Currently, 90% of the buildings that people live in don’t have proper conditions that are up to the industry’s quality standards. At the same time, 10% of the world population lives in slums, which unfortunately is a growing trend. Many of the buildings in cities still don’t have proper ventilation, lighting, heating and sewage systems.
The wellbeing of people, the quality of spaces they inhabit, and the regeneration of cities are closely related. Our living environment has an enormous impact on our wellbeing, health and overall quality of life.Wellbeing should be at the base of any development. Our environments, both built and natural, have the ability to heal us and prevent diseases. If we use the proper materials, light, air, food, temperature, spaces and habits, we can improve life and everything in it. If we design living spaces the right way, we could avoid depression, stress, trauma and facilitate healing. When we connect people to nature and create environments that nourish them, we could solve a lot of the problems that our society has.
We can start from wellbeing and make conclusions on how to change cities to serve people better. Preventive healthcare can significantly increase the wellbeing of people. Half of the causes of death are because of unhealthy behavior and lifestyle. Cities should shift their focus from diagnosing and treating sickness to preventive care and wellbeing. They can be built around the habits of walking, spending time in nature, doing sports, and healthy food that make our quality of life better.
In addition, materials, spaces, food, and water quality should be certified in how they affect our health. A premium should be given to those with a positive impact on our wellbeing and high taxes should be imposed on those who damage it. New buildings have to be up to these defined quality standards. We need to ensure that these standards are respected, and people don’t build illegally without proper permits and certificates.
Healthy food can even be produced locally in some buildings by incorporating green soil-based roofs, different agriculture technology techniques or there could be communal gardens in different neighborhoods. Incorporating food production helps build communities and connect people to nature while producing healthier, organic foods that are actually healing for our bodies.
Smart cities technologies can monitor the performance of buildings and help us make better decisions on how to design, build and manage them. Tall residential buildings that are far enough from each other are still a good solution, but they have to include well-being dimensions. The ground floors should be used properly to provide public space and green areas. Sports facilities should be close to homes or within them. The urban spaces should inspire people to stay active in them and make it accessible to do so.