Over half of the population prefer to live in cities as there are many things to do as well as many job opportunities in these areas. But according to the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, 40% of city dwellers have an increased rate of depression and over 20% have anxiety. By learning about what it is about cities that cause people to have mental health issues, more can be done to change their designs to make them mental health-friendly.

Why Do Cities Make Us Sad?

Cities tend to have a lot of people crammed together who are very busy with their own schedules. With more people, there is more pollution in the air, noise, light, and trash. Too much pollution can affect how happy we feel and can cause stress. With big cities, there could be certain areas where there may be segregation, poverty, prejudice, or discrimination. This could make you feel injustice and hopeless by the end of the day.

How Can We Change the Design of Cities to Improve Mental Health?

One way that designers can change cities to promote mental health is by having more green spaces. Living in a city has a tendency to separate us away from nature which can increase our stress levels more. Having more parks or green spaces that are accessible and safe can be a priority to designers. Even having more trees, flowers, and plants can make an impact on reducing air pollution. Another way to improve mental health is by making it easier for city dwellers to do more things by access to good public transportation, and a walkable and safe environment to pedestrians and bike riders.

A third way is by having more pro-social spaces where city dwellers can gather around and do more activities together. This can mean people meet each other in the great outdoors and go walking, exercising, or playing games with others. It should also be a priority for the city to extend more measures towards crime prevention and proper monitoring by authorities as people will feel more safe and happy with less crime occurring on a daily basis. A fourth way is for cities to be made equal to better avoid segregation or prejudice. People need to be put first when living in a city and more needs to be done to ensure they are happy and are in good mental health. 

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