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Fast Urban Growth, Human Psycho-Socio-Ecological Needs and ‘Enactivisim’: The Future of Cities

SPACE International Journal of Space Studies in Architecture and Urban Design
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Natalia Olszewska
The Center of Conscious Design, London, UK; Impronta, Bergamo, Italy
Nour Tawil
Environmental Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Development / IMPRS on the Life Course, Berlin, Germany
Received October 1, 2020 – Accepted November 2, 2020 – Published December 2, 2020

It has been projected that in three decades, two-thirds of the global population will become city dwellers, compared to 50 per cent today. Many urban concepts and planning principles have been generated to tackle the consequential challenges. Furthermore, there has been a noticeable paradigm shift towards psychological sustainability, with some theories indicating a link between the fulfilment of needs and ecological sustainability. Moreover, it has been previously stressed that environments play an important role in fulfilling peoples psychological needs. The current urban sustainable models provide solutions oriented towards physical and environmental aspects. But they lack a systematic understanding of human-environment interactions, therefore, neglect important cognitive and behavioural aspects. We argue that this misalignment between urban contexts and human needs and behaviour could be addressed if architectural and urban design started to be informed by neuroscience. This paper aims to emphasize the foundations of the neuroscience-informed design approach.

Urban design, human needs, psycho-social sustainability, neuroscience-informed design, enactivisim
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This paper has been presented at the Conference “AGORA CAUMME 2020 – Mediterranean: Between Expansion and Regeneration” and selected by the Conference Scientific Committee to be published in the SPACE International Journal of Space Studies in Architecture and Urban Design. Peer review under the responsibility of the scientific committee of AGORA CAUMME 2020.


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Disclosure Statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).

Biographical Notes on Contributors

Natalia Olszewska

Nour Tawil


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