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Psychological factors to motivate sustainable behaviours

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich


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To encourage sustainable planning processes and behaviours in the engineering profession and the wider public there is an urgent need for policy-makers, urban planners and engineers to consider psychological factors. When urban plans, policies and projects neglect public values and beliefs, projects may be less likely to fulfil the intended aims. This paper investigates the role of psychological factors of belief, risk perception, trust and attitude in the adoption of urban plans and sustainability policies by explaining why these result in inconsistencies in behaviour. Examples are provided from the literature and recent case studies to support this and demonstrate how these factors explain the reluctance of the public to engage in sustainable behaviours. Recommendations are provided for urban planners, central and local government and engineers to achieve and maintain sustainable behaviours by the public and professionals by considering behavioural theories.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey J, Heidrich O, Cairns K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the ICE- Urban Design and Planning

Year: 2014

Volume: 167

Issue: 4

Pages: 165-174

Print publication date: 14/03/2014

ISSN (print): 1755-0793

ISSN (electronic): 1755-0807

Publisher: ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/udap.14.00001


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