Welcome to the People – Environment Research Group

The People-Environment Research Group (GRIPA), University of A Coruña, born in 1995 in the framework of the research activities of the Laboratory of Social Psychology.It was formed by young researchers and other faculty of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, and of the School of Architecture of this University, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Vigo and the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Since then the group has carried out continuous research into the specific applied field of Environmental Psychology and Environmental Education, as well as in the interdisciplinary field of People-Environment Studies, by conducting applied research, publications and articles in journals and proceedings of international conferences and symposia.

Our current projects:

Co-ordinated by Trinity College Dublin, Connecting Nature is a partnership of 29 organisations from 16 countries which includes local authorities, communities, industry partners, NGOs and academics. Our partnership will work with 11 European cities who are investing in multi – million euro large scale implementation of nature–based projects in urban settings. We will measure the impact of these initiatives on climate change adaptation, health and well-being, social cohesion and sustainable economic development in these cities. Innovative actions to foster the start-up and growth of commercial and social enterprises active in producing nature-based solutions and products will also be an integral part of our work.

(Please, click in the CONNECTING NATURE logo for accessing CONNECTING NATURE website).

GLAMURS explores the complex interactions among economic, social, cultural, political and technological factors influencing sustainable lifestyles and transformations towards a green economy. It develops comprehensive models of lifestyle change in key sustainable domains, and evaluates them in terms of economic and environmental effects. The project provides policy recommendations on the design of governance approach and policy mixes for a fast-paced transition to sustainability. GLAMURS combines methods across the breadth of social sciences, including psychology, sociology, micro- and macro-economics and agent-based modelling. The project is coordinated by the People-Environment Research Group of the University of A Coruña (Spain).

(Please, click in the GLAMURS logo for accessing GLAMURS website).

Final Video GLAMURS Project (Click the image to watch the video)

Glamurs – Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability (Click the image to download the PDF)

TRANSIT (TRANsformative Social Innovation Theory) is an ambitious research project that will develop a theory of transformative social innovation which is about empowerment and change in society. It is co-funded by the European Commission and runs for four years, from January 2014 until December 2017. TRANSIT will utilize a research method which encourages feedback from social entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers and academics to develop a theory with practical relevance. The theory will be based on insights from other theories e.g. transition theory, social movement theory and institutional theory. The research project studies how social innovation can bring about empowerment and societal transformation. This project is coordinated by the Dutch Research Insstitute for Transitions (Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

(Please, click in the TRASIT logo for accessing TRANIST website).

Video TRANSIT Project
(Click the image to watch the video)

LOCAW Project responds to the challenge of the call ENVIRONMENT -2010- European Commission, on the intensification of social and behavioral changes that trigger sustainable trajectories in Europe, and analyzes the barriers and drivers to engage individually and collectively, as well as at the organization level, in sustainable and low-carbon paths.

(Please, click in the LOCAW logo for accessing LOCAW website).

Final Video LOCAW Project – Low Carbon at Work (Click the image to watch the video)

LOCAW – Modeling Agents and Organizations to archieve Transitions to a Low Carbon Europe (Click the image to show the report)

ICEP – A Coruña 2017 – International Conference on environmental psychology. Theories of change and social innovation in transitions towards sustainability (Click the image to download the PDF)

More specifically, our perspective of analysis explores the field of social studies and environmental sustainability, social communication, environmental education, ecological footprint, Agenda 21, attitudes, beliefs and social values as well as in the study of social representations of community problems, with special emphasis on the analysis of public perception and the design of social indicators, where the community is our most important source of data.

Our research topics include the specific areas listed below.

Our research links:

Our partners and other institutions with which we conduct collaborative research:


  • Universidad Nacional de Quilmes


  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna)


  • Université Libre de Bruxelles


  • Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza
  • Rio de Janeiro Federal University


  • University of Northern British Columbia


  • Aalborg University


  • University of Magdeburg
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig
  • SERI – Sustainable Europe Research Institute


  • ESSRG Research and development SME


  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • University of Roma Tre, Rome


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology


  • West University of Timisoara


  • University of Umea

The Netherlands

  • University of Groningen
  • Delft University of Technology
  • University of Tilburg
  • Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University of Rotterdam
  • Maastrich University

United Kingdom

  • University of Surrey (Guildford, Surrey)
  • James Hutton Institute (Aberdeen)
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Bath (Bath)
  • University of Sussex


  • Park University
  • Texas State University

Our activity is also linked to the International Association for People-Environment Studies – IAPS (www.iaps-association.org) and to the International Association of Applied Psychology – IAAP (http://www.iaapsy.org), and at the national level to the Environmental Psychology Association – PSICAMB (http://www.psicamb.org):

International Association People-Environment StudiesAsociación Internacional de Psicología AplicadaAsociación de Psicología Ambiental

Our sponsors in the Government:

  • European Commission, Directorate for the Environment
  • Ministry of Education of Spain
  • The Government of Galicia, Spain
  • The Provincial Government of A Coruña, Spain
  • The Provincial Government of Ourense, Spain
  • The City Council of A Coruña, Spain

Our sponsors for given projects in the world of enterprises and organizations:

  • REPSOL – Oil Company
  • Biodiversity Foundation
  • Caixa Galicia Foundation
  • Coca Cola – Begano, S.A.
  • Psychosocial Studies and Research Institute
  • Formación y Ediciones, S.L. Forum

Research evaluation:

Our research has been evaluated for the National Commission for Evaluation of Research Activities of Spain (CNEAI), who granted us with 5 positive evaluations (only applied to professors and associate professors with tenure).

Some of us are reviewers for the National Agencies of Research Evaluation in the governments of Spain, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal …

News for download:

- García Mira, R. & Dumitru, A. (Eds.) (2014), Urban Sustainability: Innovative Spaces, Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. A Coruña, Spain: Deputación Provincial & IEIP.

- García Mira, R. (Ed.) (2013), Readings on the Prestige Disaster: Contributions from the Social Sciences. A Coruña, Spain: Institute for Psychosocial Studies and Research.

- García Mira, R. (Ed.) (2013), Lecturas sobre el Desastre del Prestige: Contribuciones desde las Ciencias Sociales. A Coruña, España: Instituto de Estudios e Investigación Psicosocial.

Editorial and conference reviewing:

Also, we are part of the editorial boards of journals such as Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Journal of EnvironmentalPsychology,Psyecology, Bulletin of People-Environment Studies,… or scientific committees for evaluating papers for IAPS, PSICAMB, and other conferences and symposia.


Advice to international organizations:

Finally, some of us were part of European Commission teams for specific scientific aspects related to research in the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, as well as reviewers of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4) “Environment for Development, United Nations Environment Programe. United Nations (UNEP-UN).

Research lines in the field of psychology, education, natural environment and built environment


Staff training in the field of environmental sustainability. Environmental education programming within companies and organizations in general.


The environment in the workplace. Training of environmentally responsible workers.


Educational intervention proposals.


Tools for sustainability at the University and other institutions.


Safety in the workplace. Psychosocial analysis of risk. Study of the behavior that creates risk. Risk prevention.


Analysis of environmental attitudes and behaviors. Predictive models of environmental behavior.


Development and design of environmental quality indexes from the perspective of the citizen/user (PEQI).


Social Impact Evaluation (SIE) as a speciality of environmental impact assessment, with emphasis on the impact assessment of relevant events and emergencies on the population (eg fires, disasters…). General surveys of public opinion about environment and specific fields, focussed on knowledge and research of social representations of several environmental problems.


Evaluation of environmental quality. Evaluation of social and physical environment. Application in neighborhoods, residential areas, services, public buildings, urban environmental design.


Cooperation between Civil Services and Research Centers for the development of Agenda 21 and local sustainability programs. These include counseling and the design of information processes and public participation (EC Directive 85/337).


Psychology and Environmental Education from the socio-community perspective. Local development: The role of government authorities. The role of the school. The role of the family.


The study of human values and their relationship with human behavior, with applications in the field of environmental education and the research of explanatory models of environmental behavior.


Analysis of daily spaces (houses).


Analysis of collective spaces (alternative groups of houses).


Assessment of “Prestige” disaster. Analysis of information and communication processes during the disaster management. Analysis of the relevance of dimensions such as trust, vulnerability, education and participation.


Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions at workplace.


Representations of disease, podiatry and health.


Study of advertising, marketing and consumption habits, with special emphasis on the university level. Analysis of advertising impact and proposals for intervention to reduce excessive consumption.


Development of a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding of the main obstacles and prospects for transitions to sustainable lifestyles and a green economy in Europe, as well as of the most effective means to support and speed them up. Research in this field will try to develop theory on determinants of sustainable lifestyles and lifestyle change, as well as develop models and evidence on obstacles and prospects for the transformation to green economies and lifestyles.


Research on this field utilizes a research method which encourages feedback from social entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers and academics to develop a theory with practical relevance, based on insights from other theories of social psychology, transition theory, social movement theory and institutional theory. We study how social innovation can bring about empowerment and societal transformation.

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