mental health

Aerial view of Ohana mental health facility in Monterey, California with wavy silver roof.

Mental Health Facility Uses Design to Improve Outcomes

Far from the drab and claustrophobic mental health facilities of cinematic fame, Ohana aims to serve patients in an aesthetically soothing, nature-driven environment.

March 27, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Low angel shot of three people with four dogs in enclosed grassy dog park.

Fighting the ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ in Cities

While urban design alone can’t mend the tears in our social fabric, planning decisions and thoughtful, inclusive design can offer or hinder opportunities for interaction.

December 17, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

California state capitol building dome with U.S., California, and POW/MIA flags on flagpole

Election 2024: California Voters to Decide on $6 Billion Homelessness Bond

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two ‘behavioral health’ bills that put Proposition 1 on the March 2024 ballot, targeting the housing, mental health, and substance use treatment needs of homeless residents living in encampments. Opposition has arisen.

October 18, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Group of four children with backpacks and helmets riding and walking their bikes.

Study: School Biking Programs Can Boost Student Health

A survey of middle school students who participated in in-school cycling programs showed a potential correlation to improved mental health.

October 16, 2023 - Loma Linda University Health

Man painting "HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT" mural in black paint on bright yellow fence

California Ballot Measures Would Aid the Mentally Ill and Drug-Addicted Homeless

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed in March a two-part ballot initiative to tackle homelessness, focusing on mental illness and substance abuse, which would provide 10,000 beds in new, voluntary treatment facilities—but one funding source is controversial.

July 31, 2023 - CALmatters

Woman in leggings and long-sleeved jacket walks in public park among fall foliage

Parks and Recreation as a Health Solution

New research by the Trust for Public Land explores connections between urban parks and health, building on prior research and offering insights such as the growing importance of partnerships with health organizations.

July 4, 2023 - Governing

Coronavirus and Lime

This Is Your Brain on E-Scooters

A survey from scooter operator Spin indicates that e-scooter users experience a boost in relaxation and positive feelings after a ride.

December 22, 2021 - Streetsblog USA

Affordable Housing

How Affordable Housers Perpetuate Past Harms, and How They Can Do Better

Some elements of affordable housing—from the development process to the way buildings are managed—are rooted in racist assumptions that dehumanize residents. Here are some simple ways you can be a better housing provider.

December 9, 2021 - Shelterforce Magazine

17th Street, Denver, Colorado

Improving Housing Through Trauma-Informed Design

A growing awareness of the link between the built environment and mental health has led some designers to examine the ways we can make housing feel more safe and welcoming for vulnerable populations.

October 27, 2021 - NextCity

Trees on Street

Research Shows Urban Trees Stave off Depression

A new study shows that regular exposure to trees and green spaces has a powerful impact on depression and mental health.

March 22, 2021 - The Guardian

Helicopter New York City

What About all the Helicopter Noise?

New York's busy airspace can be an inescapable nightmare for residents who experience noise pollution on a daily basis.

February 26, 2021 - StreetsBlog NYC


Staying Healthy During the Pandemic

Local parks and green spaces that enable safe social distancing have never been more important to people living in cities. The Trust for Public Land has released a new report showing their importance and the challenges they are facing.

August 4, 2020 - The Washington Post

Skid Row Los Angeles

Homelessness Fuels a Backlash in California

The Golden State's ongoing homelessness crisis has residents on edge and is testing the limits of empathy in a state known for its liberal values.

November 1, 2019 - The New York Times

San Francisco Homeless

San Francisco to Use Conservatorship for Some Mentally Ill Homeless People

Thanks to legislation by Sen. Scott Wiener passed last year, San Francisco will apply a new tool to force treatment on some homeless, mentally ill people who refuse it, but it's limited to five people annually. A new Wiener bill would expand it.

June 13, 2019 - The Washington Post

NYC Health and Hospitals

Where Care Meets Confinement

For doctors trying to provide mental health care to people who are incarcerated or detained by the New York City Department of Corrections, city jails pose a challenge — and provide an opportunity.

August 8, 2018 - Urban Omnibus

Cleveland 4th Street St. Patrick's

Can Density Prevent Diabetes?

In Australia, a new study will determine the best ways to make high-density developments healthy places to live.

May 7, 2018 -

London Underground

London Releases Tunnels Map for Claustrophobic Tube Riders

Transport for London has responded to customer requests for a new accessibility measure: a map to help riders avoid long tunnels.

July 20, 2017 - Metro Magazine

Chicago Lake Michigan Trees

Study: Greenery Improves Quality and Length of Life

Living near vegetation appears to be linked to a longer life and better mental health—for women, at least.

May 5, 2017 - CNN

West Side Chicago Votes to Tax Itself to Fund Mental Health Services

After the city's government cut funding to mental health services, closing many of the city's clinics, residents of Chicago's West Side voted overwhelmingly to tax their properties to reverse that trend.

December 9, 2016 - Chicago Tonight

Skid Row

L.A. Homelessness Plan Hitting Speed Bumps

City councilmembers express concern about progress of homelessness plan after receiving a first update report.

November 21, 2016 - Los Angeles Times

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

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