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A Technological Scenario for a Healthier, More Equitable and Sustainable Europe in 2040: Citizen Perceptions and Policy Implications

This article aims at exploring, understanding and comparing European citizens’ insights and perceptions towards “My life between realities”, a positive future scenario which depicts a narrative of reaching healthier, more equitable and sustainable societies by 2040 with the support of technology and technological solutions. It responds to the need for gathering and incorporating more citizen insights into future policy developments and strategic actions to tackle the global challenge of unsustainable development. Citizens of five European countries—the Czech Republic, Germany, North Macedonia, Spain and the United Kingdom—have been consulted through focus groups. The exercise has uncovered citizens’ preferences and attitudes towards four main lifestyle areas; namely, green spaces, energy efficient housing, active mobility and (food) consumption. The technological attributes of the scenario led citizens to express diametrically opposed and critical perceptions and attitudes. Based on these insights and given the prospects of technology in driving sustainable development, policy recommendations for the better integration and acceptance of technological advances by the public are discussed herein.

The article is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.