“Unsafe bike paths, traffic jam stress, frightening underpasses — modern city dwellers face a number of stressors. According to experts, sustainable urban design needs to take into account citizens’ emotional responses to their environment. In the interdisciplinary “Urban Emotions” research project, scientists from the universities in Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern are developing creative methods to capture information about those feelings from user-generated data. The data is intended to show how citizens use their city, where they feel comfortable and what conditions can evolve into problematic situations. In search of the appropriate toolset, the researchers are testing the possibilities of the “People as Sensors” concept, which automatically measures emotions and stress levels. They are also analysing publicly available data from social networks. The research project is being funded by the German Research Foundation.”
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