Time for Change – The Role of Environmental Psychology in Promoting Sustainable Urban Environments


Webinar Zeit für Veränderung – Die Rolle der Umweltpsychologie bei der Förderung nachhaltiger städtischer Umgebungen



Most of the world’s population lives in urban areas, which provide people with resources that meet their daily needs to a certain extent. At the same time, ecosystems in urban regions – and at the global level – are threatened by urban growth and the increasingly resource-intensive lifestyles associated with it. Improving urban sustainability is urgently needed for our world. This is also true for Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia.

In this webinar, we will discuss how to design sustainable cities that enable sustainable human-environment interactions and how to support sustainable behaviours. We will present Global and Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals referring to cities and human settlements and link them to behavioural aspects and domains. We will also discuss psychological determinants and context factors of pro-environmental behaviour in Phnom Penh and how environmentally-friendly behaviours can be supported. Moreover, we will reflect on how environments shape certain behaviours. A closer look at design strategies and the understanding of behavioural choices in the transportation sector of Singapore, as an example, will give us detailed insights into a specific spatial and behavioural context.

Lessons learned from research in Cambodia and other cultural contexts will be discussed in regards to promising behaviour change interventions and promoting impactful pro-environmental behaviours in urban systems.


Ms. Annalena Becker is working as a research associate in the division of Environmental Psychology at the University of Magdeburg. She studied psychology at the University of Freiburg and has worked in the research domain of acceptance and user behaviour of renewable energies. Furthermore, she examines the acceptance and perception of environmental policies. Since August 2019, Annalena has worked in the work group “Behaviour Change” of the Build4People project that aims to foster sustainable urban planning and urban quality of life in Phnom Penh. Annalena is a Systemic Consultant and has been involved in moderation processes of urban planning and civic participation.

Dr. Anke Blöbaum works as a senior researcher at the Institute of Psychology at the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg and leads the workgroup “Behaviour Change” of the Build4People project. After finishing her psychology undergraduate studies, she worked at the Ruhr-University Bochum as a senior researcher and received her PhD there in 2000. From 2010 until 2012 she was a guest professor at the Institute of Landscape Planning at Leibniz University in Hannover. Since 2009 she has been the director of the institute “kon-sys” (communication, sustainability & people-environment interactions). Anke is a ‘mediator’ according to the guidelines of the Federal Association of Mediation in Germany.

Dr. Samuel Chng is a Research Fellow and heads the Urban Psychology Lab in the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. He is an applied social psychologist and his research focuses on human behaviour and decisions in cities across a range of areas including mobility, sustainability and wellbeing (human adaptability and resilience). His work is multidisciplinary and applied in nature, focusing on delivering practical and policy impacts.

Dr. Puthearath Chan is currently a Laureate at the Korean Foundation for Advanced Studies (CHEY) and a National Coordinator for SDGs Financing Strategy Development in Cambodia (Frankfurt School & UNCDF). He has more than 10 years of experience working as a coordinator, consultant, senior technical officer, and researcher for various sustainable development and SDG-related projects and has been based in the Department of Green Economy, National Council for Sustainable Development/Ministry of Environment for more than 8 years. He holds a PhD in Sustainable Uban and Regional Development from Hanyang University Seoul Campus (Korea) and a graduate diploma from AgroStudies International Center (Israel).


Dr. Try Thuon holds a PhD in Social Sciences in Urban Studies. He is currently working as the research team leader of the project: “Urban Development and Socio-Economic Change of Sihanoukville Urban Development in time of Covid-19 Pandemic”. His research interests include urban vulnerability and resilience in practice, urbanism from the bottom, water security, gender inequality and ethnic relations and the role of social sciences in social engagement for co-learning processes and planning practice.


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