Poverty, Crime, and the space you live.

We often assume socio-demographic reasons for crime in an area such as race, income, and education. With the emergence of GIS technology, studies have been done to investigate whether connectivity of neighborhoods affects income and crime. There have been studies that showed a strong correlation and ones that showed a negative ones.

The architect Christopher Alexander and his theory of centers created a different model of understanding well being in the context of the physical space around you. His idea is that physical space (the actual space of objects and where objects do not exist) has a degree of life to it that can be increased by proper incremental enhancement of centers. Centers specifically are anything that attract the eye. In his book series “The Nature of Order”, Alexander explains several practical ways of increasing the life of centers and therefore increasing the life of a specific location. How this affects our mood and consciousness can be scientifically tested and maybe eventually pave a way to construct objects, neighborhoods, and cities that is beneficial for everyone.

It is fun to speculate how our living conditions, architecture, and objects around us can be an influence over us. Maybe people should start paying attention to the little things around them and notice how they change their mood and perception. If people surround themselves with a lively environment, then surely they will become lively. If we are lively, we may start to have a positive effect on those around us. Even though its difficult in this fast paced world to slow down and pay attention, it maybe beneficial to our mood, health, and eventually our prosperity.

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