Designing urban space for psychological comfort: the Kentish Town Road project

Ruth Dillon (Department of Architecture, Royal College of Art)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Publication date: 1 December 2005


The tendency of urban environments to produce anxiety is well documented in a range of theoretical and historical literature, but there is little current work that considers how public spaces might be designed to alleviate anxiety among their users. This paper presents a series of case studies taken from a lighting design project on the Kentish Town Road in north London to show how urban design can create a more psychologically inclusive public realm — one that offers greater psychological comfort — by enhancing the engagement between users of urban spaces and their environment. The argument is presented in the context of broader issues of social inclusion and other current movements in urban design.



Dillon, R. (2005), "Designing urban space for psychological comfort: the Kentish Town Road project", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 10-20.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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