WIT Press

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF URBAN SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES: THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCHING BEHAVIOUR CHANGE

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP-V12-N5-894-907

Volume

Volume 12 (2017), Issue 5

Pages

13

Page Range

894 - 907

Author(s)

D. MÜLLER-EIE & L. BJØRNØ

Abstract

Implementing urban sustainability strategies has proven to be difficult. This paper aims at developing a holistic understanding of the urban sustainability concept with the help of a conceptual model, as well as offering a framework for understanding and researching the implementation of urban sustainability strategies. Here, individual behaviour change is understood as one of the main objectives of such strategies.

Through a conceptual model, four types of opposing and sometimes contradictory relationships are identified: (1) between global aims and local implementation, (2) between institutional pressure and the behaviour of individuals, (3) between strategic measures and personal consequences and (4) between attitudes and behaviour. These relationships are discussed in order to illustrate stalling factors in urban sustainability implementation.

Looking at behaviour change as a major goal of urban sustainability implementation, several social and individual behavioural theories are reviewed in order to construct a holistic and a compound model of the dynamics of behavioural change. By revealing a dual implementation process, consisting of provision on one side and choice on the other, we demarcate several important aspects for realising and researching urban sustainability strategies and their effectiveness. A more holistic way of assessing and monitoring the implementation of urban sustainability strategies is also proposed. The paper argues that rather than looking at the changes in the urban population’s behaviour as a result, we must view them as an internal and essential sub-concept of urban sustainability.

Keywords

adoption, behaviour change, diffusion of innovations, individual and collective behaviour, public travel, urban sustainability