The field of environment and behavior studies occupies a special niche on the intellectual scene. Interdisciplinary by nature, and spanning several social science and environmental design fields, this problem-focused discipline emerged, partially by intent and partially by accident, in the 1960s and 1970s. Its sources were many. At the societal level, an array of social and political problems focused attention on the physical environment and human affairs. Ferment surrounded issues such as war and peace, civil rights, sexual liberation, education, and the environment. In fact, the first Earth Day in the spring of 1970 galvanized public activity on environmental concerns as diverse as air, water and land pollution, toxic waste disposal, desecration of the natural landscape, urban decay, crime, suburban sprawl, unsatisfactory housing for the poor and elderly, and so on.
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