Emotional Perspectives in Urban Planning

Emotional mapping is a field that examines the connection between human emotions and physical environments. It collects and analyzes emotional data to identify patterns and insights that impact individual and collective experiences. This approach can inform strategies to enhance social sustainability, promote inclusive design practices, and foster vibrant communities by identifying areas of concern and prioritizing diverse populations’ needs






GEOG 2275


  • Colin Mills

City of Vancouver:

  • Stina Hanson

Student Team:

  • Arthur Baldry
  • Zoë Bietenholz
  • Gisela Bolanos Zoney
  • George Choy
  • Brison Chursinoff
  • Jaspal Dari
  • Nicolas Day
  • Rachel Ho
  • Ellis Karaca
  • Hubert Leong
  • Ching Kwok Bobby Leung
  • Yihan Li
  • Iryna Mayorova
  • Evan Miske
  • Zeeshan Rasul
  • Richard Robles
  • Samuel Sidorchuk
  • Gurmehak Singh
  • Brandon Skramic
  • Brenna Stubbs
  • Heran Tesfamichael
  • Vedrana Tomić
  • Jade Whitaker
  • Abbey Wigglesworth
  • Charmaine Wong


Spring 2024


We find there is an exciting potential application for emotional mapping to be used as a novel and low-cost civic engagement tool for municipal governments to consider using within their repertoire. Emotional mapping has many unknowns to be discovered and addressed, but with careful analysis, planning, design, and implementation, this can be a revolutionary way to measure public engagement in civic spaces, with wide-reaching possible effects on urban planning and political participation.

We embedded emotional mapping research into two prototype projects where we conducted an emotional mapping field trip around Olympic Village for the first prototype, and surveyed an array of Langara students and faculty in the main foyer space, asking them to map their emotions on a scale around campus for the second prototype. With these two projects in mind, we employed two different types of map outputs: a route map for the first and a point map for the second. As this data was parsed, we analyzed mapped emotions on a smaller scale with the class through the field trip and analyzed emotions on a larger scale through anonymized responses from fellow students and faculty. This helped us fortify the connection between emotions and the physical environment, as physical spaces carry an array of memories and emotions that range from pleasant to not-so-pleasant. It was interesting to us as researchers to see how varied emotional responses were for the same areas along the route in Olympic Village and around the College.

We attempted to amend the lack of attention given to how public spaces make us feel generally. This is often overlooked but has shown to be of value, as public input for public spaces is paramount. We hope that these projects are the start of a great research tool for planners and policymakers alike!


To nominate our project for HUBBUB 22 People’s Choice Awards, between July 4th and July 10th, go to HUBBUB 22 People’ Choice Voting. 
Winners will be announced on July 11th, 2024 during the CityStudio Youth Summer event Civic Matters: Youth Voices and Your City Hall Campus. 

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