Geographia Polonica (1995) vol. 64

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Changing images of environment and wellbeing: perceptions of the environment as an intermediate variable in demographic behaviour

Alice T. Day

Geographia Polonica (1995) vol. 64, pp. 269-282

Abstract

Using examples from the USA, Europe and Australia, this paper explores a model of perception of the environment as variables that mediate between demographic behaviour and environmental conditions, producingmodificationsinboth. Perceptions can themselves be agents of change. Public views that, for example, environmental toxins discriminate against low income populations, who often have little choice but to remain in polluted areas, can lead to plants closing, controls on industries, urban redevelopment, and large scale out-migration. Global perceptions of the environment and health are changing — shifting responsibility for reducing morbidity and mortality away from individuals and towards social policies that foster healthy conditions. These processes are illustrated by conference papers on environ-mental disasters in Poland, India and Brazil.

Keywords: perceptions, environment, intermediate variables, demographic beha-viour

Alice T. Day, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands Successful Ageing, Australian Commonwealth Territory 1st Floor Garema Arcade, Canberra 2602, Australia