Homo urbanus – evolutionary considerations for the city of future

Semester: WS 19/20
Lecturer: Univ.-Lekt. Mag. Dr.rer.nat. Elisabeth Oberzaucher

Evolutionary processes have shaped humans perception, cognition and behavior. Modern cities have little to do with our environment of evolutionary adaptedness. The mismatch between evolved mechanisms and urban life bring about challenges that cannot be met by relying on biological mechanisms, alone. Cultural and technological innovations both allow to find new answers and pose new environmental challenges. Knowledge about the biological foundations of human-environment interactions can provide a basis for designing cities in line with human preferences and demands. We, therefore, discussed possibilities how to make cities more humane places.


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  • Barkow, Jerom; et al. The Adapted Mind. Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxfod: Oxford University Press, 1992.