Do Air Quality Policies and Individual Attitudes Meet? Four European Metropolitan Areas for a Comparative Exploration

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:33
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Vittorio SERGI, University of Urbino, Italy
Paolo GIARDULLO, University of Padova, Italy
Yuri KAZEPOV, University of Vienna, Austria
Eurobarometer survey in 2013 showed how air pollution was perceived as one of the major environmental concerns in urban areas. Between EU policy makers and environmental civil society organizations (CSO) there is also growing interest for non-technical measures that aim to individual behaviour changes to improve the control over pollutant emissions. Policies try to integrate air quality and climate change policies at multi-scalar levels. Implementation of laws and norms, however, requires at each step of translation careful consideration as it entails risks of inefficiency, goal displacement, or even outright rejection and resistance. Within this frame our research addresses this translation process and focuses on four European metropolitan areas: Antwerp (Belgium), Malmö (Sweden) Milan (Italy) Warsaw (Poland) aiming at answering the following questions:

a) how are relationships between air pollution policies and individual behavior configured?

b) what are the intervening factors explaining cross-national differences?

In order to answer these questions, we adopted a mixed-method approach carrying out an exploratory multi-scalar policy analysis, drawing on 40 semi-structured qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and policy makers and a CAWI survey on 4 EU countries with 9.200 respondents. This joint analysis allows to compare the representation of both individual behavior and attitudes on which air pollution policies are based with individual attitudes figures obtained through our survey. Indeed, a quantification process of qualitative data from interviews, has enriched the survey’s analysis expanding the traditional study of environmental issues’ perception adding the general profile of local air quality policy as an independent variable. On the other hand, socio-economic and material differences among countries may be further explored in relationship to policy-makers and CSO points of view.