In comparison with the relations between the human and natural environments that have been the central focus of environmental psychology for many years, the interactions between the psychological processes underlying human behaviour and the built environment have only recently regained the interest of researchers. In this paper, the author first discusses the reasons for the slower development of human – built environment relations. Afterwards, the author systematically examines the impact that the research of environmental stress, namely, poor housing and poor neighbourhood quality, had on the contemporary understanding of human – built environment relations.
The author focuses on social, biophilic and evidence-based design. The author proposes deeper psychological engagement in correlation with human behaviour, psychological well-being and society. The author highlights the inclusion of psychologists in interdisciplinary research teams addressing the development of sustainable solutions to the issues of residential environments.
It has been shown that substandard house quality, high noise, lack of natural light in houses, poorer physical quality of urban neighbourhoods, living in a low-income neighbourhood, etc. are linked to elevated physiological and psychological stress. Despite this evidence, there is still a gap between building designers and building users in modern industrialised societies, which could deepen tenants’ dissatisfaction due to specific behavioural needs and consequently lower their psychological well-being and health risk behaviour.
These are potential risks of error arising from the use of assumptions, limited samples size and data from the secondary resources.
The major contributions of this paper are as follows. If the environment is understood as a dynamic, constantly changing and complex system of a wide range of players, the author can discern in this environment a dynamic that is otherwise characteristic of emotional dynamics. Expressed participants’ high satisfaction with residential status does not necessarily generate high expectations regarding real estate factors.
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