The condition of public spaces : the role of sensory experience design

Rathod, Dhruti and Wagner, Cesar; (2022) The condition of public spaces : the role of sensory experience design. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 154-164. ISBN 9781914241161

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The urban form and the human psyche are two intrinsically linked phenomena. Urban environments are constantly stimulating the biologically embedded sensory systems that humans have. When senses are stimulated in a positive and satisfying way by public spaces, the brain registers a memory of that environment and stores that perception as a mental image that can be linked and recalled as some type of good sensorial experience. This experience is vital to promoting pedestrianisation and the use of public spaces, aiding in the creation of a safe and enjoyable walkable city. Examining pedestrian circulation typologies at Auckland's, New Zealand, central areas through the lens of Jan Gehl's 'Human Dimension Design Toolbox', this paper explores the science behind human sensory experience as a tool to analyse the conditions of public urban spaces and assist in making informed design decisions.

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