“I had a list of things to look for during my visit to Singapore, and most of them were green. I found one on the very first day, as I wandered through an indoor mall in a jet-lagged haze. A walk around the shops was the most complex task my poor brain could cope with after a thirteen-hour flight from London, which had hurled me half a day forward in time. When my gaze alighted on a slice of pandan cake in a cafe window, I felt a surge of recognition.”
An excerpt from my piece ‘Green by Design’ in the Summer 2018 issue of Orion Magazine. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out. Every issue is beautifully designed and always a treat. It’s a subscription magazine, better read in print than online, but you can find selected free articles on the website.
“If you choose to take your lunch break outside rather than sitting at your desk, chances are you prefer a place that has nature or natural elements (pocket park, grassy lawn, views to water, etc.). Biophilia, our innate connection with nature, subconsciously steers us to places that allow us to experience nature and natural elements. This was the idea behind a new Terrapin Bright Green in-depth case study which examined the allure of biophilia in cities,” writes Sam Gochman.
Terrapin surveyed 100 people on their lunch breaks at four sites—two biophilic and two non-biophilic—in lower Manhattan. A large proportion of participants at biophilic sites liked at least one natural or “biophilic” element most about those spaces and cited both convenience and access to nature as the most important factors in choosing those spaces. Surprisingly, at both biophilic and non-biophilic sites, most participants said that they would walk a longer distance to get to a space with more nature. Download the full study.
So, where do you eat your lunch? And why?
This week I’m helping the Urban Mind Project gather real-time data to help it understand how city living is affecting mental wellbeing. I’ve downloaded the app and completed the initial assessment, which is very interesting. The next stage is to respond at various times over the next 7 days when it prompts me with questions about my current environment – questions like ‘Can you open a window?’ and ‘Can you see trees?’. There’s also an option to add photos and/or audio too.
Fancy joining me? Find out more about participation here. You can also follow @urban_mind_proj on Twitter.
Urban Mind is a collaboration between King’s College London, J&L Gibbons, Nomad, A&E, Van Alen Institute and Sustainable Society Network+.