1st Edition

Housing for Degrowth Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities

Edited By Anitra Nelson, François Schneider Copyright 2019
    296 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    296 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    ‘Degrowth’, a type of ‘postgrowth’, is becoming a strong political, practical and cultural movement for downscaling and transforming societies beyond capitalist growth and non-capitalist productivism to achieve global sustainability and satisfy everyone’s basic needs.

    This groundbreaking collection on housing for degrowth addresses key challenges of unaffordable, unsustainable and anti-social housing today, including going beyond struggles for a 'right to the city' to a 'right to metabolism', advocating refurbishment versus demolition, and revealing controversies within the degrowth movement on urbanisation, decentralisation and open localism. International case studies show how housing for degrowth is based on sufficiency and conviviality, living a ‘one planet lifestyle’ with a common ecological footprint.

    This book explores environmental, cultural and economic housing and planning issues from interdisciplinary perspectives such as urbanism, ecological economics, environmental justice, housing studies and policy, planning studies and policy, sustainability studies, political ecology, social change and degrowth. It will appeal to students and scholars across a wide range of disciplines.

    Foreword Joan Martinez-Alier

    Part 1 Simple Living for All

    1. Housing for growth narratives Anitra Nelson

    2. Housing for degrowth narratives François Schneider

    Part 2 Housing Justice

    3. From the ‘Right to the City’ to the ‘Right to Metabolism’ Elisabeth Skarðhamar Olsen, Marco Orefice and Giovanni Pietrangeli

    4. How can squatting contribute to degrowth? Claudio Cattaneo

    Part 3 Housing Sufficiency

    5. Rethinking home as a node for transition Pernilla Hagbert

    6. Framing degrowth: The radical potential of tiny house mobility April Anson

    7. Housing and climate change resilience: Vanuatu Wendy Christie and John Salong

    Part 4 Reducing Demand

    8. Christiania: A Poster Child for Degrowth? Natasha Verco

    9. Refurbishment vs demolition? Social housing campaigning for degrowth Mara Ferreri

    10. The Simpler Way: Housing, living and settlements Ted Trainer

    Part 5 Ecological Housing and Planning

    11. Degrowth: A Perspective from Bengaluru, South India Chitra Vishwanath

    12. Low impact living: More than a house Jasmine Dale, Robin Marwege and Anja Humburg

    13. Neighbourhoods as the basic module of the global commons Hans Widmer (‘P.M.’) with Francois Schneider

    14. The quality of small dwellings in a neighbourhood context Harpa Stefansdottir and Jin Xue

    Part 6 Whither Urbanisation?

    15. Housing for degrowth: Space, planning and distribution Jin Xue

    16. Urbanisation as the death of politics: Sketches of degrowth municipalism Aaron Vansintjan

    17. Scale, place and degrowth: Getting from here to ‘there’ — On Xue and Vansintjan I Andreas Exner

    18. Geography matters: Ideas for a degrowth spatial planning paradigm — On Xue and Vansintjan II

    Karl Krähmer

    19. ‘Open localism’ — On Xue and Vansintjan III François Schneider and Anitra Nelson

    Part 7 Anti-Capitalist Values and Relations

    20. Mietshäuser Syndikat: Collective ownership, the ‘housing question’ and degrowth Lina Hurlin

    21. Non-monetary eco-collaborative living for degrowth Anitra Nelson

    22. Summary and research futures for housing for degrowth Anitra Nelson and François Schneider


    Anitra Nelson is an activist-scholar, Associate Professor in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University, Melbourne (Australia), and author and editor of several books including Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet (2018) and Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies (ed.) (2011).

    François Schneider has supported degrowth since 2001. Co-founder of Research & Degrowth (http://degrowth.org/) and initiator of degrowth conferences, he is associate researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 2012, he started the experiential project Can Decreix, 'house of degrowth' in Catalan.

    "This is a splendid and very readable book on housing and urban planning for degrowth. The degrowth perspective implies a decrease in the social metabolism and an increase in communality and conviviality. There are many chapters on actual types of degrowth housing in many countries and fundamental discussions of top-down versus bottom-up urban planning leading to these objectives. This book should become a textbook for courses in architecture, and urban and rural planning."Joan Martinez Alier, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Economic History and Senior Researcher at ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Co-director of the EJAtlas (www.ejatlas.org)

    "Degrowth is not just a theory — it is practice and it has policy implications. This fantastic collection of new essays shows how a degrowth mindset opens new ways of thinking alternatives and solutions to what is becoming a truly global housing crisis."Giorgos Kallis, ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and a co-editor of Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Paradigm (2014)

    "This book brings together astonishingly rich views on sustainable urban development, wholly local but with a global coverage. It fits in with trends away from evermore centralised decision making for growth towards local independence. Decentralised autonomy can halt encroachment of global organisations in private life, with communal housing at its core."Gjalt Huppes, Senior Researcher, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University, Netherlands