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Architectural variation, building height, and the restorative quality of urban residential streetscapes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9970-9164
2013 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 33, 26-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With increasing urban densification, built environments that can promote restoration will become more important. Well-designed residential streetscapes might support restoration, but little research has considered the physical attributes that matter in this context. Taking guidance from research on environmental preferences, the present study considers the effects of entropy (aggregate architectural variation) and building height on judgments of restoration likelihood for urban residential streetscapes. Physical attributes of buildings (roofline silhouette, surface ornamentation, number of floors) were systematically manipulated in 145 computer-generated images of residential streetscapes. In a web-based procedure, participants (N = 263) in each of several independent groups rated the streetscapes on one of several psychological variables, including being away, fascination, restoration likelihood and preference. Multiple mediation analysis used the images as units of analysis, with the respective group mean scores on the psychological variables as the data for the images. The effect of entropy on restoration likelihood was positive, whereas the effect of building height was negative. Being away and fascination together fully mediated the effects of entropy on judgments of restoration likelihood. The effect of building height was only partially mediated, and then by being away and not fascination. The results provide guidance for the design of more psychologically sustainable urban residential environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 33, 26-36 p.
Keyword [en]
Attention restoration theory, Complexity, Enclosure, Multiple mediation analysis, Urban densification
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196521DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2012.09.003ISI: 000314448700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196521DiVA: diva2:610932
Available from: 2013-03-13 Created: 2013-03-11 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Hartig, Terry
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