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Urban Health and Stress
Urbanisation is one of the most serious challenges of our time. For the year 2050, the UN forecasts an increase in the urban population to 66.4 % worldwide. In Germany, this increase is even expected to rise to 83 %.
This is not surprising, since life in the city offers many advantages, such as better access to education, culture, work and health care. At the same time, however, urban life and increasing urbanization lead to increased confrontation with various stressors, such as crowding, social isolation, air and noise pollution, as well as social hotspots associated with poverty and increased crime. All this shapes the social but also the health-promoting environment of city dwellers who, depending on their housing situation or socio-economic factors, have varying levels of access to recreational facilities, such as parks or green spaces in general.
In cooperation with the Umweltbundesamt (www.uba.de), the current project will investigate the relationship between city life, individual stress vulnerability and psychological well-being. For this purpose, fMRI data of an established stress task as well as questionnaire data on stress and mental well-being will be analysed together with potential residential moderators, such as green spaces, air pollution and noise.
The aim of the project is to analyse the influence of potential residence-specific protection and risk factors on individual stress vulnerability and psychological well-being.
Charter of Neurourbanism
In order to meet the challenges of the global urbanisation for the quality of life and mental health of the urban population, this project develops recommendations for urban politicians and all those who shape public life in the city. These neurourbanistic recommendations, resulting from an interdisciplinary debate, are summarized in the Charter of Neurourbanism, which is structured around nine keywords. The respective statements cover those areas of urban life in which (neuro-) psychological as well as urban planning and urban sociological research meet in a special way. The aim here is to identify factors that protect urban society from mental illness and shape the city as a resilient place. With the Charter we would like to contribute to this aim.
The project Charter of Neurourbanism is partly financed by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe within the framework of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018.