Humans, Health & Society

  Built Environment How smarter urbanisation can help us meet the challenges of rapid growth  - Nicholas Falk – The Planner Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar...
Built Environment Are cities too big or too small –  should we live in fewer, larger cities? – CityLab Quiz: guess the city from its skyline - Guardian Alfred Place park to...
The purpose of a tax is first and foremost to raise revenue.  A second purpose can be to influence behaviour by taxing goods or services that society wants people to use less.  A third...
Built Environment Quiz: guess the city from its skyline - Guardian Alfred Place park to be central London's first new park in over 100 years - LI Parks Without Borders: Creating a...
  Urban Design Directory - Featured Practice Amec Foster Wheeler Defence College for Technical Training, Lyneham   PROJECT SUMMARY Masterplanning and design of new Defence College for...
LUC - Bishopric, HorshamThis project is an opportunity to redefine the Bishopric’s significance and role within Horsham town centre.The opening of John Lewis at Home in 2015 and the...
Environment Technological progress alone will not stem resource use – MIT News Researchers find no evidence of an overall reduction in the world’s consumption of materials. Movement...
20 Jan  Technological progress alone will not stem resource use – MIT News Researchers find no evidence of an overall reduction in the world’s consumption of materials. Sandwell...
13 Jan Renting rather than owning a home may not be as expensive as many people think - University of Stirling Department for Transport Modelling shows potential for driverless vehicles to cut...
Contents In Brief Research and Industry News Urban Design Around the World Urban Design Events   IN BRIEF  English Government Names 14 Garden Villages and 3 Garden Towns  Key points...
Download Urban Update  14 October 2016
Download Urban Update 20 May 2016 High Speed Rail Explored: Report Launch HSR and Connected Cities  The Independent Transport Commission Leeds on Monday 16th May 2016. Report by Laura...
Download Urban Update   Big Meet 5 – Design Review  - Event Report  There is a lot of interest in design review at the moment, and it is timely that the Place Alliance’s...
Download Urban Update Impact of HS1 on Property Prices? Domestic high-speed commuter services on the High Speed 1 line between the Channel Tunnel and London commenced on 13 December 2009.  The...
Download Urban Update Time to design the underworld? UDG Director Robert Huxford, speaking at a recent Energy Utilities Industry Conference, has called for a better design and management of the space...
Download Urban Design 8 April 2016   Urban Design 138 – Spring 2016: Industry and Urban Design Louise Thomas introduces the current edition of Urban Design A sustainable and enjoyable...
A Response to the London Good Growth Agenda 2016 Graham Marshall gives a North West pro-social perspective on the debate on the growth of London London Docklands against the backdrop of a layer of...
Download Urban Update 25 Feb 2016 Why is the starting point for street design still cars and lorries and not people? Turn to any street design guide and you will find a rich and generous amount of...
Download Urban Update 12 Feb 2016 Streets of Shame Use out of date approaches to highway design and management could leave highway authorities liable and professional staff in breach of codes of...
Download Urban Update 29 Jan 2016   Housing A restless local government officer writes “As a local government planner I have to work without favour to any political party interest, only...
Download Urban Update 22 January 2016   Vision Zero UK Launch How many people should die on our streets and highways each year?   2000?  200? 20?  Well how about zero? ...
Download Urban Update 15 Jan 2016 Urban Farming Special Brooklyn Farmer - Event report The world’s largest rooftop farm https://vimeo.com/ondemand/brooklynfarmer Brooklyn Farmer is a...
Driverless urban futures, carless towns, comapact cities, floodable cities, events for 2016  Download Urban Update 18 December 2016   Driverless urban futures Raquel Leonardo Driverless...
Download Urban Update 4 December 2015   The Metro-town – an alternative to sprawl Event report  - Campaign against urban sprawl in Essex Essex is arguably England’s oldest...
Download Urban Update 26 November 2016 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Human physiology, psychology and place-making Giving urban design a basis in science...
Download Urban Update 6 November 2015   Why people choose to live where they do Urban Demographics – why people live where they do’,  a new report by the Centre for Cities,shows...
Download Urban Update 23 October 2015   National Urban Design Conference Reports    Paul Osborne of LHC Architecture and Urbanism reports on the session  - Creating profit...
Download Urban Update 16 October 2015   Comparing House Builders’ approaches to Urban Design A pilot study to understand its role and value to the industry Major Research report...
Download Urban Update 8 October 2015   Design and Value Design South East Conference explores the links A century ago East Kent was flourishing.  It had had a major tourist industry with...
Download Urban Update 25 September 2015 Project of the Week  Harbourside Regeneration, Torquay Kay Elliott Kay Elliott are developing a proposal for Torquay's waterfront which includes...
Download Urban Update 18 September 2015   The ideal development design guide? 6 Cs workshop produces specification The 6 C’s are six councils  (Derbyshire, Derby City, Leicestershire...
Download Urban Update 11 September 2015 Main Headlines Prospects for Standardising Urban Sustainability?  Research Report crime reduction core to reducing car dependence Poor diet and high...
Download Urban Update 1 September 2015 Main Headlines Dangerous lorries banned from London to protect cyclists Exercise adds 3 – 7 years of life Simple changes will make roads safer – a...
Download Urban Update 21 August 2015   On the importance of making reasonable and rational decisions The news a fortnight ago that an English minister for planning had had his policy on...
Download Urban Update 14 August 2015 Should we design the public realm around children? The summer holidays bring a time where children are free from school, and sometimes left on their own. ...
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Download Urban Update - 10 July 2015 edition   English brownfield land development free for all? The City as Master Developer – Event Report Climate trends could yield 20-foot sea-level...
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Download printable PDF   INTERNATIONAL URBAN DESIGN NEWS Australia Malcolm Snow to head National Capital Authority Mr Snow has won the Australian Award for urban design three times. http://www....
Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, is currently running the ‘Hands Off My Bike!’ challenge prize - which calls on people from all over the UK to come up with breakthrough...
Research shows that street furniture, barriers, parks, public spaces and neighbourhood architecture can stir up powerful emotions in local residents. This should be taken into account in programmes...
"Study found that exposure to higher levels of air pollution made the blood more likely to clot. For someone who already has heart disease, this could possibly trigger a heart attack." http...
Chemicals which disrupt the hormone system found in food, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, household products and cosmetics – also known as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCs)...
Humans have a natural body rythm that is kept in syncronisation by the daily succession of daylight and darkness. Surveys conducted by the Ludwig Maximillian University at Munchen suggest that...
EPSRC funded study points to rich diversity of language in London's schoolchildren with over 40 different languages found.  The research also associated high achievement with specific...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/apr/14/obesity-crisis-doctors-fastfood-deals-ban
Research in Scotland published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity has reported that walking had a "large effect" on depression.  The paper "Walking for depression...
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/walking/2012/04/why_don_t_americans_w...
Just over one third of the households in Great Britain are single person.  In Sweden the figure is 47% and in Norway 40%.  The proportion seems to be higher in affluent countries, and in...
People living on their own use nearly double the amount of antidepressants compared with people living with others. For women living alone in poor quality accommodation is the main risk factor; for...
http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16117 Unfortunately the article says nothing more than that a series of books is being published, and that they are really interesting.  
Middle classes benefit most from higher education expansion: A healthy teenager is a happy teenager: Do you know where your child is? Why are so many young people unemployed? http://research....
People's personalities can change considerably over time, say scientists The University of Manchester and London School of Economics and Political Science suggesting that leopards really can...
Sampe: over 500 men and women of the age of 40.   Women who spent the longest time sitting had higher levels of insulin, as well as higher amounts of C-reactive protein and chemicals...
Young people who never drank any alcohol were between four and six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness than those who reported any alcohol consumption. Youth who smoked were about...
Depression affects 1 in 10 persons in the USA.  For several years, researchers have seen links between depression and inflammation, or over-activation of the immune system. People with...
An interesting article, showing the powerful effect urbanisation and victory of artificial light over darkness may have profoundly changed human behaviour patterns. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/...
Biosocial research is a multi-disciplinary way of studying antisocial behavior which involves aspects of behavioral genetics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and developmental psychology....
These compounds are used or have been used in a variety of consumer products and industrial processes such as impregnation, textiles, carpets and fire-fighting foam http://www.fhi.no/eway/default....
Why do some people behave morally while others do not?  For decades, sociologists have posited that individual behavior results from cultural expectations about how to act in specific situations...
Airborne gases get sucked into stubborn smog particles from which they cannot escape. The results could explain a problem identified in recent years: Computer models long used by the U.S....
Strategies for combating obesity and keeping dogs fit and healthy include portion control, increased exercise and diets specifically formulated for overweight pet. http://www.eurekalert.org/...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/wsu-sap021512.php
Previous studies have focused on the cost of pollution-related worsening of existing asthma cases such as hospitalisations.  This new study published in the European Respiratory Journal...
World Health Organization figures show that up to 60% of males in Arab countries and up to 70% of females are overweight and obese The explanations include rapid urbanisation and ubiquitous travel by...
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/being-ignored-hurts-even-by-a-stranger.html A research assistant walked along a well-populated path, picked a subject, and either met that...
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/the-amygdala-and-fear-are-not-the-same-thing.html It has been suggested that in the visual pathway between the eye and the amygdala lies...
Some important research from Whether liberal vs conservative views on the world are hard-wired in the brain Researchers found that conservatives reacted most strongly to negative images, and...
http://www.concordia.ca/now/media-relations/news-releases/20120126/what-are-friends-for-negating-negativity.php
Article by Daniel Bell (co author of "Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age") "The challenge is to combine the advantages of urban life with the sense of community found...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/21/rise-megacity-live Graphic http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Observer/Pix/pictures/2012/01/21/urban2.jpg
The presence of rib lesions points to pulmonary inflammation caused by a combination of wood fires, and oil lamps, noted.   the study also draws conclusion about the population profile....
US-based Healthy Cities Institute explores how the physical environment of a place can affect health and well-being . http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/01/how-make-city-healthy/934/
Untreatable tuberculosis, the nemesis of high-density living, has returned. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21350-totally-drugresistant-tb-at-large-in-india.html
Major depressive disorder affects nearly one in 10 adults in the U.S.  UT Southwestern researchers examined the results of almost 12,600 participants from late 2006 to late 2010.  ...
Share Email Earn   FacebookTwitterGoogle+Lockerz GrabDeliciousDiggGoogle BookmarksMySpaceStumbleUponRedditMessengerVodpodYahoo BookmarksBeboMister-WongWordPressGoogle...
A study of 4,000 African American women living in Los Angeles has found that the risk of diabetes increased by a significant 24 percent, and the risk of hypertension by 11 percent, for each 12 ppb...
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-12-link-pulmonary-inflammation-diesel-exhaust.html
Research at the University of Florida, shows that people who are maximisers, when it comes to decision making, can bring on themselsves stress and unhappiness.  Their desire to make the best...
Survey of students in US suggests that an explanation for the low rate of marriage is the fear of divorce, and a fear of economic dependency on the other partner, and few benefits if "things go...
Research has found that people who have attempted the four year "Knwoledge" course - on the layout and landmarks of London, had significant differences in the posterior hippocampus - those...
Research by funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council has concluded that over one million older people experience poor social relations and social exclusion. Shift workers also spend less...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/aug/16/riots-poverty-map
Evolutionary psychologists have postulated that prejudice against "out groups" may in part originate from a fear of catching disease.  Experiments have to some extent confirmed that...
"75 per cent of factors that influence people’s health occur outside the healthcare system. An article in the Globe and Mail suggests that the key to getting Canadians healthier is to...
A study of Norwegian cities suggests that suggest that a one-hour extension of bar closing hours led to an increase of an average of 20 violent cases at night on weekends per 100,000 people per year...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2064106/Why-living-city-makes-fat-infertile-blind-depressed-causes-cancer.html An article that draws together some of the research that has been developing...
Unfortunately this research, although potentially of great interest, has been reported in a way that it is difficult to draw conclusions.. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2011/11/more-...
Projections by Northwestern University USA have predicted that: In 2020, 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women will be overweight or obese. In 2020, 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women...
The study found that obesity in adulthood has the greatest adverse consequences when the individuals as children had a relatively low body mass index. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/...
They coin the term neuroarchitecture. They pose the quesiton why there is so much focus on the development of environments for children and so little on the elderly http://www.eurekalert.org/...
The genetic predisposition to obesity due to the 'fat mass and obesity associated' (FTO) gene can be substantially reduced by living a physically active lifestyle. Medical Research Council...
The study reports that people are healthier, much more likely to be educated beyond secondary level, more likely to be married, but also that there are more people who are lonely. http://www....
An example here of the apparent difficulty experienced by people who write press releases of conveying useful information. One has to find and read the abstract for useful information. Relationship...
Identify subpopulations that contribute most to environmental degradation and those that are most vulnerable to its consequences. In poor countries especially, these subpopulations are readily...
A study by researchers at the  University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin  uses data from the ISR Panel Study of Income Dynamics to follow 2,093 children...
Urban trees of the Greater London Authority (GLA) area remove somewhere between 850 and 2000 tonnes of particulate pollution (PM10) from the air every year. This work is part of the wider EU BRIDGE (...
University of California, looked at 100,000 births occuring within 5 miles of air quality monitoring stations. Traffic-related air pollution, especially polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), is...
Research at the University of British Columbia on workplace sabotage..... people experiencing feelings of envy were significantly more likely to report committing sabotage when experiencing weak...
This is possibly a counter intuitive finding, as one might expect that in a large community the possibility of finding a more diverse range of possible friends increases.  In fact people find...
LED white lights were found to be five times and Metal halide lights three times more powerful in suppressing melatonin production than High Pressure Sodium light http://www.eurekalert.org/...
The Love where you live scheme is also supported by organisations such as Imperial Tobacco and chewing gum makers Wrigley's http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041319/Council-gives-McDonalds...
A further article on Binghampton USA.  Researchers found that people in Binghampton who behave in a “pro-social” way towards the care and welfare of others or the promotion of...
|Disorganization, marked by higher percentages of people living in poverty and in women-headed households with children and more renters, were hit the hardest by the presence of the liquor...
Research at UC Davis - based on a data on 15,000 adolescents in the USA has found that: Happier adolescents were less likely to report involvement in crime or drug use. Adolescents with minor, or...
Over the past 30-40 years the open plan office has been seen by management theorists as the route to optimal efficiency and interactive creativity.  The consequence was that in most towns and...
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128254.200-your-faeces-my-furry-friend-are-blowin-in-the-wind.html
Yes - to do with class - agitators' alienation from their families, the local community and mainstream society disinhibits them from caring about the harm they cause others. http://www....
Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. The research reinforces earlier...
Study 1 - American Journal of Public Health Study size 6000 plus Older women who live in a lower socioeconomic status neighborhood are more likely to exhibit lower cognitive functioning than women...
The consideration of pets is generally excluded from any education in the built environment, despite the fact that around 45 pecent of households in the UK host at least one pet. http://www.dognews....
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/uoc--wia080211.php With retail areas struggling to find a role in age of superstores and internet transactions, a transition to leisure and food based...
Proposed public health responsibilities for local authorities have been outlined in the white paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People.  Those relating to urban design include: • obesity and...
Daniel Miller, Professor of anthropology at University College London, has published research into Facebook: the site performs the role of a "meta-friend", a place where users log on to...
Loneliness has been featured in the British tabloids over the past fortnight, highlighting its pervasive nature, and impact on health and quality of life, referring to increased suicide rates, and...
People check their smartphones throughout the working day. A typical check routine takes around 30 seconds. Checkings do not occur randomly; they are associated with a small set of contexts that...
http://freshscience.org.au/?p=2888 Falls are a major cause of injury in elderly people.  By identifying those at risk, support can be provided, and independence maintained.
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/07/14/diesel.fumes.pose.risk.heart.well.lungs.study.shows
Research involving 600 children from lower socio-economic groups provides statistical evidence that sports participation is also beneficial to a child's cognitive, emotional and behavioral...
Jon Adams looks at the past views on shaping of the modern city – including the seductive idea that broken cities might be the cause of broken society. fix the city and you can fix the citizen...
 "We have this new problem that we cannot see: it is tiny particles of nitrogen dioxide."  Professor Frank Kelly, Kings College London - as reported in the Independent. http://www...
Researchers have found that, at least when dealing with children, they learn more by discovery than being taught. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/teaching-children-0630.html Right across the field...
Research by the University of Columbia has found that giving consumers too many options can impair their ability to make skillful choices and erode their ability to determine the optimal choice for...
About 10 percent of children from infancy to age 2 and slightly over 20 percent of children ages 2 through 5 are overweight or obese. The rates of excess weight and obesity among children ages 2 to 5...
Using 20 year time series data Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers have found that modest changes in specific foods and beverages, physical activity, TV-watching, and sleep...
Schizophenia is twice as common in people brought up in the countryside as opposed to people brought up in the city. A study by the University of Heidelberg using brain imaging has found that...
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2074067,00.html?hpt=T2
Researchers at the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health (ECEHH -- part of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry) and the University of Birmingham has compared the benefits...
Sample size 700 - comparing people with and without MS.  Found that 77 percent of MS patients have vitamin defciency.   The people with MS were exposed to a lower monthly UV index (...
University of Essex study - Sample: 300 ten year old children from Essex ? The number of sit-ups 10-year-olds can do declined by 27.1% between 1998 and 2008 ? Arm strength fell by 26% and grip...
Evidence suggests that the presence of some grandparents can substantially increase the chances of a child surviving during the high risk period of infancy and childhood in traditional communities....
Theory 1 is that most people cooperate because it feels good to do it. And there is some MRI brain imaging data that shows activity in reward-related regions of the brain when people are cooperating...
http://group.bmj.com/group/media/latest-news/young-british-men-view-knife-carrying-as-a-201clegitimate-response201d-to-potential-threats The article suggests that a more considered approach to...
Sample 200 children in Sweden and Denmark, monitored for four days using accelerometer and assessed for cardiac risk factors including blood pressure, BMI etc.  Moderate to vigorous...
Apparently not. But the question as to what circumstances move a passive and compliant community into taking positive action about its circumstances is core to the Big Society, localism debate. http...
Research by the University of Concordia, published in Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies suggests that there are significant benefits to be obtained. Grandparents...
Isocyanic acid is produced in diesel engine catalysers, used to reduce NOx emissions. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/nh-scd051111.php
Research from the Univeristies of Stanford and Illinois have found that human brains are very adept at identifying shapes from faint and interrupted outlines.   Monitoring the activity of...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/pu-ppo051011.php Implications here for what can happen when people work in silos or when interdisciplinary teams disintegrate. It only takes 2-3 minutes...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13377164 Whereas two decades ago people shared a common experience in watching television.  Now on-demand services provided through the internet have eroded...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/8504998/Foursquare-and-Facebook-Places-dont-appeal-to-teenagers.html
Queens University Belfast study finds high computer use in adolescents is associated with approximately 50 per cent increased engagement with a cluster of six MRB, including smoking, drunkenness, non...
The study included 1,138 older adults with a mean age of 80. On average, those who reported the highest levels of social activity (the 90th percentile) experienced only one quarter of the rate of...
The study included 954 older adults with a mean age of 82. Results showed that a person who reported a high level of social activity was about twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving...
The 2007–2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey revealed that 24% of adults were overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25.0–29.9) and 37% were obese (BMI > 30).  Measures discussed...
Strangers to a neighbourhood percieve signs of 'disorder' as indicators of a community that is vulnerable to criminal behaviour and lacking in safety.  Such signs include: loose...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210141247.htm
An Imperial College study has shown that in 2008, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population was obese, with women more likely to be obese than men. An estimated 205 million men...
In towns, wear debris from vehicle brakes, tires, and the road surface itself, as well as the resuspension of "normal" dust, are responsible for more than half the fine particle emissions...
A Cornell University study has found that poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness and control get some measure of protection; they’re less likely to smoke and be...
Research at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen has indicated that for every 10 decibels of additional traffic noise the risk of having a stroke increased...
The “hygiene hypothesis” links the recent rise in incidence of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, with particular...
Research by the University of Missouri has found that addressing juvenile crime on a one-to-one basis is expensive and ineffective.  http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2011/0127-...
The research raises the question whether an understanding of social hierarchy might be hard-wired. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/01/28/study.finds.presence.peers.heightens.teens.sensitivity....
Further research that points to the importance both of healthy diets, and a more outdoor lifestyle, with an attractive public realm being a key. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/ats-...
Teens are five times more likely to be in a car accident when in a group than when driving alone, and they are more likely to commit a crime in a group.  Research using MRI scans has...
Synchronising the style of speech, specifically in the use of "function words" that provide context for nouns and verbs, seems to predict how successful and enduring a relationship is...