How architecture shapes our cities - and our lives

By Lily Bernheimer

Communities which design their own buildings are more likely to be happy and healthy

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us,” said Winston Churchill. He was right; our surroundings can make us healthier and less likely to drop litter, enhance our beauty, decrease our perception of pain and enable us to solve puzzles more quickly.

But long before buildings, the elements of our natural habitats shaped us. According to Darwinian theory, all animals should be attracted to the sort of settings they excel in. For humans, this means habitats providing the right balance of information and refuge. We can't swim, fly or smell very well, but we glide gracefully through seas and skies of information – our special super power. We follow the promise of new environmental information like a bloodhound tracks a scent.

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Source: How architecture shapes our cities – and our lives