For Van Alen Report 20, we invited designers from around the world to share projects at the vanguard of using science-informed practices to design healthier cities. For each featured project, we asked the designers to identify the health impacts intended, and discuss how insights from neuroscience or psychology influenced the project’s design. We also consider how each project might advance both the conversation about evidence-based design, and the greater pursuit of designing healthier cities for all. These profiles have been adapted from the designers’ responses.
This intervention was a response to challenges set out by Shore to Core, a design and research competition launched by Van Alen Institute, along with the City of West Palm Beach and its Community Redevelopment Agency. Shore to Core asked: How can we recreate an urban core so its design is intelligent, flexible, and responsive to the needs of residents and visitors? The winning research team tested the power of a design intervention on a waterfront location to alter people’s emotions, physiology and behavior.
With VAR 20, we explore the often hidden connection between mental health and urban environments. We hope this issue makes people more aware of the many ways our cities impact our health, our brains, and our lives. To receive future articles and interviews from Van Alen Report, please subscribe below.