|Monday, June 22|
Sustainable communities, organizations and places: challenges of our time and beyond
Carla Mouro, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Daniela Craveiro, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Maria Fernandes-Jesus, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Miriam Rosa, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Paula Castro, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Sílvia Luís, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
* Susana Batel, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Tânia Santos, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
SCOPE (sustainable communities, organizations and places) is a thematic research group at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Portugal), which focuses on applying socio-psychological approaches to environmental-related issues, in synergy with other disciplines. Our areas of interest include risk perception, environmental practices, relationships with/within places, and citizenship and sustainability, often approached through the lenses of multiple research methods and theoretical interests (e.g. attitudes, social representations, discursive approaches, impact assessments). This presentation showcases examples of research developed along the years by the group in the topics of energy, biodiversity conservation, environmental activism, water conservation, mobility, gentrification and touristification in the urban environment, to reflect upon challenges of our time, and to come. We will approach the possibilities, challenges and potential of interdisciplinary research in this area. We identify issues for reflection concerning: (a) interdisciplinarity and the role of social sciences in person-environment studies; (b) multilevel (societal, community and individual) and multiscale (global-local) issues, and the models and methods to address them; (c) pressing but overlooked /underfinanced topics (e.g., air pollution; environmental justice; overcoming disciplinary norms). We discuss possible contributions to move forward in dealing with these challenges, namely in the relationship with institutions (including academia and policy-makers) and the civil society.
Testing combined policies over time for transitions to sustainable mobility: a social simulation approach
* Ricardo García-Mira, University of A Coruna, Spain
Research problem.- Social simulation is a technique of increasing use that is proving to be a useful and powerful tool in informing policy and decision making in diverse fields. The main objective is to visualize the impact over time that a policy or a combination of policies can have on the achievement of certain results. It requires a specific approach that has to involve multiple actors, but also multiple disciplines within a transdisciplinarity framework. This approach should be oriented to co-produce knowledge together in a collaborative context. Research objectives.- In this presentation, some of the most commonly used methods that comply well with the objective of informing environmental policy and practices will be discussed. Some examples of cases corresponding to the field of prediction of environmental behaviour are described, and some practices are also proposed to improve the correct application and efficiency of a simulation method throughout the implementation process. Research methods.- Through multi-method empirical research, including both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, we explored the complex array of factors influencing decisions about mobility related to work. So, we used cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling for exploring the practices about mobility in a large scale organization. Results.- The heterogeneity, as well as the different methodologies, agendas and aspirations of the different actors and organizations that intervene in a process, complicate the design of the simulation. Obstacles and drivers that can enhance an effective and rigorous work are analized, with a focus on describing the characteristics and variables contributing to the emergence of resistance on the policy side. Implication for policy and research.- The risks involved in the production of artifacts are discussed when working with low theoretical support, especially in the adoption of decisions to inform the operation of complex systems.
Environmental Concern and Policy Views in Russia: A Mixed-Methods Study
* Elena Sautkina, Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation
Russia has been experiencing multiple problems related to environmental pollution, environmental degradation and climate change. In this context, our study is looking at public environmental concern and compares public views to those of experts. The study used a mixed-methods approach. Online surveys (N= 500) and semi-structured interviews (N=30) were conducted with general public in several regions of Russia. In addition, we interviewed experts (N=12) in environmental policy. Results indicate a high level of environmental concern among general public, with 90% of respondents being at least ‘somewhat concerned’. The main objects of concern were: waste mismanagement, environmental (air, water and soil) pollution, deforestation, and climate-related extreme weather events. At the same time, satisfaction with environmental policy was low, with 75% dissatisfied. Waste recycling, urban greening, litter picking campaigns and environmental education were the most frequent initiatives already in place and known to the public. A further need to develop environmental policy regarding recycling, zerowaste, environmental protection, environmental education and clean transportation were emphasised. Interviews with experts showed that environmental policy was developing at a slow pace, and its trajectory of development was not straightforward. Policy-making partnerships between the environmental and energy sectors were urgently needed. Expert views echoed public views regarding the need to develop environmental education to improve environmental culture in the country. The future of environmental policy was seen in the systematic implementation of recycling policies and in decarbonisation. Study results will be helpful to deepen the understanding of links between environmental concern and policy views, and can help improve environmental policies in Russia.
Designing Healthy Affordable Housing Through Policy: A Perspective from the U.S.
* Sherry Ahrentzen, University of Florida, United States
Lynne Dearborne, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
The World Health Organization documents ways housing can expose people to health risks, from falls to asthma to food insecurity. Rectifying these risks requires policies, design and building practices operating together. Our research investigated the extent to which the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program -- the US’s largest source of funding for development and preservation of affordable rental housing – can contribute to shaping a healthier affordable housing stock. Yearly, each state publishes a Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), establishing incentives and requirements for developers to follow as they compete for LIHTC awards to develop affordable housing. Could the QAP be used to promote a healthier affordable housing stock? We undertook a comprehensive review and analysis of Healthy Housing provisions in all 50 states’ QAPs. These provisions include building design and construction and locational factors that can address occupant health, particularly asthma and respiratory ailments, injury and accessibility, toxicity-related health outcomes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and mental health such as depression and anxiety. We followed with an online survey of state housing agencies and two in-depth state-level case studies. Our key findings include: 1. States incentivize but rarely require locating affordable housing in neighborhoods with amenities and services that enhance healthier living. 2. States’ QAPs rarely include design and construction provisions related to indoor air quality and toxic substances. 3. Universal Design is often adopted. 4. States that value green building certification also tend to incorporate healthy housing provisions in the QAP. 5. Among the most frequently required healthy housing provisions are those aligned with energy efficiency and mechanical systems. 6. Many states attempt to reduce noise impacts on health, yet few address lighting conditions with potential health impacts. 7. Housing agencies lean more towards improving residents’ quality of life broadly, than to specific health outcomes. We then discuss implications of these findings.