eMOTIONAL Cities: International Effort to Improve Urban Health Through Neuroscience Includes Work by AD+PR Faculty

Assistant Professor Dar Meshi, Ph.D., collaborates with other Michigan State researchers to help improve mental health in cities of the future

Four Michigan State faculty will serve as investigators for eMOTIONAL Cities, a major research project funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission. The project explores how cities can affect the well-being of residents, with the goal of developing evidence-based policy recommendations to combat urban challenges.

ComArtSci’s Assistant Professor Dar Meshi, Ph.D., of the Department of Advertising + Public Relations will collaborate with many others on the project, working on an international team that spans many disciplines. Michigan State faculty working on the project also include Assistant Professor Zeenat Kotval- Karamchandani, Ph.D., and Professor Zenia Kotval, Ph.D., both of the School of Planning, Design and Construction, and Associate Professor Tyson Burghardt, M.D., of the Department of Neurology & Ophthalmology.

With the knowledge that cities of the future need to be centered around their residents, researchers will study biological, psychological and neurological processes to understand how urban planning and design influence human behavior and mental health. The project is built upon the idea that emotions are key drivers of people’s decisions, and people’s choices serve as a conduit for health and well-being. eMOTIONAL Cities is a four-year project with a total budget of nearly five million Euros. In addition to many case studies taking place in Europe, Michigan State researchers will lead research in Lansing and Detroit, combining spatial analysis of social and health data with neuroscience experiments.

Led by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Lisbon and co-coordinated by Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, the consortium includes of a total of 12 partners: Michigan State University, The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, CLIMATEFLUX, Starlab Barcelona Sl, NeuroGears Ltd, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Tallinna Tehnikaulikool, EarthPulse, Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, and University of Tartu.

By Melissa Priebe

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