Spaces Eliciting Negative and Positive Emotions in Shrinking Neighbourhoods: a Study in Seoul, South Korea, Using EEG (Electroencephalography)

Hyung Rae Cho, Saehoon Kim*, Jae Seung Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Although shrinking neighbourhoods are places where urban citizens experience negative emotions, some evidence suggests that people in some shrinking neighbourhoods feel less negative emotions than in other areas. Nevertheless, empirical studies that analyse environmental and personal elements that affect people’s emotions in a shrinking neighbourhood remain insufficient. This is rather surprising, considering an increasing interest in the effects of negative emotions on individuals’ health. Thus, this study used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine the impacts of environmental and personal characteristics on people’s emotional levels in a shrinking area of Seoul, South Korea. A multilinear regression model was used to analyse emotional valence levels between sites with different urban designs and management levels. The results revealed that people felt positive emotions at sites where both urban design factors and their management were both satisfactory at appropriate levels. The results also found that people who had lived or worked in the neighbourhood for a long time and were women experienced more positive emotions than visitors and men. This finding implies that a shrinking neighbourhood can maintain a sense of satisfaction as long as the area is carefully managed. Revealing the emotional effects of environmental and personal characteristics in a shrinking neighbourhood can be used for planning practices and policy-making to create healthy and liveable urban neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Emotion
  • Health
  • Neighbourhood disorder
  • Urban design
  • Urban shrinkage


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