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Encouraging sustainable lifestyles: local government, citizens and the impact of pro-environmental behaviour change programmes

Revell, KL; (2015) Encouraging sustainable lifestyles: local government, citizens and the impact of pro-environmental behaviour change programmes. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In recent years, it has become apparent that in order to achieve many policy objectives, it is often necessary to stimulate behaviour change on the part of the population. Concurrently, the role of local authorities in tackling unsustainability and reducing carbon emissions has become more prominent. This thesis describes research undertaken in London, UK, to understand how local authorities have worked to tackle unsustainability and encourage pro-environmental behaviour change through sustainability programmes, and what the environmental impact of such programmes is. Overall, this thesis provides a clear picture of how local environmental programmes which require individual behaviour change, can be monitored and evaluated. To commence, a series of interviews with local authority sustainability officers found that the extent of their sustainability work was broad but there was a lack of robust monitoring and evaluation. To understand the potential contribution that sustainability programmes could make towards reducing carbon emissions, two programmes were monitored and evaluated. The first programme evaluated was a home energy visit programme, known as RE:NEW, which intended to encourage reductions in household carbon emissions. The second programme evaluated was a Camden Green Zone, which provided secure and accessible cycle parking to residents to encourage cycling rates. The environmental impact of both programmes was estimated in terms of carbon emissions abated. Evaluation found that for RE:NEW, the impact of the visits on the installation of significant energy efficiency measures and behaviour change was negligible. For Green Zones, the intervention had no significant impact on the frequency or distance with which the sample group cycled, nor did it cause a significant modal shift in transport use. Given this significant finding, that the interventions did not result in detectable behaviour change, a number of recommendations to increase the efficacy of such programmes are provided, as are recommendations for undertaking effective evaluation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Encouraging sustainable lifestyles: local government, citizens and the impact of pro-environmental behaviour change programmes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1467257
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