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Runyu Zhang clarified the difference of elements between health, well-being and flourishing. Refer to her description, mentality seems to be a common element so it can be said that how people feel is more important rather than how space work physically well.

As she mentioned, talking to nature is good way to improve people’s mental quality. Green infrastructure has physical impacts such as decreasing noise pollution, improving air quality and creating opportunities for recreation, which links to reduce stress and sadness and make us feel better. So what else exactly affects how people feel?

Pro-social places to encourage positive social interaction

Natural, positive social interactions from close and confiding relationships with communities is one of the significant opportunities to promote good mental health and well-being. Social interactions builds our self-esteem, self-confidence and empathy, which have effects on our feelings and belongingness in a community. The feelings of belongingness mitigates the feeling of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. Also regular social interactions can improve cognitive function, in particular intellectual performance and memory.

Safety in the city

Safety and security links strongly with people’s mental health and well-being. There are some urban dangers such as traffic, environmental pollutions, and risks posed by other people. If people get caught in an incident, people who have their property stolen or experience or witness violent crime are more likely to demonstrate poorer mental health. Chronic stress, anxiety levels and instills negative feelings is affected by depending on the degree of felling unsafe. Moreover, the levels of crime also has influences on people’s feeling and behavior. If people live in areas of higher levels of crime, people are less likely to walk around, or engage in other physical activity and pro-social interactions.


Whether/Climate Change

Some extreme whether events in the UK have been caused by climate change such as heatwaves and floods. In 2003, 3,000 deaths may be caused by heatwave in the UK. Living within environmental limits is quite stressful to health and well-being.

In terms of whether and climate change, sustainability and design quality are indivisible. For example, the relationship between whether and temperature change must be considered when designing places and facilities, which has impacts on the impression people feel. So strategic plan including whether and climate change is required to create well-located, sustainable, high-quality healthcare space to improve people’s experience, health and well-being.



Morton, S. (2016) Green space, mental wellbeing and sustainable communities [online], Available from: [Accessed 14th Jan].

The Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment. (2009) Future health: sustainable places for health and well-being

UD/MH. How Urban Design can Impact Mental Health [online], Available from: [Accessed 14th Jan].


School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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