The Impact of Built Environments on You


The built environments around you impact your life whether you realize it or not. I have found it to be true that the places you go can effect the mood you are in drastically. Exterior built environments and interior built environments both have an impact. Little things as simple as the lighting of a place can have an effect on you, natural sunlight tends to boost anyone’s mood. Also, the places you go will have an impact on your physical health. Obviously some places are built for physical activities to take place and other environments maybe not so much. The exterior built environment of Old Fourth Ward Park and the interior built environment of Ponce City Market has definite effect on the people who go there emotionally and physically. These places in downtown Atlanta are vital to the people who use them and to the surrounding area.

Some people might disagree, they would say that Old fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market are just another park and market in Atlanta. Not everyone believes that environments can effect one’s mood, many people have probably never even thought about it before. Many people would probably say that a person’s mood and emotions come from only his or herself and has nothing to do with the person’s environment. A lot of people do not realize how much a person might feed off of the energy of the surrounding environment.

Also, some might not agree that the amount of physical activity one does has a lot to do with the environment.They would probably think the amount of physical activity a person does depends on the person and has nothing to do with the environment around them. Which they do have a point, the amount someone exercises has a lot to do with the person. People may think the amount of exercise one does relies solely on the person’s motivation. There are plenty of people who believe that a person who is motivated enough to exercise will exercise no matter what the environment is. What many people may not consider is the suitability of the environment for exercising.

When dealing with a built environment, it can either be built in a way to encourage physical activity or built in a way to discourage physical activity. A built environment that is built to encourage physical activity is usually a pretty open space so that there is room to be able to do things like run around or throw a football. I would say that a space for physical activity is usually an exterior built environment being that outside spaces are capable of having sidewalks and grassy areas to exercise on. These environments are necessary when it comes to improving people’s physical health. It is hard for someone to exercise in an environment that was not built for that. The CDC has found that people really do take advantage of having sidewalks and other spaces that make outdoor exercise possible in the city. Old Fourth Ward Park is a great exterior built environment that was built to encourage physical activity. It has sidewalks that are perfect for skate-boarding, walking, and other activities. The park also has a nice open space that is perfect for throwing a football or frisbee. The big open space at Old Fourth Ward Park is also commonly used to lay down a blanket and just enjoy the weather.


Another great thing about Old Fourth Ward Park is the fact that people can bring their pets there. This park provides a place for the people who live in the areas nearby a lovely place to bring their pets. For most people, seeing animals is a joy. With this being said, a person who loves dogs would really love this park. Coming here and seeing all the dogs would improve many people’s moods. The park is crawling with pet owners, especially on the weekends. Many of the people who live in the apartments surrounding the park are pet owners. It is nice for them to have a place like Old Fourth Ward Park to be able to walk their dogs and play with them nearby outside.

In general, outside spaces like parks give opportunity for people to be more active. Being that Old Fourth Ward Park is a large park in the middle of Downtown Atlanta, it is very popular. It provides the opportunity for people to be a little closer to nature since that can be hard sometimes with living in the city. The park was built in an ideal location and the layout is great for all types of activities.The grassy areas in the park enable people to walk their dogs and play with them. Old Fourth Ward Park has waterfalls and a fountain which create a very enjoyable walk on a pretty day too. On one end of the park there is even a playground which is perfect for children to be active because there are not as many places for kids to play living in a city as there would be in a suburb. Old Fourth Ward Park provides the people that live in the surrounding areas an optimal location for everyone to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.


Also, part of the Atlanta Beltline runs right next to Old Fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market. This is another aspect that draws people to these two locations. The Atlanta Beltline gives people more space to exercise. It is a trail that runs through Atlanta. Many people walk it, bike it, and other things.

People tend to be much happier while exploring the outdoors. Research has shown that exploring the outdoors, walking in the park, and generally being outside can actually relieve one’s stress. In addition, people who live in the city tend to have higher chances of being depressed and having anxiety due to lack of a connection with nature. The Old Fourth Ward Park gains even more importance with the fact that it is one of the few places of nature, or closest thing to nature in the middle of the downtown area in Atlanta.┬áSeveral studies have shown that being outdoors and having exposure to the sun can significantly improve your mood. Old Fourth Ward Park is entirely outside with complete exposure to the sun. Therefore, Old Fourth Ward Park has the benefit of improving people’s moods and helping relieve some stress.

Right across the street from Old Fourth Ward Park is Ponce City Market. The atmospheres of these two places are very different. Ponce City Market has a nice outdoor sitting area on street level and another one up a level, both of which have plenty of tables to chat it up with some friends at. Inside, there are many places to eat and majority of them are pretty healthy. This location can get pretty busy and crowded though which makes it no where near as relaxing as Old Fourth Ward Park. The inside of Ponce City Market is not at all naturally lit and it is not very bright in there. The layout is basically set up to advertise and get people to buy food or check out the stores.


In the Ponce City Market, the atmosphere varies depending on which day you are there. During the week, the market is very laid back. There are not crowds of people there, and it can be very relaxing. On the other hand, it gets extremely busy on the weekends, The weekends are much more hectic so it can be a little stressful if you are not up for long lines and searching for an open table.

Old Fourth Ward Park and the Ponce City are located i the Old Fourth Ward District of Atlanta. This area is upscale and the people who reside in this area are very well off. Old Fourth Ward Park reflects this by how well the park is taken care of, and there are never any homeless people in the park. The park is looked after well because of the people who usually visit. Ponce City Market also shows evidence of the higher class. All of the shops, other than the places to purchase something to eat, in Ponce City Market are high end and very pricey. Even though these locations reflect the higher class, people of lower class are able to enjoy the area also.

In conclusion, Old Fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market both have an impact on their visitors’ emotions and physical health. These places are always clean and one can feel safe there. The park provides a place for exercise and somewhere that nature can be enjoyed while being in the middle of the city. Ponce City Market provides a place people can relax, enjoy quality food and take a break from the weather outside.

“What The Outdoors Can Do For Our Mood And Well-Being”. Huffpost Healthy Living. TheHuffingtonPost.corp, Inc., 20 June 2015. Web. 13 April 2016.

“Sunshine & Happiness Study Links Time Outdoors To Improved Mood”. Huffpost Healthy Living. TheHuffingtonPost.corp, Inc., 6 October 2013. Web. 13 April 2016.

Emily Main. “5 Minutes Outside Can Boost Your Mood”. Rodale’s Organic Life. Rodale Inc., 6 May 2010. Web. 18 April 2016.


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