The municipal council, my neighbors and me: Social environmental influences in the city

Noga Mostovoy, Gal H. Carasso Romano, Dan Rabinowitz, Sharon Soroker, Nurit Carmi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study seeks to examine the extent to which the level of municipal environmental management affects and complies with the behavioral norms of urban communities (city norms), and to what extent these affect environmental behavior at the individual level. We used a two-step, mixed-methods approach: a quantitative study of a representative sample of the urban sector (n = 1000) in Israel, followed by a qualitative in-depth interview process (n = 20). Municipal environmental management was found to be strongly correlated with city norms. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the residents' environmental behavior was strongly influenced solely by city norms (and not by the municipal council's conduct). However, our interviews revealed that residents explicitly attributed their pro- or anti-environmental behavior almost solely to the municipal council's conduct (and not to city norms). These relative contributions of municipal environmental management versus city norms on environmental behavior varied across environmental domains. In the Discussion section, we offer an explanation to the seemingly contradictory findings, and offer specific recommendations for several actions and initiatives that local authorities can adopt to promote pro-environmental behavior among its residents' and thus reduce the ecological footprint of the city as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112393
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • Environmental management
  • Municipality
  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Residents' perceptions
  • Social norms
  • Urban sustainability


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