Sustainable Communities, Organizations and Places – SCOPE

General goals

SCOPE is a thematic area of research that gathers researchers interested in investigating people-environment relationships. Our research applies socio-psychological approaches to social and societal issues related to the environment, with the goal of contributing to create sustainable communities, organizations, and places. Our work is characterized by trans-disciplinary collaborations (with e.g., sociology, anthropology, architecture, biology, ICT) that allow creating new synergies between different fields.

SCOPE researchers are experienced in a multiplicity of research designs and methods (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, experimental studies), which we use to address a diversity of levels of analysis. We also have wide-ranging theoretical interests in the area of people-environment relationships, from discursive and social representations approaches to attitudes and risk perceptions.

Thematic areas of research

1. Relations in Place

This domain of research gives particular emphasis to the physical attributes of the space (natural and built), here studied as:
(1) a source of individual experiences (e.g., restorative properties, well-being) and opportunities and constraints for social interaction (e.g., use of public spaces);
(2) a meaningful environment where strong links shape personal and group development;
(3) a result of current and past inter-group and inter-personal processes that interact to (re-) produce meanings and memories of place. Place attachment, place identities and place memory are key aspects for understanding how communities respond to social change and to environmental and social risks in both natural and urban places.

2. Citizenship and sustainability
This domain of research looks at societal innovations for sustainability to grasp how these affect interpersonal and intergroup relations and shape individual and collective action. It specifically examines acceptance of and resistance to:
(1) new policies, laws, rights and norms (regulating the areas of climate change, biodiversity protection, public involvement and participation, and citizenship). A systemic perspective is also adopted, looking at how active minorities, such as activist groups, and local knowledge and community resources can contribute to changes in the area of people-environment relations;
(2) new technologies with environmental impact (renewable energies technologies, nuclear energy, hazardous facilities, biotechnology). It includes looking at the public response to renewable and efficient energy supply, acceptance of renewable energy technologies and other technologies;
(3) engagement in sustainable behaviors and how can this engagement be fostered by macro-level (e.g., corporate social responsibility) and micro-level (e.g., attitudes) factors.


SCOPE joint activities include meetings and seminars with psychologists (environmental, social and other areas) and researchers from other disciplines. To check out upcoming events subscribe to the SCOPE mailing list by contacting the coordination team - Sílvia Luís (Silvia_Luis@iscte-iul.pt) and Maria Fernandes-Jesus (Maria.Jesus@iscte-iul.pt).
SCOPE members are part of the organization committee for the upcoming IAPS 2022 Conference in Lisbon

For more information contact us: Sílvia Luís (Silvia_Luis@iscte-iul.pt) and Maria Fernandes-Jesus (Maria.Jesus@iscte-iul.pt).

Edf. ISCTE-IUL, Sala 2w17
Av. das Forças Armadas
1649-026 Lisboa
Phone: +351 210 464 017
Fax : +351 21 046 41 74
Email: cis@iscte.pt
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