Colin Ellard outlines the work of the Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Using devices for either tracking eye movements or heart rates, students took their research to the streets. They measured responses to features such as green space, visual complexity and interaction with traffic. The article is titled, A new agenda for urban psychology: out of the laboratory and into the streets. In his summary, the author argues that with the expansion of urban centres across the globe, being able to live healthily and comfortably, we must also consider our mental health as well as any other physical attributes.
The Laboratory’s mission is “to explore the connection between individual psychology and urban design in order to elaborate the principles that might contribute to psychological resilience and wellbeing in the urban environment”.