell.”Ellard says feeling bored and unstimulated by a blah city block is actually bad for you.”They produce stress,” Ellard says. “We generate stress hormones like cortisol that has been related to a number of different kinds of diseases, cardiac diseases, for example. So we know that high levels of cortisol make us less healthy. So if you put all of that together, what it means is, when you’re thinking about how to design a streetscape in a city, it’s something that goes beyond actual aesthetics. I think that it’s a matter of public health to design a city right.”

Source: Is your neighborhood making you depressed? Urban planning can influence your health – Rachel Belle | MyNorthwest.com

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