With place in mind
This chapter continues the theme of health and well-being. Chapter 2 presented the statistical and research evidence for the geographical patterns of health and disease. This chapter examines evidence from psychology, within a holistic perspective, of place, time and sociological context. It develops the argument that a major cause of ‘disease’ is our alienation from nature. Neuroscience is the bedrock of the argument, which starts from an understanding of the crucial input from the child’s environment on how the brain develops. Nature and nurture in human development are emphasized. Ecopsychology is used to examine the relationship of humanity with nature. Ecotherapy features briefly, with regard to architectural design. The theme of the relationship between psychology and ecology introduces a short section on Gaia, which leads to a discussion of ecofeminism. Ecofeminism emphasizes female intelligence and values as a counter force to the masculine subjection and rape of the environment. Blocks to well-being and happiness are discussed, especially in the urban underclass and in the farming community,
before reviewing the ingredients of happiness. The chapter closes by advocating that those engaged in city development implement in their projects, as their primary objective, designs which both respect nature, and foster individual and community well-being.