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Crumbling facade of a building

The Relationship Between Buildings’ Street Façades and the Collective Mood


Psychologists have proven that people prefer the friendlier side of buildings: an aesthetic care of back facades might have positive repercussions in the collective mood of a city.

The front façades of buildings tend to absorb their aesthetical identity, while their posterior side tend to feature the darker sides of these buildings: carelessness, trash, unattractive materials, etc. The latter becomes particularly relevant if we consider the following study.

Testing, Testing! was a tour taken by a renowned urban lab that studied the psychological repercussions of the back façades of buildings –which are usually ignored– on citizens. Evidently the result was negative, since the aesthetical surroundings have a direct influence on the level of safety that people immediately perceive and in turn, project.

This study’s results seem to show that if we were to implement a program that renewed the back exteriors of buildings we’d be regenerating a significant portion of cities, which could have many beneficial consequences —both in terms of the physical aspect of a place and its social tissue. We must keep in mind that ever ‘renewable” surface within a city is an opportunity to enrich the urban experience and thus elevate the citizen’s living standards.

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