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IAPS: International Association for People Environment Studies

Psychology, sociology, geography, design, and planning are only a few of the disciplines represented and, for these and their representatives, IAPS serves both as a platform for disciplinary discussion and as a platform for collaboration.

By Ombretta Romice, PhD

Formed officially 27 years ago, but with intellectual roots dating back to the ‘60s in the architectural psychology movement, IAPS is a multidisciplinary and active association gathering researchers and practitioners from around the world, with a shared interest in people’s interaction with their environment.

Psychology, sociology, geography, design, and planning are only a few of the disciplines represented and, for these and their representatives, IAPS serves both as a platform for disciplinary discussion and as a platform for collaboration. Detailed areas of work include: spatial cognition and wayfinding; ecological aspects of human actions in places; evaluation of buildings and natural landscapes; design of, and experiences in, workplaces, schools, residences, public buildings and public spaces; social use of space: crowding, privacy, territoriality, personal space; leisure and tourism behaviour in relation to their physical settings; meaning of built environments; theories of place, place attachment, and place identity; resource crises and environmental research; risks and hazards: their perception and management; urban design and urban regeneration, landscape design and their impact on quality of life.

IAPS members are engaged in both theoretical and applied research, as well as practice, and have links to policy making. The primary goal is to improve quality of life and to achieve this, IAPS is committed to support the coexistence, reciprocal understanding and, ultimately, collaboration of theoretical, practical work and lobbying activities.

Through its voluntary Board and the engagement of its members, IAPS undertakes a number of activities to support, initiate, disseminate and enable such exchange. These include:

  • A Biennial IAPS Congress: the highlight of the Association is an exceptional moment for advanced international debate and scholarship but also, and importantly, a fantastic social opportunity for the around 450 participants.

  • Bulletins: an excellent source of information, promotion and dissemination for IAPS’ work to the world. As well as a regular bulletin there is also one special issue produced each year.

  • Thematic Networks: theme-specific groups undertaking research, organising events of International standing and publishing work in a true collaborative spirit.

  • Opportunities and activities for young researchers: a number of initiatives such as competitions and summer workshops with experienced mentors to enhance young members’ experience and benefits.

  • Website, mailing list, job opportunities and events: to keep a finger on the pulse of what happens in the environment-behaviour field.

IAPS continues to develop and flourish and is currently in the process of establishing affiliations with other International organisations as a means to further extend interdisciplinary collaboration and offer even more benefits to its members (i.e. Journal discounts, online Digital Library).

More details on IAPS Membership and activities can be found on the website:
http://www.iaps-association.org. Ψ