Happier by design

by Editor on

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Like many American cities, West Palm Beach is facing challenges of rapid growth, inequality, and environmental discomfort. But urban design can be part of the solution. Our research has found that certain places have the power to improve human feelings and behavior.

So we were thrilled to win the research competition for Shore to Core, a research competition led by Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. The initiative uses West Palm Beach as a model to reimagine waterfront cities and better understand individuals’ relationships to the built environment.

We’re headed to Florida this week to conduct groundbreaking research on the waterfront with our collaborators: StreetPlans, Space Syntax and psychologist Dr. Jennifer Roe of the University of Virginia. We can’t tell you exactly what we are up to—that might bias some of our test subjects! But we can say that we will combine tools from environmental psychology and spatial analytics to test how place design influences individuals’ bodies, behaviors, and emotions. And then we’ll use our results to inform better design decisions in Florida and around the world.

We’ll have results to share by the end of March. Stand by for more…