City design and its links to mental health

On 11 October, Professor Peter Howley was quoted in an article published by Swaddle discussing living in busy cities and the effect this has on mental health.

The article titled ‘How Can We Design Cities to Protect Mental Health?’ looks at underlying trends of growing ubanisation and the fact that people living in cities are more likely to face depression, anxiety, and addiction.

In 2009, German researchers linked air quality in a neighborhood with people’s level of happiness. They looked at if fitting low-carbon equipment at power plants that reduce emissions would improve people’s emotional wellbeing. They found the change translated into a significant improvement in people’s self-reported level of happiness.

Speaking on the subject in his article in The Conversation Air pollution may be affecting how happy you are’ Professor Howley commented:

Some possible reasons for the direct link include aesthetics such as haze, smell and even taste, as well as anxiety about personal health or the health of others.

The full article ‘How Can We Design Cities to Protect Mental Health?’ is available here.