A new link was added to Environmenta – to the research group in Iceland CiSuUs – Cities that sustain us.

The About section on the group’s website tells us the following.

The world’s rapid population growth is concentrating in cities, raising concerns about environmental, economic and social sustainability. The compact city has been proposed as a promising urban form to increase sustainability, but empirical work has not supported the link between urban density and sustainability. A possible explanation might be the common neglect of psychological factors in design and planning processes. The restorative environmental design approach (RED) suggests applying knowledge about basic human needs for restoration, which is the renewal of psychological, physical and social resources that individuals use to meet everyday demands. Guided by RED, virtual reality (VR) where humans can be placed inside high-quality interactive rendering of a configurable urban environment, can be the tool needed to evaluate restorative quality in future designs. The aim of this project is to reinforce the foundation of RED and apply it for future development of an existing low dense neighborhood in Reykjavik using a new instrumented VR laboratory. We propose three studies that answer the following key questions:

(1) Are the restorative effects measured in a virtual environment indicative of the restorative effects of a corresponding real environment?
(2) Can we estimate the restorative impact of specific environmental design measures?
(3) Can we use those design measures to densify an existing urban environment with low density and low restorative potential?

CiSuUs – Cities that sustain us