Changing Lifestyles, Attitudes and Behaviour: towa.. (ChangeLAB)
Changing Lifestyles, Attitudes and Behaviour: towards effective strategies for regions in sustainable consumption and development.
Start date: Dec 31, 2004,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
The increasing emphasis on sustainable development at EU level also affects policy-making at the regional level. Successful implementation of policies which support sustainable alternatives requires a commitment from consumers and sometimes a very considerable change in behaviour. A growth in consumption and unsustainable lifestyle trends combined with a lack of recognition or responsibility for the impacts of such behaviour can reduce the efficacy of attempts to introduce sustainable policies. In order to reverse these trends and encourage a reduction in both the domestic use of key resources (water, energy, materials) and the generation of waste, as well as reducing reliance on use of the private car, strategies and tools need to be developed to support policy aimed at encouraging citizens to adapt their behaviour accordingly. The overall objective of ChangeLAB is to provide partners and others engaged in policymaking on sustainable development with guidance on how to effectively change patterns of consumption without reducing quality of life and prosperity. By providing practical guidance and best practice examples for local and regional authorities and agencies across the EU, ChangeLAB seeks to increase awareness of sustainable consumption issues and the link with successful policy implementation. Achievements: Achievements so far The ChangeLAB project had two main aims:1) to improve the capacity of regional and local authorities across the EU to influence consumer behaviour in the areas of water, transport, energy and waste, through drawing on existing best practice in all sectors and developing ways of measuring the effectiveness of such activities; 2) to disseminate its findings to policymakers and practitioners and provide a practical toolkit, with an interactive decision-making tool, linked to a database of relevant practice examples and analysis. Starting in Surrey in February 2005, the project held a total of 7 partner meetings, the others being in Szentendre (July 05), Genova (January 06), Sykies (July 06), Solna (Jan 07), Hants (June 07) & Brussels (Nov 07). A data collection exercise was jointly developed and collated details of 160 projects which aim to change behaviour and encourage more sustainable lifestyles. Of these projects, 40 were investigated in more depth using detailed questionnaires. This data was entered on a 'Knowledge Base', designed by the partnership. In September 2005, the project held an official launch event at the European Parliament in Brussels, which was attended by over 60 stakeholder & press representatives and led to over 4,000 hits on the website the following day. The launch event was followed by a Knowledge Base Workshop, where partners, together with a group of experts (both practitioners and academics) discussed the broader findings from the data collection, drawing together some of the experience with potential for transferability, between both countries and sectors. It was recognised that the issue of monitoring and measuring of projects aimed at behaviour change is a difficult and challenging one. The Workshop report remains available on the ChangeLAB website. A list of techniques and criteria for success was also developed and subsequently refined into a usable list of proven methodologies A project toolkit was developed and was the subject of a specific Workshop in September 2006. Informal testing of the Technique Planner tool with practitioners followed. The project continues to attract interest in partner countries; from local, regional & national stakeholders and governments and has been approached by a number of bodies exploring future work options. In the UK, it has been cited in key government publications. ChangeLAB techniques were transferred and tested in 7 pilot actions in 6 countries. These have been supported by project partner mentor/mentee visits designed to ensure joint learning and equip partners for effective transference of techniques from one country to another. Regional dissemination events were carried out by all partners in the later stages of the project with a final dissemination event and partner meeting taking place in Brussels on November 22 2007.
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