Keynote speakers

Marino Bonaiuto

Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy


Marino Bonaiuto, Sapienza Università di Roma. Social Psychology Full Professor teaching at Faculty Medicine and Psychology, he also teaches at Faculty of Natural Sciences and at Faculty of Architecture. Member of Sapienza’s Sustainability Scientific and Technical Committee (2021-). Formerly (2011-2020) both Director CIRPA – Centre Interuniversity Research in Environmental Psychology – and President master degree Psychology of communication and marketing.

Scientific research units coordination in public national (Ministry of Research) or international (EC 6th and 7th FP, H2020, Erasmus+, etc.) grants, and research projects funded by private companies. 200+ publications (in international or national journals, book’s chapters, edited or authored volumes) and 200+ congress contributions.

Consultant in environmental and architectural psychology (residences, healthcare, nature, etc.).

University Visiting Professor in Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Iran, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, etc.

Co-organizer 20th international conference of IAPS (Roma, 2008) and IAAP STEP3 summer school (Sardinia, 2015).

IAAP Fellow for environmental psychology (2018).


Barriers and facilitators for sustainable technology acceptance among stakeholders: the biofuel case from the EC H2020 ABC-Salt project.

Contemporary global crises call for shifting individual and collective mindsets, behaviours, and habits. Such a shift necessarily points towards increased sustainability: in economic, and social, and environmental terms. Regarding enviornmental sustainability (and not only), more and more the challenge is about a sustainable technology acceptability first, then about its acceptance, and finally about its adoption. Within such a process, stakeholders have a crucial role which is still greatly overlooked by mainstream environmental psychology literature (typically focusing on laypeople). Stakeholders’ gatekeeper role within the society lies in their interest and expertise in the technology, as well as in their influence and power within the societal networks revolving around that technology. 

The contribution developed by the EC H2020 ABC-Salt project ( is presented to exemplify the relevance of addressing the stakeholders of a given sustainable technology, namely liquid biofuels: this aims to advance the knowledge of barriers and faciltators to be managed in order to achieve the targeted sustainable technology’s social acceptance. This part of the project aims to achieve a sustainable biofuel social acceptance comprehensive model within the EU. 

Three main studies are presented. 1) The first study maps the relevant stakeholders for biofuels within the EU, employing a new mostly automatic procedure based on both computational text analysis and social network analysis (Ludovico, Dessi, Bonaiuto, 2020). 2) The second study maps technological, contextual, and social-psychological determinants of the EU stakeholders’ biofuel acceptance, integrating different existing models from the interdisciplinary literature and using a qualitative technique on a selected stakeholders interviews sample (N = 32; Dessi, Ariccio, Albers, Alves, Ludovico, Bonaiuto, unpublished). 3) The third study tests the relevance of the above determinants for the EU stakeholders’ biofuel acceptance, by means of multivariate statistics from an online survey. 

Results implications are discussed for advancing state-of-the-art literature on sustainable technology social acceptance. 

Sigrun Kabisch

Head of the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research − UFZ, Leipzig, Germany; Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Leipzig


Sigrun Kabisch has extensive expertise in interdisciplinary approaches towards sustainable urban development, urban demographic change as well as socio-spatial segregation. At present she works i.a. in “uVital”, a Trans-Atlantic Plattform-project dealing with innovations for social housing upgrading. In 2020 she co-chaired the international conference “Sustainable and resilient urban-rural partnerships” within the German presidency of the Council of the European Union. Sigrun Kabisch acts as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe. From 2019 to 2020 she was invited member of the EU High Level Expert Group for the new Horizon Europe Program on “Innovating Cities”. Since more than 20 years she is IAPS-member. She was engaged as elected board member of IAPS for eight years.


Resilient cities, resilient neighbourhoods: Challenges, conflicts, crises and dilemmas.

The well-known SDGs which call for action, stress in the goal no.11: „Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (2015). Thus, the characteristic of resilience is framed by social inclusion as well as safe and sustainable living conditions. To get a common understanding of resilient cities, we refer to the OECD definition (2018), knowing that there are many more nuanced and developed definitions: “Resilient cities are cities that have the ability to absorb, recover and prepare for future shocks (economic, environmental, social & institutional). Resilient cities promote sustainable development, well-being and inclusive growth.”    

Recent experiences with Covid-19 crises, dramatic floods, droughts and fire events threatening cities, show that urban resilience is far from a reality. Rather, it is a highly topical global challenge. 

What are the causal links that hinder the pathways to resilient cities? To answer this question, it is important to focus on conflicts, crises and dilemmas triggering by urban actors and decision-makers. 

We have to note that the real context is characterised by non-linear and sometimes conflicting decisions, interest-driven human behaviour and development patterns. This depends on power, resources and beliefs, which raises the question of social justice for advantaged and disadvantaged citizens. The challenge shows that there is obviously no great lack of knowledge or solutions. Rather, there is a lack of willingness to use them appropriately through decision making in policy and practice.  

To provide convincing empirical evidence, we will focus on the neighbourhood level. Here, the lack of climate resilience and social resilience for the residents becomes visible. Heat stress or heavy rains and floods require adaptive behaviour of residents and appropriate housing conditions (block insulation, appropriate technical infrastructure, or access to green spaces in the neighbourhood). In addition to technical solutions such as energy-retrofitting, social aspects must also be taken into account. They relate to affordability of rents after refurbishment. A dilemma situation can arise, if the increase of rents in social housing has to be limited, leading to low-level refurbishment.  

By considering the neighbourhood level, we will highlight the opportunity of participatory co-design for more urban resilience with the support of the local population. The place-based approach related to neighbourhoods is in line with the main components of the New Leipzig Charter (2020), which was recently adopted by the relevant EU ministers. 

Literature recommended 

Kabisch, S., Koch, F., Gawel, E., et al. (eds., 2018): Urban transformations – Sustainable urban development through resource efficiency, quality of life and resilience. Future City 10. Springer International Publishing, Cham, 384 pp. 

Kuhlicke, C., Kabisch, S., Rink, D., (2020): Urban resilience and urban sustainability
In: Burayidi, M.A., Allen, A., Twigg, J., Wamsler, C., (eds.) The Routledge handbook of urban resilience. Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge, Abingdon, p. 17 – 25 

Terry Hartig

Ph.D., M.P.H. Professor of Environmental Psychology. Institute for Housing and Urban Research and Department of Psychology. Uppsala University, Sweden


Terry Hartig has extensive experience in studying environmental supports for restorative processes. He has contributed to this field through development of basic theory, methods, and infrastructure, and with findings from studies of restoration in residential, work, institutional and recreational contexts. His most widely known works concern restorative benefits of nature experience, and he is frequently cited in the scientific and popular work on nature and health. He also has a long history of service to the applied research community, through extensive international collaborations, review and editorial activities, and support to scientific societies, for example as the current president of the Environmental Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology.


Restoration in nature. Extending the narrative.


In this presentation, built on a recently published chapter, I elaborate on the restoration perspective on human adaptation as a source of insight for nature-and-health studies. After putting the work into a broad sustainability context, I set out the basic premises of the restoration perspective and consider how it has come to have particular relevance for understanding the salutary values now commonly assigned to nature experience. I then discuss the currently conventional “two theories” narrative about restorative effects of nature experience and organize some of its components in a general framework for restorative environments theory. Extending the framework, I put forward two additional theories, one concerned with the restoration of adaptive resources as held within closer relationships and the other concerned with resources held collectively by members of a population. In closing, I consider ways to further develop the narrative about nature, restoration, and health, which supports a range of efforts to promote sustainability, broadly defined.

Graciela Tonello

Professor at the Faculty of Psychology, National University of Tucuman, Argentina


Graciela Tonello is a psychologist from the National University of Tucumán in Argentina. She performed her PhD thesis on environmental psychology at Lund University, Sweden, under the guidance of Professor Rikard Küller, which dealt with the influence of light on seasonal affective disorder. Currently she is a professor and researcher at the University of Tucumán and at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), in the department of Light, Lighting and Vision and at the the faculty of Psychology, where she is in charge of the Research department. Her expertise revolves around psychology and sustainability, environmental health, non-visual (psychobiological) effects of light, light and health, and circadian rhythms. She is the Regional Associate Editor (South America) of Leukos, the scientific journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). And she is also a Number Member of the Academy on Health Sciences of Tucumán.


Contributions from lighting research to sustainability and COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides vision, light can impact other processes such as circadian, neuroendocrine, and neurobehavioral responses. It is called non-visual effects of light because they are not directly involved with image formation, and they became an additional dimension in the traditional objectives of architectural lighting, which should provide the proper light for visual performance, for visual comfort, for the aesthetic appreciation of the space and for energy conservation. For instance, in working environments, light must serve not only to meet task demands but also for comfort and health. 

People respond to environmental exposure through a holistic process composed of psychobiological correlates. To date, the most studied light-reactive hormone is melatonin since light can have an acute suppressive effect on this hormone. As to psychological states, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) probably constitutes the best example of light’s effect on mood and behaviour, and the abnormal pattern of melatonin secretion in SAD sufferers is still the main hypothesis as to the genesis of this disorder. 

This conference aims to show the possible contributions from the field of lighting research to covid-19 pandemic and to post pandemic economy in terms of: melatonin related health and wellbeing, vitamin D production in response to ultraviolet radiation on the skin, and the concept of sustainable lighting design referred to efficient lighting technologies such as LEDs, as well as guidelines to minimize circadian disruption and to improve productivity.