Designing for Human Health: (Multi)-Sensory Approaches. Call for Papers

by Kay Pallaris

The design of the built environment can have a profound impact on perception, place identity and place experience – all important qualities for thriving neighbourhoods and places. Conversely, design of places can detrimentally impact human health, often in subtle ways on a physiological and psychological level.

A seminar series entitled “Feeling Good in Public Spaces” brought together leading scholars with built environment practitioners to review academic and practice-based research about the human senses and how they are affected by different elements of built environment design. The series sought to further underpin our knowledge on how these impacts are, and could in the future be, further exacerbated by climate change. To further augment this research base, this edition of the Journal of Biourbanism explores the sensory impact of place design, providing a platform to raise awareness of this knowledge and how it could or should be embedded in professional practice if we are to deliver health-promoting, liveable environments in which people flourish.

We invite you to submit a paper to showcase research on sensory or multi-sensory design, highlighting evidence on how occupants’ sensory systems react with their surrounding environment. In particular, the paper should include an analysis section that critically evaluates how this research relates to, or has implications for, design of the built environment and how it could be embedded into professional practice. Consideration should be given to the embedding processes and/or governance requirements to achieve human health. Your paper should draw on some or all of the following elements:

What are the implications of your sensory design research for sustainable, healthy and adaptive place-making?

How can designing with the senses in mind improve cities’ and occupants’ capacity to adapt to the changing climate?

How can the evidence be converted into practical tools and methods for urban planning and urban design practitioners?

 What changes are required in urban governance, professional practice arrangements, production and/or design guidance to address existing barriers towards achieving proactive human health?

We encourage papers from different fields of research including environmental psychology, architectural neuroaesthetics, food systems, design research, social sciences, neuroscience, psycho-geography, attention and cognitive studies, and any discipline with lessons from studies of the senses.

Key Tasks and Key Dates:

Submission Deadline 12 March 2018

Notification of Acceptance 2 April 2018

Full Paper Submission Deadline 2 July 2018

Feedback on Paper (Request for Revision) 30 September 2018

Final Paper Submission Deadline 22 October 2018

Publication Launch 1 December 2018


Further Information:

This edition is co-edited by Kay Pallaris, Briony Turner and Professor Derek Clements-Croome
For further details or questions, please contact Kay Pallaris –, Co-Editor in Chief of this next issue, or