Psychological factors to motivate sustainable behaviours

TitlePsychological factors to motivate sustainable behaviours
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHarvey, J, Heidrich, O, Cairns, K
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Urban Design and Planning
Keywordspublic policy, sustainability, urban regeneration

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.