The chapter addresses the relationship between place attachment and environment-related behaviors, focusing specifically on civic engagement and group identity processes.
The assumption that positive affective bonds with one's place should be associated with systematic behavioral tendencies to protect that place is more or less explicitly evidenced in various theoretical frameworks, and this is consistent with research literature where place attachment predicts social cohesion and wellbeing, community involvement, and civic participation. Place attachment has shown to influence positively pro-environmental behaviors, particularly those ones that reduce human impacts on the environment (i.e., the “mitigation” behaviors), whereas a more complex picture has emerged for “adaptation” behaviors in environmental risk situations, since a high place attachment could reduce the likelihood of proper coping choices in case of high perceived risk. Recent research has highlighted the role of place attachment also in tourism and heritage sites' choices and related behaviors. Despite the amount of evidence about the positive influence of place attachment (or of some of its components in multidimensional approaches) on pro-environmental behaviors, there are also cases where a high place attachment was found associated to anti-environmental attitudes and actions (e.g., protest against environmental regulations which are perceived to contrast local identity and/or economic interests).