28th April 2017

The secret to making happier, healthier public space may lie in designers’ ability to promote feelings of fascination among visitors. This is one lesson from a ground-breaking experiment in West Palm Beach.

Space Syntax worked alongside Happy City, Street Plans Collaborative and the University of Virginia, , using theories of restorative environmental psychology to construct a unique installation on the under-visited promenade. Designed specifically to provoke visitors’ feelings of fascination and being away from everyday life, the installation boosted feelings of belonging, calm, and social trust.

The results suggest that cities can build health and happiness by pursuing a set of design methods that the team has come to call “Restorative Urbanism”. Read the full report here.