Emotional Cognition in Urban Planning and Design

  • Paul Thagard
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


This chapter discusses the relevance of emotion to urban planning and design, arguing for the following conclusions. Urban planning requires values, which are emotional mental/neural representations of things and situations. Decisions about how to design cities are based on emotional coherence. The concepts used in urban planning are best understood as a new kind of neural representation called semantic pointers. The social processes of planning cities and living in them can be modeled using multi-agent systems, where the agents are emotional. The cognitive, emotional, and social mechanisms underlying urban development are complex in that they are nonlinear, emergent, chaotic, synergistic, amplified by feedback loops, and result in tipping points.


Urban Planning Cognitive Appraisal Negative Valence Light Rail Social Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This draft incorporates some material from my blog:

My research is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. I am grateful to the editors for comments on an earlier draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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