Overcrowding, noise and air pollution, long commutes and lack of daylight can take a huge toll on the mental well-being of city-dwellers. With mental healthcare services under increasing pressure, could a better approach to urban design and planning provide a solution? The restrictions faced by city residents around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought home just how much urban design can affect our mental health – and created an imperative to seize this opportunity. Restorative Cities explores a new way of designing cities, one which places mental health and wellness at the forefront. Establishing a blueprint for urban design for mental health, it examines a range of strategies – from sensory architecture to place-making for creativity and community – and brings a genuinely evidence-based approach that will appeal to designers and planners, health practitioners and researchers alike – and provide compelling insights for anyone who cares about how our surroundings affect us. Written by a psychiatrist and public health specialist, and an environmental psychologist with extensive experience of architectural practice, this much-needed work will prompt debate and inspire built environment students and professionals to think more about the positive potential of their designs for mental well-being.
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