It has been a while since the issue of housing has become a social concern of the first magnitude. In recent times, much emphasis has been placed on the shortage of supply, the high price in relation to the average purchasing power of citizens, and even a negative influence of the arrival of foreign investment.
However, some hopeful initiatives have begun to appear to put rental housing on the market at an affordable price through the purchase or rental with public resources of disused buildings that will be rehabilitated to make them available to the citizens who are in need at most. Additionally, the Andorran business community points to the solution of developing public-private initiatives, that involve the Commons, providing communal land at zero cost and the builders and promoters who would execute projects aimed at solving the lack of housing to rent or buy at a moderate price, affordable by a majority of the country’s population.
It should not be forgotten that a reflection has also begun on some of the negative effects, that are not all obvious, of foreign investment and the proliferation of luxury developments and how this phenomenon could affect the uncontrolled rise of housing price. In fact, some legislative measures have been taken aimed at mitigating the harmful effects of the uncontrolled development of construction, considering the carrying capacity of our territory and the maximum number of homes and inhabitants that will guaranty us having sufficient resources, such as water or energy, and thus avoid the consequent collapse.
The logic of events makes me think that in one way or another part of the problem has been identified and with more or less effort it will surely be resolved in the coming years. But I would like to focus on the real protagonists of this process, who are none other than our citizens, and on the most emotional component of this whole strategy, which must serve to bring people back to balance, to a normality without unnecessary shocks.
The process described above can be promoted in several ways, but there is one that stands out above the rest. I mean the strategy that focuses on people and their emotions. It is not enough to solve the housing problem in a flash and by way of emergency and improvisation. Let’s put it another way, the citizens of our country deserve something better, more organized, planned and that incorporates all those elements already presented today that will mark the future of humanity.
If anyone remembers, some time ago it occurred to me to talk about the benefits of ARE’s, Strategic Residential Areas, and the real possibility of being able to face the urban development of the country to address the need to create housing at a reasonable price for an immense majority of the population. The proposal consisted of a global strategy for the country that involved Government, Commons and private initiative, making communal land available to developers at zero cost, constructing with the most modern techniques of the modular and prefabricated system, which at the same time makes the process faster and more economical, and generating a whole series of services such as gardens, orchards, recreation areas, civic centers, sports and nature observation areas. It generated units for living that above all were meant to dignify the human being to whom they were intended.
Today, I dare to go a little further, aware of the contributions of what is so trending, “artificial intelligence”, which everyone talks about, even frivolously about its most common uses, but I would like to highlight the one practice that touches the human being more closely and that brings more added value to our life.
What would happen if the ARE’s incorporated a fourth element: the people, the recipients of such a noble initiative? If building the analysis of their emotions, their feelings, their preferences, their comfort and well-being, and analyzing it with “neuroscience”, a study of the nervous system and the different elements that interact at a cognitive and behavioral level. If we take a step further in this sense, we arrive at “neurourbanism” and “neuroarchitecture”, concepts entirely derived from neuroscience and that we will put in relation to emotional artificial intelligence.
Neurourbanism represents the use of neuroscience principles to build spaces that combine characteristics of location with physical and emotional health, aiming to understand better the impacts of physical space on human brains and how it can influence behavior. It seeks the balance between stimulation and relaxation so that, through the interaction with the physical space, the personal fulfillment of the individual who occupies it is achieved. Even studying it so deeply that it reaches to analyze those aspects that go beyond the perception and conscious control of the human being.
Neuroarchitecture is based on people’s sensations in occupying the spaces where they live and develop their lives. In fact, the architecture that takes into account the study of the brain was born in 1998 from the hand of the scientist Fred H Gage who, together with Peter Eriksson, discovered how the human brain was able to manufacture new nerve cells, namely neurons, thanks to the fact of living in a more stimulating environment. A groundbreaking discovery, because until that moment it was believed that the aforementioned cells were destroyed throughout life but never recovered. This science influences our emotions and behaviors in such a way that it can improve our social and cognitive skills, stimulating creativity, increasing the ability to concentrate and reducing the level of stress.
If we apply emotional artificial intelligence through modern mechanisms that are today at the forefront of knowledge and science, we will see how through materials, shapes, colors, light, vegetation, from the orientation of the temperature, the views, and so many other aspects, we have a tremendously effective impact on people’s quality of life and ultimately, we help them to approach the concept of “happiness” in a clear way, so far removed from the harshness of our day-to-day life.
Well, let’s realize once again the opportunity we have from our exclusive Andorra Living Lab to develop a new “Smart country” experience, but this time focused on the emotional well-being of the future beneficiaries of the national strategy of the housing. The result would be the enhancement of affordable housing of the highest quality and comfort, all thanks to emotional artificial intelligence applied to neuroscience.
Let’s imagine what an example for the world it could be and what an intelligent, empathic and synergistic way to make “Marca Andorra” through the creation of an avant-garde lifestyle model and above all with the virtue of being born at the service of the physical and emotional well-being of our citizens!
By Pere Augé, CEO and Founding Partner of Augé Holding Group
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