City air makes you free but that’s not all it makes you

In the morning at the railway station the woman sitting next to me gave a big sigh and said,

‘Doesn’t this beat looking at all those city buildings!’

Given the view from the platform, you might see why I felt I had to agree. But are city buildings really all that bad? For instance, Ely Cathedral or the Chrysler Building can surely be  inspiring, not least because they seem to enhance their wider context. The former dominates the Cambridgeshire Fens; the latter sets the pattern for Manhattan.

Jonah Lehrer (editor of Seed Magazine) recently wrote an article that tries to explain why city life hurts your brain, and what you can do about it. He even manages to mention one of my heroes, Frederick  Law Olmstead.

What’s more, Jonah Lehrer’s blog is so interesting, in a ‘popular science’ kind of way, that I’m adding it to the Fourcultures bookmarks on Delicious. Follow the ‘Related Bookmarks‘ link at the right of this page.

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