Urban Spine: A Pedestrian-oriented Multi-modal Transportation Infrastructure for Improving Health and Well-being in the Urban Environment

Au, Vincent
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Honolulu: University of Hawaii at Manoa
With finite land resources and ever increasing population, urbanization continues to edge natural environments off our maps. The quality of life and well-being is deteriorated with continuous exposure to the urban environment due to the heavy saturation of stress and anxiety that comes with urban living. Stress is associated with the inherent flight-or-fight reaction that humans have developed through evolution in the natural environment. The contamination of stress inducing stimuli in the urban environment has driving people into sedentary lifestyles, remain indoors within the safe confines of building. Mitigating the magnitude of stressful interactions in the urban landscape, many which are caused by automobiles, will encourage a return to the outdoor environment. The re-integration of naturalistic experiences into the environment will improve the quality of urban life. A shift of the urban landscape toward a pedestrian-orientation, through the promotion of walkability, can ameliorate the adverse impacts caused by automobile centric behavior and cultivate the streetscape as a canvas for experiencing naturalistic features and characteristics that support the health and well-being of the urban dweller – not only ensuring survival but granting the opportunity to flourish.
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