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“A really great book.” —IRA FLATOW, Science Friday
“One of the finest science writers I’ve ever read.” —Los Angeles Times
“Ellard has a knack for distilling obscure scientific theories into practical wisdom.” —New York Times Book Review
“[Ellard] mak[es] even the most mundane entomological experiment or exegesis of psychological geekspeak feel fresh and fascinating.” —NPR
“Colin Ellard is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on the neuroscience of urban design. Here he offers an entirely new way to understand our cities—and ourselves.” —CHARLES MONTGOMERY, author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Our surroundings can powerfully affect our thoughts, emotions, and physical responses, whether we’re awed by the Grand Canyon or Hagia Sophia, panicked in a crowded room, soothed by a walk in the park, or tempted in casinos and shopping malls. In Places of the Heart, Colin Ellard explores how our homes, workplaces, cities, and nature—places we escape to and can’t escape from—have influenced us throughout history, and how our brains and bodies respond to different types of real and virtual space. As he describes the insight he and other scientists have gained from new technologies, he assesses the influence these technologies will have on our evolving environment and asks what kind of world we are, and should be, creating.
Colin Ellard is the author of You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall. A cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and director of its Urban Realities Laboratory, he lives in Kitchener, Ontario.