Obstacles to Sustainable Living in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

Arto O. Salonen, Mauri Åhlberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    The objective of the research was to qualify the barriers to behavior that promotes sustainability in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The participants (n = 198) assessed 36 elements of sustainability according to their attitudes and behavior. The data were analyzed by mixed methods. High costs were the most significant barrier to a sustainable way of life. In addition, participants felt they have insufficient power to have an effect. Due to today's fast pace of life, lack of time was also an obstacle to sustainable living. 66.5 percent of the barriers were contextual and 33.5 percent personal. An intervention in the context of society would seem a more effective way to reach sustainability than encouraging individuals to change their attitudes and behavior. This is a reason why inducements and government support are essential for sustainability-promoting behavior. In a sustainable society, for instance, traded goods account for the ecological and social costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSustainable Cities and Society
    Pages (from-to)48-55
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 516 Educational sciences
    • sustainable development
    • education for sustainable development
    • attitude-behavior gap
    • behavior change
    • societal change

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