In the calculus of site selection, there are hard numbersthat traditionally delineate first- and second-tier destinations, such as square footage, hotel rooms, and airlift. And then there are seemingly less-tanglible factors that are layered on subjectively in the later stages of decision-making, such as the availability of nearby green space or pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. There’s growing evidence that suggests that
such environmental influences—which include natural landscapes and well-designed public space—could play just as important a role in the success of a meeting as making sure that there are enough breakout rooms. “We are just at the dawn of an era where we are beginning to find empirical evidence from neuroscience that can tell usabout the effectsthat landscape has on us,” said author and urbanist Charles Montgomery. Based in Vancouver and Mexico City, Montgomery isworking on a book called HappyCity, which will explore how urban design can contribute to wellbeing.