The sustainability of positive environments

Victor Corral-Verdugo*, Martha Frías-Armenta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Inspired by the emergence of the positive psychology (PP) movement, recent environmental psychology studies have identified a need for further inquiry into “positive environments” (PEs). Recognizing that PP has largely neglected the role of environmental factors in the appearance of positivity, this paper proposes the study of person–environment relations in order to explain human well-being, psychological growth, sustainable behaviors, and other psychological positive factors, in addition to studying the material and social well-being that a positive environment provides. The traditional view of environmental positivity (i.e., the environment as an inexhaustible and infinite source of resources that satisfy human needs) is contrasted against an ecological vision of PE in which the conservation of the quality of the environment is as important as the satisfaction of human needs. A definition of positive environment is presented and discussed, which conceives PE as a context that promotes individual and collective benefits and that also influences human predispositions to conserve—in the long run—the sociophysical structures on which life depends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-984
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Environmental psychology
  • Positive environments
  • Positive psychology
  • Sustainability
  • Well-being


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