Why do metropolises tax our powers?

Why do metropolises tax our powers?

Taking the different types of character and temperaments that people have into account, life in a metropolis can affect us in different ways. The older we get, the more the desire to leave the city increases, and there is a scientific explanation for this.

Traffic stress.

Head of the Center for Urban Anthropology at KB Strelka, Mikhail Alekseevsky, found the factors that cause the strongest negative emotions among residents of Russian cities. The main problem is traffic. Car users are especially sensitive to it. In cities where there are frequent traffic jams or parking problems, every trip can be stressful: the driver constantly has to make decisions about how and where to drive.
However, according to Olga Troitskaya, a teacher of cognitive sciences at MGIMO and the founder of a startup developing psychotherapy programs iCognito, citizens experience no less stress while comminuting. The two-hour commute to work is tiring and it takes time to rest and recover from it. Troitskaya suggests that the main stress factor of the metropolis is the population density per square meter and the remoteness of residential areas from places of work. ‎The more people use public spaces, infrastructure and transport, the higher the level of discomfort.

Noise pollution.

The so-called noise pollution can also cause stress. Anastasia Dolgorukova, data analyst at the Strelka engineering department suggests that it’s a threat to the physical and mental health of residents of metropolises. The European Commission has identified environmental noise pollution as one of the main urban environmental problems. According to a WHO study, prolonged and regular exposure to noise can even lead to death. Researchers from the Graduate School of Urban Studies named after A. A. Vysokovsky agree with this opinion. They believe that the general list of "vices of the big city" remains stable: noise, pollution, and large crowds. In some places, the lack of amenities and discomfort of the urban environment are added to the environment.

Different types of urban environments.

The Center for Urban Anthropology of Strelka engineering department investigated how the level of stress is influenced by lifestyle in different types of urban environments: historical buildings, Soviet micro districts, post-Soviet residential complexes, cottage development, and individual housing construction. It was expected that the residents of the cottages would be the most satisfied. However, they also have many stressful situations: regular problems with engineering communications, lack of household and social infrastructure, and transport problems.
Residents of historical quarters of the city center where popular places are within walking distance feel better. But they experienced problems with the environment, the emergency state of buildings and communications, and other difficulties. Residents of new buildings in residential complexes feel stressed from time to time because problems with transport accessibility and infrastructure are common there. Even the type of dense high-rise buildings can provoke depression and suicide, as psychologist Paul Kidwell says in his book “The Psychology of the City. How to be happy in a metropolis”.

How does life in the city affect a person?

Psychologist Lyubov Repina cites American, British and Danish studies that show that the mere fact of living in the city has an ambiguous effect on mental health. There is an increased risk of developing psychosis, schizophrenia, depressive and anxiety disorders, various addictions, as well as a sense of unhappiness due to more obvious social inequality. However, rural areas tend to globally have higher rates of dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, and approximately twice the rate of suicide compared to urban areas. We should note that the townspeople tend to monitor their mental and physical health. Therefore, the higher rates of mental illness reported in cities may partly be due to better reporting from health facilities.