We need to understand how cities and their inhabitants can be brought into a state of healthy harmonisation. It is clear that city life both positively and negatively influences our psyche and quality of life. We are stimulated by more educational and development opportunities, better health infrastructure and the cultural richness of our cities. Every day, a growing number of people are drawn to cities in search of these urban benefits. At the same time, city dwellers are exposed to high levels of social stress, for example, when the experience of the city’s density and bustle becomes a constant strain, or when the anonymity of city life creates feelings of loneliness. This becomes a health issue when the advantages of the city fail to offset the experience of social stress for individuals. Epidemiological studies show that there is greater risk of stress-related mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety for urban dwellers in countries located in the northern hemisphere.
This Charta summarises recommendations for local politicians and all those who shape public life in the city. The results of the Forum on Neurourbanism’s interdisciplinary debate are presented here in nine thematic fields. Each of these statements sheds light on those areas of urban life in which (neuro)psychological, medical, urban planning and urban sociological research uniquely converge. The aim is to identify factors that make the city a place of resilience for its residents and protect the mental health of urban society. This Charta represents our contribution to this discussion.