Role of people-environment relationships in sustainable development
Authors: Upadhyay, Anir Kumar; Hyde, Richard
The current models of sustainable development give emphasis to environmental, social and economic aspects. However, sustainable development aims to achieve environmental and human well-being. The role of people-environment relationship and measure of human well-being in sustainable development is still unexplored. Although Quality of life (QoL) intends to assess well-being, conventional QoL metrics do not include environmental features. This paper reports on the progress to define a new model, QoLe (environmental QoL) to measure progress towards sustainability in a residential precinct that includes environmental quality (objective attributes), perceived residential environmental quality (subjective attributes) and environmental attitude of people (moderating variable). This approach allows the examination of the people-environment relationship in a residential setting. The testing of the model involved field work in a sustainable community (the Ecovillage) in South East Queensland and in a control group (conventional housing) in a nearby suburb. The Ecovillage demonstrates a high level of environmental consideration in planning and design of the community. The Ecovillage residents exhibited Preservation (pro environmental) attitudes and expressed high levels of satisfaction with the residential environmental quality. Whereas, the conventional suburb lacks sustainable features, most of the residents preferred a Utilization attitude and were less satisfied with their neighbourhood features.