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Mental Health and the Built Environment

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Key Points

  • The built environment can promote or hinder mental health.

  • Place attachment refers to the psychological and social connections people feel with certain places—their homes, the settings in which they grew up, and others.

  • The conditions of modern life place great demands on—and often exhaust—our ability to pay attention. Green settings have the capacity to alleviate mental fatigue and help restore a person’s capacity to pay attention.

  • Crowded, noisy, and dangerous places have a variety of negative impacts on people and their psychological states, fostering, for example, stress, anxiety, depression, and violent behavior.

  • Some places draw people together and thus support the development of social ties and enhance the development of social capital.

  • Places that encourage physical activity can both prevent and treat depression.

Keywords

  • Social Capital
  • Psychological Distress
  • Mental Fatigue
  • Place Attachment
  • Violent Neighborhood

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.

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© 2011 Andrew L. Dannenberg, Howard Frumkin, and Richard J. Jackson

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Sullivan, W.C., Chang, CY. (2011). Mental Health and the Built Environment. In: Dannenberg, A.L., Frumkin, H., Jackson, R.J. (eds) Making Healthy Places. Island Press, Washington, DC. https://doi.org/10.5822/978-1-61091-036-1_7

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