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Living Alone CONsumption ImpAct

Project description

Trends and impacts of living alone

Thanks to economic development, conditions of human life are improving, but growing consumption poses challenges for our environment. Many experts expected that sustainability could result from decreasing fertility. However, amongst most decreasing populations of developing and developed countries, consumption levels have not fallen. A reason for this is, as more people live alone, the number of households is not decreasing. In the EU, single person households make up a third of the total population. The EU-funded LACONIA project will investigate the growing trend of living alone; exploring reasons for living alone, variable tendencies, influence on consumption and alternative sustainable housing configurations. The project will produce valuable knowledge necessary for sustainability and new urban planning.


Human population has wide ranging and often negative consequences for the natural environment. Population stability and decreasing fertility have thus been heralded as promising for sustainability. However, household size has been decreasing steadily in both developed and developing countries, at an accelerating pace, since the 1980s. The European Union (EU) leads this trend, with nearly a third of total households consisting of single residents. As a result of more people living alone with associated higher consumption, slowing population growth has resulted in neither fewer residences nor decelerating human impact on the environment. This MC-IF aims to investigate the trend toward living alone and create new knowledge about environmental impacts of different household configurations, drivers for different occupancy trends and alternative sustainable housing configurations. The research will be carried out in three phases, firstly by using existing population, housing and consumption databases; secondly be interviewing both high and low impact single resident households and finally by studying low impact household configurations in-depth. This will provide new knowledge on: how different household configurations impact sustainability; why people choose to live in different various configurations; and drivers and barriers for emerging sustainable alternatives. This knowledge will be valuable for policy makers planning sustainable urban environments. During period of training the ER will: Acquire specialised knowledge on sociology of consumption; deepen her mixed methods analysis; improve her multicultural and team communications skills; have policy impact; and publish scientific articles in international journals. Thus the MSCA-IF will allow her to consolidate her academic profile in order to enter the EU academic job market in a tenure-track position.


Net EU contribution
€ 219 312,00
Fredrik bajers vej 7k
9220 Aalborg

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Danmark Nordjylland Nordjylland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00