The organising committee of the International Symposium on “Sustainability in the Post-Covid era: Challenges and Opportunities in the face of Climate Change and the Energy Transition” is pleased to announce that the event will be held in A Coruña, from the September 29th to October 1st, 2021. This international symposium is organized by the IAPS (International Association for People-Environment Studies) Network of “Sustainability”, with the collaboration of the People-Environment Research Group of the University of A Coruña (Spain) and the Research and Teaching Lab “Sustainable Development” of the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, with the objective of bringing together participants from various disciplines with the aim of creating a shared and reflexive space of knowledge and debate on issues relevant to people-environment studies, and, more specifically, to creative solutions to acute problems in post-pandemic times and contexts.
These network events are part of an established tradition of the IAPS community, a tradition that combines presentations of research studies with discussions of theory and applications for the practice of architects, environmental psychologists, urban designers and planners, sociologists, but also all those interested in the interdisciplinary analysis on the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the effects it is having on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and how this is causing alarm to fall on the future of sustainability. Uncertainty is an invariable factor in all research scenarios and IAPS will open a debate about the pathways to reinforce the commitments to sustainable development. The analysis of how to face the new challenges to meet the 2030 Agenda will form an important part of the context of this meeting. It will be the primary aim of the organizers of this symposium to build on and enhance the IAPS tradition, contributing to have a presence in the international debate of the sustainability in a so relevant moment like this for the whole planet.
In recent years we have seen the need for changes emerge in the global context from both the social and ecological point of view. More recently, over the last year, the Covid19 crisis and the climate change with which it is related, through the breakdown of the natural barriers that separate us from other species, is an example that we can go further from this return point and placing ourselves in a context of maximum interest.
What is happening with this, therefore, does not take us by surprise, considering that we can clearly identify its anthropocentric origin and how it is related to climate change, from the alterations that human beings have caused in the cycle of ecosystems that maintain equilibrium at the planetary level. In general, Psychology has not been absent from the study of the human dimensions of climate change and in particular of the psychological processes that allow us to better understand the risks that we face.
The changing global context has also important implications on the ways human beings organize their settings for everyday life – their residential environments and communal services, in particular – and on the relevance of the objectives related to sustainability in our societies.
The symposium of Corunna (Spain) will seek to analyze the complex challenges posed by the structural changes in our global context and to explore new policy measures, other ways and instruments to transform existing urban and rural environments according to the ecological, social and economic principles of sustainability, including poverty alleviation and the promotion of equity, in line with the fulfilment of the United Nations sustainable development goals.
It will seek to explore lessons from different parts of the world regarding the transformations in everyday built environments and to develop innovative synergies between solutions and adaptations encountered in multiple cultural contexts.