Our first of its kind neuroscience-for-cities playbook came from a close collaboration between the Catapult, Centric Lab and University College London. It brings forward a framework of how neuroscience research can be put into practice in cities. This has been presented as a set of new tools, methodologies and strategies for organisations big and small, to adopt neuroscience insights into their supply chain.
With an aim to reach out to a wide audience from businesses to urban planners and academicians and policymakers, we are sure you will find the playbook a useful resource to explore the potential applications of this important area of research.
This playbook helps cities in three stages. The first is identifying the core environmental stressors, which have the widest mental and physical effects on any citizen, even a small reduction will make a fundamental difference in quality of life. The second is understanding the unintended human consequences of urban trends such as urban sprawl or automation. The final is highlighting the different opportunities for enhancing the user experience of cities through neuroscience-informed technology and urban planning.
The idea of using neuroscience to help design cities only arose in last ten years, and the technology to make it possible in the last three years. We are now on the cusp of a revolution in how metrics from neuroscience inform urban innovation strategies and increase the quality of life of the cities inhabitants. Developments in neuroscience are showing us new ways to understand how people experience the built environment, revealing new opportunities for innovation and improved experiences, leading in turn to greater productivity, wellbeing and attraction. Neuroscientists are also discovering important insights about outcomes for the less advantaged in our cities, providing compelling evidence in support of interventions to tackle the negative health impacts of city living, and ways to reduce barriers to access and opportunity.
Success will be measured in reductions in mental and physical health outbreaks; less cases of depression, dementia, anxiety disorders, etc. It can be seen in economic terms; a healthy population is a productive population.