International Association of People-Environment Studies

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The International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS), has been promoting the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas between planning and social scientists for 35 years – above all between spatial planning, architecture, psychology, and sociology. IAPS was officially founded in 1981, although its origins can be traced back to a series of successful conferences in several European countries from 1969 to 1979.

The objectives of IAPS are:

  • To facilitate communication among those concerned with the relationships between people and their physical environment
  • To stimulate research and innovation for improving human well-being and the physical environment
  • To promote the integration of research, education, policy and practice

People-environment studies, originating from environmental psychology (Lewin, Barker, Brunswik), have always tried to close the “mind gaps” between natural sciences, engineering, arts, and social sciences by an epistemological approach that encompasses denotations (objects and techniques) as well as connotations (subjective social, cultural meanings).


Benefits of membership include:

  • The right to vote and stand for membership of the Board
  • Reduced fees for attending conferences and seminars
  • Free copies of the IAPS newsletter. This contains research summaries, articles, reviews, letters, lists of references, and general news of the research field
  • The right to be listed in and receive a copy of the Directory of IAPS members
  • Reduced subscription rates for specified journals

List of conferences[edit]

The biannual conference is the main event organised under auspices of the association. In the past years, the following conferences have been organised:

Place, Country Year Conference Theme
Dalandhui, UK 1969 AP1 Architectural Psychology
Kingston, UK 1970 AP2 Architectural Psychology
Lund, Sweden 1973 AP3 Architectural Psychology
Surrey, UK 1973 AP4 Psychology and the Built Environment
Sheffield, UK 1975 AP5 Architectural Psychology
Strasbourg, France 1976 AP6 Space Appropriation
Louvain La Neuve, Belgium 1979 IAPC 7 Conflicting Experiences of Space
Surrey, UK 1979 IAPC 7 Conflict and Narcissism
Barcelona, Spain 1982 IAPS 7 Home-Environment. Man-Environment: Qualitative Aspects
Berlin, Germany 1984 IAPS 8 Perspectives on Environment and Action
Haifa, Israel 1986 IAPS 9 Environments in Transition
Delft, Netherlands 1988 IAPS 10 Looking Back to the Future
Ankara, Turkey 1990 IAPS 11 Culture-Space-History
Halkidiki, Greece 1992 IAPS 12 Socio-environmental Metamorphoses
Manchester, UK 1994 IAPS 13 The Urban Experiences
Stockholm, Sweden 1996 IAPS 14 Evolving Environmental Ideals – Ways of Life, Values, Design Practices
Eindhoven, Netherlands 1998 IAPS 15 Shifting Balances – Changing Roles In Policy, Research and Design
Paris, France 2000 IAPS 16 Metropolis: Cities, Social Life and Sustainable Development
A Coruña, Spain 2002 IAPS 17 Culture, Quality of Life and Globalization - Problems and Challenges for the New Millennium
Vienna, Austria 2004 IAPS 18 Evaluation in Progress – Strategies for Environmental Research and Implementation
Alexandria, Egypt 2006 IAPS 19 Environment, Health and Sustainable Development
Rome, Italy 2008 IAPS 20 Urban diversities, Biosphere and Well-being
Leipzig, Germany 2010 IAPS 21 Vulnerability, Risk and Complexity: Impacts of global Change on Human Habitats
Glasgow, UK 2012 IAPS 22 Human experience in the natural and built environment: implications for research, policy and practice
Timisoara, Romania 2014 IAPS 23 Transitions to sustainable societies: Designing research and policies for changing lifestyles and communities
Lund, Sweden 2016 IAPS 24 The human being at home, work and leisure. Sustainable use and development of indoor and outdoor spaces in late modern everyday life

Post conference books[edit]

IAPS Digital Library[edit]

A database of all 4,400 abstracts from conferences since 1969, which permits a full-text search through the history of environmental psychology.


External links[edit]