Online: Wild Ways

Siân Moxon and Dr Justin Webb discuss Wild Ways – a scoping study on influencing pro-environmental behaviours to facilitate urban rewilding.

About this event

There is an urgent need to rewild cities to mitigate alarming biodiversity decline. Private urban gardens are central to this effort, but changes in how residents manage these spaces are reducing their vegetation and, therefore, wildlife habitat. Architects and urban designers can propose initiatives to rewild city gardens to reverse this trend, but encouraging positive environmental behaviours in residents will be critical to their success.

A cross-disciplinary project, applying behavioural science methodologies to design research that aims to investigate pro-environmental behaviours in relation to improving the biodiversity of private gardens within Greater London. Ultimately, it aims to develop an intervention strategy using the design-led ‘Rewild My Street’ urban-rewilding campaign as a test case. The first phase is a scoping review to understand the capability, opportunity and motivation factors influencing pro-environmental behaviours.

The researchers are conducting a literature search to screen, critically appraise and code the existing literature on understanding and influencing pro-environmental behaviour. Key themes are identified using the COM-B ('capability', 'opportunity', 'motivation' and 'behaviour') model, which states that behaviour derives from an interaction between an individual's capability, opportunity and motivation to carry out a behaviour. The Behaviour Change Wheel framework is used to identify potential intervention options, such as education, persuasion, incentivisation, coercion, training, restriction, environmental restructuring, modelling and enablement.

This scoping review makes an important contribution to an emerging research field by mapping the recent body of work on environmental behaviour. The findings will be presented to allow other researchers in the field to benefit from the study. Designers with an understanding of how to bring about positive environmental behaviours could drive citizen-centred sustainable development of cities worldwide – both for biodiversity and wider environmental/health benefits.

Siân Moxon is a senior lecturer in sustainable design at the School of Art, Architecture and Design. Her research concerns urban biodiversity and uses practice-based, design-research methods. She is an architect and founder of the Rewild My Street urban-rewilding campaign.

Dr Justin Webb is a senior lecturer and course leader in public health at the School of Social Professions. His research interest is in behavioural and social science, and public health. His experience as a practitioner includes leading Macmillan Cancer Support’s healthy lifestyles programme.

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Date/time Thursday 10 December 2020 at 6.30pm
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Art, Architecture and Design Research Seminar series 2020-21