An investigation into sustainability understanding and behaviours of individuals across urban areas

Topal, Hasan Fehmi ORCID: 0000-0001-6133-1194 (2021). An investigation into sustainability understanding and behaviours of individuals across urban areas. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

[img] Topal2021PhD.pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only until 10 January 2075.
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (9MB) | Request a copy


Urban areas are the main places individuals live and interact with nature and society. As the rate of urbanization is increasing, providing enhanced living conditions within sustainable urban environments will become more and more complicated. Moreover, the role that this sustainability can play in helping combat the global challenges the planet faces, in both the present and future, has never been more crucial. However, the success of urban sustainability is very much dependant on a number of human factors. Therefore, it becomes ever more important to explore how people understand urban sustainability and how they behave accordingly.
This research aims to develop a holistic approach to evaluate and elucidate the way individuals understand urban sustainability and how they behave. In order to achieve this aim, the formation of sustainable urban behaviour through socio-psychological processes (i.e., determinants of awareness, perception, and attitude) and the effect of influential factors and personality traits on urban sustainability understanding and behaviour are investigated through a mixed methodological approach. The understanding and behaviour of urban sustainability was conceptualized with a newly formulated theoretical framework – derived in part from existing theories and models. Influencing factors and personality details used therein were identified within a systematic literature review. Both aspects were investigated through a questionnaire survey (undertaken by 409 respondents) in the city of Istanbul. Regarding the formation of urban sustainability understanding and behaviours, the awareness, perceptions, attitudes, and various behaviours of individuals were assessed using bivariate and multivariate methods, such as correlation tests, ANOVA, t-tests, and multiple linear regression tests. With regard to influencing factors, a set of pre-determined influencing factors were investigated in order to specify their individual and combined associations with determinants and behaviours of urban sustainability.
From the pool of people surveyed within Istanbul it was found that the respondents’ level of Awareness was lower than their Perception and Attitude levels. Whilst their Awareness was more strongly correlated with Attitude than Perception, Behaviour was found to be strongly correlated with both Awareness and Attitude. Behaviour was also found to be (significantly) predicted by all determinants. Associations of Personality Traits with determinants were found to be mostly insignificant. However, they were found to have significant influence over Behaviours. The most influential factors on urban sustainability determinants and behaviours were as follows (in hierarchal ordering): awareness of consequences, trust in society, social appraisement, world mindedness, willingness to pay, trust in science and technology, ascription of responsibility, age, and gender.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Ministry of Turkish National Education, The Republic of Turkey
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year