2010 - 2013
Supportive environments for sustainable living
Short description: Funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, the research project InContext brings together leading European research institutions in the fields of transition, behaviour and sustainable development to identify the framework conditions enabling societal transition towards an ecologically sound, economically successful and culturally diverse future.
Ania Rok, Stefan Kuhn
Project summary: It has long been recognized that action at local and individual levels is vital to bring the concept of sustainable development (SD) to life. All too often however, policies aimed at initiating such local and individual transition pathways towards SD do not achieve the expected level of change. Though numerous local SD initiatives are implemented and many individuals pro-actively create and follow sustainable lifestyles, these activities do not translate into mainstream societal behaviors to the extent wished for. Thus, this project has set to investigate the drivers and barriers for achieving SD transitions at the local and individual levels.
InContext assumes that individual and collective behaviour respond to both an external context (like social norms, policies, and infrastructure) and an internal context (like needs, values and priorities). So far, initiatives to further sustainable development have focused mainly on changing external contexts. By conducting case studies and implementing pilot projects, InContext will contribute to the development of theories on the internal context and will subsequently produce policy advice in this respect.