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.

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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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