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The Psychology of the digital environment: digitalization, environmental protection and environmental design Introduction to the special issue

The digital transformation triggers change processes in human everyday life and social coexistence. The restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic further fuelled the change towards a more digitalized society. Communication, work, education, consumption, and socialization are increasingly taking place digitally. For environmental psychology research and practice, digitalization is also gaining importance. Digital technologies are changing the environments in which we humans move every day, and thus an object of research in environmental psychology.

The built environment is complemented by smart cities, smart homes, and smart devices, by multimodal transportation models and sharing platforms. People experience natural and social environments increasingly in an indirect way: The relation that is mediated by digital applications, such as social media or video-streaming. The digital applications themselves form a new kind of environment in which an increasing number of people spend more and more hours each day: the digital environment.