Final Report

Executive Summary

The overall aim of GLAMURS (Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional
Sustainability) has been to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding
of the main obstacles and prospects for transitions to sustainable lifestyles and a green economy in
Europe as well as of the most effective means to support and speed up these transitions in Europe.
GLAMURS explored the complex interactions and links among economic, social, cultural, political
and technological factors influencing sustainable lifestyles and transformations to a green economy
across societal levels (from individual to social, and from micro- to macro-economic levels), it
developed and evaluated comprehensive models of lifestyle change at a European level in key
sustainability domains, and provided assessments of these models in terms of economic and
environmental effects, in order to provide recommendations to decision-makers for achieving a
sufficiently-fast paced transition in Europe in line with the objectives established in the Europe 2020
strategy and the Resource Efficiency Flagship Initiative.

In order to achieve these objectives, the project adopted an integrated perspective on lifestyles,
looking at them through the lens of time-use and the opportunities and obstacles for adopting
sustainable lifestyles afforded by the structure of everyday life. Theoretical conceptualizations that
integrated a diversity of determinants of lifestyle choices across disciplines constituted the starting
point for in-depth empirical exploration of factors that promote or hinder sustainable lifestyle
adoption, the interactions between time-use, consumption and wellbeing, European citizens´
desires for lifestyle change and their implications for sustainability, as well as the role of
sustainability initiatives in promoting sustainable lifestyles, wellbeing and a green economy. Seven
European regions were chosen as case studies, together with a diversity of sustainability initiatives
spanning different issues, ambitions and lifestyle domains in each. Multi-method empirical research
using network mapping, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and questionnaire surveys targeted six
lifestyle domains, which were chosen due to their contribution to our environmental footprints:
status and use of homes, energy use, mobility, food consumption, consumption of manufactured
products and work-leisure balance. The following regions and embedded initiatives were studied:

  • Aberdeenshire (Scotland) with the Work-Smart Initiative (domain of work-life balance)
  • Banat-Timis (Romania) with 3 ecovillages (Stanciova, Aurora, Armonia Brassovia)
    covering all six domains of GLAMURS
  • Central Germany with the social movement of the Transition Town Halle
  • Danube-Bohemian Forest (Austria) with two initiatives, “Bioregion Mühlviertel” (organic food consumption and production) and climate and energy model region (domains of energy, housing and mobility)
  • Galicia (Spain) with two initiatives: Zocamiñoca (food consumption cooperative) and Amarante Setem (domain of consumption of manufactured products through activities aimed at promoting sustainable textile production, especially in clothing)
  • Lazio (Italy) with the food cooperative
  • Rotterdam-Delft-The Hague (the Netherlands) encompassing two initiatives: three repair cafés and Vogelwijk Energiek (an energy cooperative).

Coupled with an in-depth understanding of determinants of sustainable lifestyle choices, the project focused on dynamics of lifestyle change, including the development and evaluation of scenarios for a sustainable future and the interaction between individual lifestyle choices, social dynamics of lifestyle adoption, and the effects of macro-economic trends on achieving a successful transition to a green economy. Scenarios for the future have been co-produced with stakeholders in the seven regions and then tested using economic and agent-based modelling. These interactions between bottom-up lifestyle changes and dynamic economic and policy changeshave been analysed at different stages of sustainable lifestyle spread and adoption, which allowed us to unveil social and economic tipping points, dynamics of lock-in, and to formulate and test policy recommendations that would place European societies onto a path of sustainable lifestyles and green economy development.

Finally, the project developed an integrated framework for knowledge co-production that allowed for the
development of practically- useful knowledge, contributed to regional capacity building and the creation of spaces of interaction between citizens, business, and government actors, that could lead to the co-shaping of solutions for a sustainable future.

Download the full GLAMURS Final Report here.