The limits of environmental responsibility: A stormwater case study

Geoffrey J. Syme, Blair E. Nancarrow, Bradley S. Jorgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The motivation for concern about the environment beyond one's neighborhood is still relatively poorly understood. This article examines the determinants of feelings of responsibility at a regional watershed level. Using demographic, attitudinal, self-reported behavior and neighborhood mapping measures from four cities in Australia, five hypotheses were derived. These were that wider environment concerns would depend on (a) the physical and social characteristics of the respondents' neighborhoods, (b) the size of their perceived neighborhoods, (c) the length of residence at their localities, (d) educational level and attitudes toward environmental moral responsibility (and the interaction between them), and (e) the level of reported environmentally friendly behavior. Support was gained for all hypotheses except length of residence and the role of general moral attitudes toward the environment. It is concluded that to explain community action at the regional level, it is important to include both spatial and psychological insights and methodologies in research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-847
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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