Urban policies and projects that are expected to promote sustainability are often focused on the built environment and the technical infrastructure. Less attention is given to changing lifestyles and everyday practices, even though citizen and consumer behaviour have a tremendous impact on resource consumption in our cities.

CASUAL investigates how to promote sustainable living and consumption patterns by including citizen and consumer perspectives in the governance of urban areas. New forms of inclusive urban governance are explored by looking at collectively organised initiatives outside formal planning procedures as models for the future. In addition, planning for sustainable mobility is investigated through a focus on so called transit-oriented-development.

Results and expected impact
The research leads to the following conclusions about spreading knowledge from projects to policymaking for sustainable urban lifestyles: 1) Make the effects of changed behaviour visible on a human scale. 2) Target specific lifestyles without stigmatizing them. Sustainable consumption policy needs to allow for learning, rather than segregating different lifestyle groups. 3) Integrate key individuals or partners as drivers of integration into citywide strategies. 4) Understand that citizen participation and the role of citizens varies. In some strategies, citizens will be co-decision-makers, whereas in others they will simply be consulted.


CASUAL – Co-creating attractive and sustainable urban areas and lifestyle – exploring new forms of inclusive urban governance
Duration: 2013–2016
E-mail: N/A
Budget: 1.210.000 EUR
Partners: Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (OIR), Delft University of Technology, Nordregio – Nordic Centre for Spatial Development




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European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.