Can Science Help Build Happier Cities?
Ever sit down on a city park bench and immediately notice your shoulders relax? Or feel your heart begin to pound as you navigate a tricky, crowded intersection? If so, then you know the power of the built environment to affect our bodies, brains, and behavior.
Cognitive neuroscientist Colin Ellard has made a study of how our city grids, storefronts, and streetscapes shape us. He’s led volunteers outfitted with sensors on walking tours through cities like Berlin and Mumbai, and watched subjects navigate virtual green spaces in his VR lab. Ellard joins Ira to talk about how we can measure the physical and mental effects of our streetscapes—and use that knowledge to build better. Read an excerpt from Colin Ellard’s book, Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life.
Colin Ellard is a cognitive neuroscientist, the author of Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life (Bellevue Literary Press, 2015), and the director of the Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada.
Read an excerpt from Colin Ellard’s book, Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life.
Annie Minoff is a producer for The Journal from Gimlet Media and the Wall Street Journal, and a former co-host and producer of Undiscovered. She also plays the banjo.