Guardian columnist George Monbiot writes about how the “built environment makes us.” I know from my experiences that the place where I am greatly affects the mood I become. I link the version of the article on his Web site because it includes the references. Here’s a quote to inspire you to read it all.
We are, to a surprising extent, what the built environment makes us. Academic papers show that many of the problems we blame on individual behaviour are caused in part by the places in which we live. People are more likely to help their neighbours in quiet areas, for example, than in noisy ones. A long series of studies across several countries, beginning in San Francisco in 1969, shows unequivocally that communities become weaker as the volume of traffic on their streets increases.