In this paper, we argue that the theory of cultural niche construction provides a cogent and fruitful framework for studying and managing human−environment relationships, including our conceptualizations of them. We first review the development of the ideas of niche construction from evolutionary to social contexts. We then discuss how various human cognitive and affective goals are achieved through our engagement and interaction with the environment, as cognitive and affective niche construction. We extend this analysis to the built environment, as urban niche construction, and provide two examples of urban design for which niche construction provides useful theoretical and practical insights. We also discuss how different urban policy initiatives are related through the lens of cultural niche construction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)413-432
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Cognitive and affective niche
  • Conceptual engineering
  • Human-nature relations
  • Niche construction
  • Scaffolded cognition
  • Sustainability
  • Urban design
  • 515 Psychology

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