2 Feb

Erin Chantry:

I wanted to share a wonderful post about the emotional effects the built environment has on people’s everyday lives. Urban design, planning, and architecture is the world around us (for most people), and as professionals we have a great responsibility in shaping what that world is. We can make it happy, we can make it sad. This post on The Happy Spaces Project Blog caught my eye with the picture of Pruitt Igoe, an enormous public housing development that was demolished in St. Louis, after it gained the reputation of making the people who live there miserable. Studying architecture in St. Louis and visiting this cleared site that lays barren has always served as a reminder of the responsibility we carry. Enjoy this post – I think we should all look a little harder into the field of environmental psychology.

Originally posted on (the) happy spaces project (blog):

Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis

(the) happy spaces project is concerned with understanding “how the physical environment affects people’s happiness.” Essentially we are interested in how space affects human emotion and perception. The field of Environmental Psychology is, broadly, investigating human behavior and space. They are concerned with better understanding how the environment affects human behavior.

Three Definitions of Environmental Psychology

Stokols & Altman (1987): The study of human behavior and well-being in relation to the sociophysical environment.

Russell & Snodgrass (1987): The branch of Psychology concerned with providing a systematic account of the relationship between a person and the environment.

Bell, Fisher, Baum & Greene (1996): The study of the molar relationships between behavior experience and the built and natural environments.

Many spatial design projects take little responsibility for the fact that their designs have social impacts — some good, some bad, some neutral. Design projects associated with commercial ventures have embraced the…

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