City+Mental Health

Analysing how (if) Madrid’s spaces enhance adolescent’s mental health through social connections

Why talking about <mind-city> dyad

Social Psychology well share the idea that understanding the abstractness of social behaviour should integrate an empathetic view of each citizen’s experience. In that line, societies feelings, reactions and impulses at a greater scope could be consequence of individual’s fears, conducts and habits. From Philosophy, with McLuhan’s Age of Anxiety, viewed as a ‘result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools’; or Luhman and his system theory to make us holistically consider the connections of some events. This research approaches from a new humanistic and transversal conception of society, citizens and knowledge itself. We shall start seeing some evidence:

  • Rising protests around the world are symptoms of further distance on state-individual’s trust. Gilets Jaunes in France, Catalonia protests, Nicaragua, Yellow Umbrellas in Hong Kong could be events evidencing a social burnout with current (anti)democratic practices.
  • The rise of minorities voicing trying to move people’s values towards a more diverse mindset. Feminism, LGTB rights, immigrant integration or disabled equality are potential signs of a more general push towards a broader sense of community belonging.
  • Constant rebalance of political bargains and economic distribution among nations due to the rapid globalisation waves of last decades might bring conclusions on how developing countries are experiencing their own defining emancipation.
  • Or the change in urban planning from top-down to participatory decision making processes. Viewed, for instance in UNHabitat Guidelines on Sustainable Urban Planning, which sees the opportunities and threats of a certain urban planning or another.
2019. Antonio Guterres on the incipient rise of violent demonstrations across the world

Under this paper opinion, all of them conduce towards a reconceptualization of more humanistic democracy. New concepts that have been suddenly altered somehow due to covid pandemic. This research relies on one of these social tendencies, an undoubted generalised increase on mental suffering. Social media have considerably echoed.

As for society as a whole, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists or politicians continue to understand the correlates of this historical event. This research seeks to approach not only from a social trauma healing but from the opportunity it has appeared to redefine certain social conducts towards a more powerful cohesive future. In the rebuilding of social connections, a blank canvas is presented to initiate valuable relationships among a risk age factor as adolescents are. Maybe this narrowed analysis could inspire others to correct certain social behaviours into fairer, more resilient and innovative ones.

Furthermore, in line with the latter paragraph, and from the eyes of urban planning, this blank canvas could help pushing the ongoing process in this discipline towards more liveable, happy and welcoming cities. It is believed urban planning is a perfect pathway to converge both individual and social patterns in a feed-back manner.

As with many other health related studies, this research’s line of investigation could indirectly help social well-being transversally. If people feel more connected to their city and their neighbours they will ideologically tend more to consensus, creativity will be enhanced and confrontation between individuals could be reduced thanks to a more intelligent emotional regulation, which ultimately translates in judicial decongestion, a more productive national workforce and economy and overall, a better society.

Charles Montgomery (2014). Insights on happier cities

In this context, this research develops. Click on the buttons to explore more.