Psychology in urban design


Have you ever walked down a street and felt that you just loved that experience but was unable to figure out what was it in particular that made you like the street. Well, the new tool at University of Waterloo, Canada can analyse that for you by using three-dimensional visualization or photo realistic simulations and physiological sensors to explore human behaviour. In these experiments, through motion tracking the body and minds of participants are analysed by measuring heart beats, brainwaves and other nervous systems.

The university has created a laboratory for different virtual urban setting, which can be arranged and rearranged on computer. This is very advantageous to experiment the details within an urban realm. One of the experiments was conducted to study the impacts of different layouts and streetscapes of cities like Manhattan, Canberra and London. The results showed that organized spaces were stereotyped and efficient whereas chaotic spaces felt more hectic and longer. Such experiments can be very valuable to test urban design spaces in response to the ever-changing dynamics of the city and will be based on sound principles of psychology and neuroscience

As it is known fact that green spaces make people more relaxed and happy, this tool goes one step beyond and can be used to explore what aspects of these spaces are more effective than others. One of the challenges for this tool can be a need to understand the details involved in urban realm and managing the transition from a laboratory space to developing more real spaces.

Read more here.


Popular Posts