Human-environment relations: selected examples


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIR12
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Aleš Smrekar, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 40 hours, seminar 20 hours, individual work 120 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, e-learning, tutorial


Course syllabus (download)


Finished second Bologna level in the appropriate field or University degree VII.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • environmental problems and the role of human behaviour in the environment
  • society’s responses to human activity in the environment and the development of environmental paradigms
  • environmental effects of pollution sources (transport, agriculture, industry, mining, energy, households)
  • contemporary environmental challenges in urban areas
  • relationship between man and living environment
  • development of environmental awareness and environmentally friendly behaviour
  • methods to strengthen environmental awareness and behaviour



  • Ensuring quality of life in Europe’s cities and towns. 2009. Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 108 str.
  • Gardner, G. T., Stern, P. C. 2002: Environmental problems and human behaviour. Boston.
  • Kirn, A. 2004: Narava – družba – ekološka zavest. Ljubljana.
  • Kos, D. 2004: Tri ravni trajnostnega razvoja. Teorija in praksa, 41-1/2.
  • Plut, D. 2006: Mesta in sonaravni razvoj. Ljubljana.
  • Plut, D. 2008: Vrednotenje geografskega okolja in okoljska etika. Dela 29.
  • Polajnar Horvat, K. 2015: Okolju prijazno vedenje. Georitem 26. Ljubljana.
  • Smrekar, A. 2011: From environmental awareness in word to environmental awareness in deed: the case of Ljubljana. Acta geographica Slovenica 51-2.
  • Steg, L., I. M. de Groot, J. 2018: Environmental Psychology: An Introduciton. Willey.
  • Steg, L., Vlek, C. 2009: Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda. Journal of environmental psychology 29.
  • Špes, M. 1998: Degradacija okolja kot dejavnik diferenciacije urbane pokrajine. Geographica Slovenica 30. Ljubljana.
  • Welford, M., Zarbrough, R. 2021: Human-Environment Interactions. An introduction. Springer.


Objectives and competences:

The main objective of the course is to introduce the student to selected topics from researching human-environment relations. During the course, students will gain the following competences:

  • understanding the role of human behaviour in generating and solving contemporary environmental problems,
  • awareness about key environmental paradigms,
  • understanding the development of environmental thought, awareness, and environmental behavior as the key factors in burdening and protecting the environment,
  • ability to recognize the main sources of environmental pollution and to understand their activity and effect on the environment,
  • ability to understand the city as an ecosystem and awareness about key urban environmental problems,
  • understanding the complexity of the relation between man and living environment and its perception and evaluation,
  • ability to recognize and understand the role of internal and external factors in environmental awareness and behavior and
  • awareness on the importance and role of informational and structural strategies to promote environmental awareness and behavior.
  • Students will be encouraged to adopt critical thinking, use the problem approach, and independent research. Therefore,submitting an individual seminar paper on the selected topic will be required.


Intended learning outcomes:

Participation in the course will bring the student:

  • an in-depth understanding of contemporary environmental problems and ways of solving them,
  • the ability to recognize environmental pollution sources and their effects on the landscape,
  • the ability to perform a complex evaluation of the urban environment and its elements,
  • an in-depth understanding of the complex relation between man and living environment,
  • the ability to understand the reciprocal factors in the development of environmental awareness and behavior, and
  • practical knowledge about the usefulness of informational and structural strategies for promoting environmental awareness and changing environmental behaviors.



Oral exam (70 %), written paper (30 %).