Rapid Urbanisation: Exploring the role of the built environment in enhancing the urban mental health

Lilian Smart (Speaker), Amaratunga, D. (Speaker), Haigh, R. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description

Background: The rate of the urbanisation of most countries of the world today has been unprecedented much more than it was prior to the 21st century. Studies statistically demonstrate that more than 50% of the world’s population are already residing in the cities, and by projection it will increase further to more than 60% by 2050. This is phenomenal and poses substantial challenge to the urban built environment especially regarding the mental health of the people. This is because studies shows that the built environment has both direct and indirect negative effects on mental health. It is equally revealed that the mental health of the psychiatric patients is linked mostly to the built environment designs and other related factors associated with it.
Purpose and Originality: This study adopted a literature-based research methodology to explore the impacts of the built environment on the mental health of urban residents.
Methodology: In a bid to understand the various argument in the literature on this subject area, over 30 literature were reviewed and critically analysed.
Findings: The result shows that the built environment can affect mental health negatively if it lacks such components as public open spaces for socialization, walkable spaces for physical exercises and green spaces. It also shows that the provision of these facilities and many others can help to facilitate the mental health well-being of the people.

Research Implications: In order to provide a built environment that is capable of enhancing the mental health well being of the urban residents, the building professionals need to revisit their plans, strategies and building skills. Importantly, these skills can be acquired through professional education in the built environment. Thus, necessitating the inclusion of higher and professional educational system in the building and construction industries.

Keywords: built environment, mental health, urbanisation, urban expansion, and urban population growth.
Period25 Apr 2019
Held atARCOM Doctoral Workshop
Event typeWorkshop
LocationNewcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational