Creating beauty – eight steps to popular places

You are not a number. You are a human being. But many of your responses to places are predictable, which is good news for anyone trying to create public places for humans, not theories, writes Nicholas Boys Smith.

Thanks to support from Cadogan, Create Streets (the social enterprise I run) has recently been researching the types of spaces people like and the ones they avoid. We reviewed the empirical – not the opinionated – literature.

With MORI, we polled more than 2,000 people with carefully controlled images. We applied a visual preference algorithm – created