How Fyma data is being used to create a well-being score for a better urban living environment for an entire city

How do urban residents feel at the main square of a city, in the courtyard of the residential district or in the park? Which places evolve positive emotions and provide mental restoration, and which, on the contrary, stress people out? Find it out with a Well-Being Score (WBS) – a tool, which helps you to identify positively and negatively perceived locations in the city based on the “objective” spatial data, as well as physiological and psychological reactions of the inhabitants to the certain locations.

What is the well-being score?

The Well-being Score (WBS) is an innovative system, which establishes the relationship between spatial characteristics and the well-being of local citizens. WBS builds on the well-known model of determinants for health and well-being by Barton & Grant (2006), and reinvents it to fit the local context and “objectively” measurable data. In its essence the Well-being Score consists of five layers:

  • The natural environment layer, which calculates the share of “positive” landscape elements, such as trees and grassy areas, and the share of “negative” elements, like contaminates sites and large asphalted areas;
  • The built environment layer, which estimates the connectivity of the street network, the accessibility and retention time of certain locations;
  • The activities layer, which evaluates the diversity of public amenities and services in the area, as well as their proximity to the households;
  • The psychological layer, which assesses the potential for mental restoration in certain places;
  • The physiological layer, which measures the exposure of individuals to spatially determined stress factors in certain places.

WBS is being piloted in the Estonian city of Narva, and aims to identify why the public spaces, incl, in different residential areas, with seemingly similar spatial characteristics are perceived differently by the locals, and why some places become more popular than the others.

What next in the project?

This project is being run by the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities together with our frequent collaboration partner SPIN Unit. In addition to fieldwork, research and information activities, Fyma has been installed in 10 locations across the city to integrate our analytics on mobility, footfall, density and modal share over a longitudinal study into creating the index. With Fyma’s data, any city in the world can rather cheaply monitor a few wellbeing indicators all year long. 

Get in touch to find out more and get your own city’s well-being score mapped. 

*This text originally appeared here

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