In this paper we discuss the role of the physical characteristics of the daily life environments for promoting the well being of individuals, groups and communities. In particular, we focus on the theoretical and empirical contribution of environmental psychology to understand the psychological processes involved in the relation between well being and physical settings. This relation is illustrated through the concept of restorative environments: places that promote, and not only permit, the recovery from stress, the restoration of directed attention, the increase of positive emotions, and the improvement of social relations. Finally, the concepts of walkability and positive environments are briefly illustrated, and their implications for the simultaneous promotion of human well being and environmental sustainability are discussed.
Keywords: Physical setting, environmental psychology, restorative environments, walkability, sustainability.