Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Engaging the Senses: The Potential of Emotional Data as a New Information Layer in Urban Planning

Version 1 : Received: 3 July 2018 / Approved: 4 July 2018 / Online: 4 July 2018 (11:53:17 CEST)

How to cite: Fathullah, A.; Willis, K.S. Engaging the Senses: The Potential of Emotional Data as a New Information Layer in Urban Planning. Preprints 2018, 2018070073 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0073.v1). Fathullah, A.; Willis, K.S. Engaging the Senses: The Potential of Emotional Data as a New Information Layer in Urban Planning. Preprints 2018, 2018070073 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0073.v1).

Abstract

Although our emotional connection with the physical urban setting is often valued, it is rarely recognised or used as a resource to understand future actions in city planning. Yet, despite the importance of emotion, citizens’ emotions are typically seen as difficult to quantify and individualistic, even though knowledge about people’s response to space could help planners understand people’s behaviours and learn about how citizens use and live in the city. The study explores the relationship between the physical space and emotions through identifying the links between stress levels, and specific features of the urban environment. This study aims to show the potential of integrating the use of galvanic skin response (GSR) within urban spatial analysis and city planning, in order to address the relationship between emotions and urban spaces. This method involved participants using a (GSR) device linked to location data to measure participant’s emotional responses along a walking route in a city centre environment. Findings show correlations between characteristics of environment and stress levels, as well as how specific features of the city spaces such as road crossing create stress ‘hotspots’. We suggest that the data obtained could contribute to citizens creating their own information layer - an emotional layer- that could inform urban planning decision-making. The implications of this application of this method as an approach to public participation in urban planning are also discussed.

Subject Areas

emotions; planning; participation; digital participation; physiological sensors; galvanic skin response; GSR; stress levels; emotional layer; urban; city

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