On June 27th, the 23rd edition of the Conference of IAPS finished, leaving behind a positive balance among the  People-Environment group members. Two of the PhD researchers, Amelia Fraga and Isabel Lema,  presented their projects under the titles of “Environmental Education, Public participation and bottom-up processes” and “Psychosocial evaluation in organizational environments” respectively. Within the Social Psychology domain, the aim of these lines of research is to demonstrate two concepts. First, the importance and transformative functions of environmental education and secondly to analyze how certain working conditions, such as shift work, affect the workers’ quality of life.

Professors Ricardo García Mira and Adina Dumitru chaired several panels during the Conference and participated in the final presentation of results for the LOCAW Project, closed in December 2013, which is now at the stage of informing the public on the results. Furthermore, in line with the Group’s new projects, discussions focused on the use of research techniques and theoretical approaches on sustainability and to support transitions to socio-environmentally responsible lifestyles. Building future scenarios and agent-based modeling were presented as very effective tools to be applied in the study of local transitions, including both consumption and production models. The sessions highlighted the need for new research agendas as a means of responding the challenges of sustainability and climate change.

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The 23rd IAPS conference held in Timisoara (Romania) from 23 to 27 June 2014, was the starting point of the Presidency of IAPS by Professor Ricardo García Mira, who in 2013 was elected unanimously by the Board for this responsibility during the period 2014-2018. In his speech, Professor García Mira pledged to IAPS members attending the Annual General Meeting to boost a higher connection between IAPS and the international bodies that are responsible for management of research and innovation (ONU, EU, ERC…), linking our organization as a body of experts in the field of person-environment studies. Also announced that he will strengthen the expansion of IAPS along the international context in which it operates, and he will integrate sustainable management criteria of the organization both in the organizational, social and economic aspects. Professor García Mira congratulated outgoing board members for their work and invited members re-elected and the new entrants, to continuing their hard and coordinated work in this exciting project.

As the second work session and under the title “Social transformation experiences in Galicia: Transition Processes to responsible economies and sustainable lifestyles”, on the 5th of last June, the Research Group organized a workshop in order to approach different initiatives of social economy which work mainly in Galicia. The conference brought together about 30 people from social economy entities active within the Galician territory as Fiare, Amarante Setem, Zocamiñoca, A Xoaniña, Millo Miúdo, the Burela Council’s Time Bank, as well as lecturers and other staff from the UDC .The People-Environment group work-experience and guest initiatives experiences were presented and the basis for a long-term partnership was established.

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On the 4th of last June, the University of Corunna hosted a seminar to discuss the possibilities for sustainability to be assumed as a central axis by universities and other institutions, also identifying barriers and ways for promoting it. The event, which brought together more than a half hundred people from various environments, such as the academia, trade unions, student body and green consultancy, was organized by the People-Environment Group and presented as an opportunity for an open dialogue between the researchers, civil society and high-profile staff from the academia, with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of environmental policies.

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Large organizations are responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The emissions generated by large organizations result both from of their production processes andfrom the pressures under which they function within our economic system. As a result of new EU and national regulations, organizations have started to implement mechanisms to reduce their GHG emissions.

However, as stated in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Review 2009, these strategies have not been sufficient to ensure significant reductions in emission rates. Between 2011-2013 People-Environment Research Group has been involved and coordinating a project developed within a Consortium at European Level identyfying the barriers to and drivers of sustainable changes in everyday workplace practices across different types of organizations.

Click here to download the report.

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A Coruña, 25-28 June 2013

The organising committee of the International Symposium on ‘Sustainable Environments in a Changing Global Context: Identifying Opportunities for Innovative Spaces and Practices in Contexts of Crisis’ is pleased to announce that the symposium will be held in A Coruña, from the 25th to the 28th of June, 2013. This international symposium is organized by the IAPS (International Association for People-Environment Studies) Networks on “Culture and Space in the Built Environment”, “Housing”, and “Sustainability”, with the objective of bringing together participants from various disciplines with the aim of creating a shared and reflexive space of knowledge and debate on issues relevant to people-environment studies, and, more specifically, to creative solutions to acute problems in times and contexts of crisis. These network events are part of an established tradition of the IAPS community, a tradition that combines presentations of research studies with discussions of theory and applications for the practice of architects, urban designers and planners, psychologists, but also all those interested in the analysis of sustainable and rapidly changing environments from a human perspective. It will be the primary aim of the organizers of this symposium to build on and enhance this tradition.


The First Workshop on Backcasting Scenarios Development was held in A Coruña, Spain, organized by the People-Environment Research Group. The researchers had the opportunity to energize a large group of experts related to the institution, as well as the business world of the community that hosts.

Participants are specialists from different disciplines, including architecture, economics, engineering, law, new technologies, artificial intelligence, education or sociology and all of them possess an important background related to the environment.

The workshop started with an explanation about the Back-casting methodology followed by exercise in groups. Many proposals were made by the participants, at least could be identified two main scenarios for the future.

The following exercise will develop the possibilities opened in the present to arrange the scenarios that the University could have achieved by 2050.

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