Urban Design Guidelines for Human Wellbeing in Martian Settlements
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Although various engineering, economic, and medical aspects of Mars habitation have received close attention from space agencies, far less attention has been given to the role of human dynamics in a Mars mission. This study outlines the relationship between human wellbeing and the planning and design of a Martian settlement. It draws from environmental psychology and urban planning to define a set of criteria for human wellbeing with respect to the built environment. Through the review of analogous habitats including Antarctic research bases and the International Space Station, the study analyzes the specific impacts that a Martian settlement will have on individual and societal wellbeing. These impacts, which include monotony and interpersonal conflict, present major long-term habitability concerns that have a strong relationship to the built environment. Unmitigated, they may induce depression, anxiety, hostility, violence, suicide, boredom, and psychological withdrawal. The study concludes with comprehensive design guidelines that range from community scale spatial organization to site scale details. These guidelines mitigate negative impacts to wellbeing through conceptual strategies that can be applied to future designs. They seek to balance the physical constraints of a Martian settlement with the need for a complex, rich, active, and rewarding built environment.
- Urban planning