Spatial empathy and urban experience: a case study in a public space from Rio de Janeiro

Cristiane Rose Duarte, Ethel Pinheiro

Keywords: Spacial Empathy, Public Spaces, Ambiances, Rio de Janeiro

As we roam through the city, the input from our sensations triggers emotional responses, which are referenced by our emotional memories. These experiences make it possible for us to align with the Other. The research shows that the sensorial experience of the body is the foundation for the development of a feeling of ‘spatial empathy’. This article focuses on the analysis of a public space in Rio de Janeiro: the area around the ‘Rodrigo de Freitas’ lagoon, which is considered an ‘empathetic place’ by the regular visitors. In its concluding considerations, the article argues that the concept of spatial empathy has a greater connection to the sensorial characteristics of the ambiance rather than architectural beauty.