Can Cities Make Us Crazy?

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Another article from The Atlanticthis one examines the connection between the urban environment and schizophrenia. I tend to ignore articles that seem anti-urban, but I don’t think cultivating a skewed, partisan view of the city is especially healthy. Particularly when an opposing viewpoint, or what seems at first glance to be an opposing viewpoint, rings true.

I love the activity of cities, the creativity and friction, the vitality. I love cities like I love Tool, like I love Nine Inch Nails. They get my blood pumping. But sometimes the incessant sensory bombardment overwhelms me. Sometimes I need Bach. I need space. Quiet. I need to breathe. To recalibrate. As my study of cities deepens I would do well not to forget that the spaces outside cities can be equally significant, and just as indispensable.

This entry was posted in Culture, Livability, Science, Sustainability, thinking, urban planning, What if?. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Can Cities Make Us Crazy?

  1. Daniel says:

    Interesting study, but it doesn’t seem to say much about the physical environment of metropolitan areas versus rural areas. From what I gather, they are attributing the change to social fragmentation that is more common in the more diverse and mobile city/suburbs than the more homogeneous and stationary rural areas.

  2. Josh Grigsby says:

    You’re absolutely right. My own ramblings deviate from the article’s subject, and my phrasing on the link (particularly the word “environment”) is perhaps a bit liberal. I was off and running on the implication that not every aspect of human physiology is ideally suited to urbanity.

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