From environmental connectedness to sustainable futures: topophilia and human affiliation with nature
2015 (English)In: European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference, University of Helsinki, March 29-April 1, 2015, 2015, 57-58 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The objective of this study is to explore the co-evolutionary foundation for place-based human affiliation with nonhuman nature, and its potential to support sustainable development at the local level. In particular, we analyse the Topophilia Hypothesis, an expansion of the Biophilia Hypothesis which includes also non-living elements in the environment. Methods: The study represents a multidisciplinary conceptual analysis of how biological selection and cultural learning may have interacted during human evolution to promote adaptive mechanisms for human affiliation with nonhuman nature via specific place attachment. Results and Conclusions: The Biophilia Hypothesis has been one of the most important theories of human connectedness with nature, suggesting a genetically based inclination for human affiliation with the biological world. The Topophilia Hypothesis has extended the ideas of Biophilia to incorporate a broader conception of nonhuman nature and a co-evolutionary theory of genetic response and cultural learning. It also puts more emphasis on affiliation processes with the local environment. We propose that nurturing potential topophilic tendencies may be a useful method to promote sustainable development at the local level, and ultimately at the global level. Tendencies of local affiliation may also have implications for multifunctional landscape management, an important area within sustainability research, and we provide some examples of successful landscape management with a strong component of local engagement. Since human affiliation with nonhuman nature is considered an important dimension of environmental concern and support for pro-environmental attitudes, the Topophilia Hypothesis may provide a fruitful ground for a discourse within which scholars from many scientific fields, including human evolution and humanistic geography, can participate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 57-58 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-16074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-16074DiVA: diva2:974317
European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Annual Conference, University of Helsinki, March 29-April 1, 2015