1st Edition

Living within a Fair Share Ecological Footprint

Edited By Robert Vale, Brenda Vale Copyright 2013
    344 Pages 110 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 110 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    According to many authorities the impact of humanity on the earth is already overshooting the earth’s capacity to supply humanity’s needs. This is an unsustainable position. This book does not focus on the problem but on the solution, by showing what it is like to live within a fair earth share ecological footprint. 

    The authors describe numerical methods used to calculate this, concentrating on low or no cost behaviour change, rather than on potentially expensive technological innovation. They show what people need to do now in regions where their current lifestyle means they are living beyond their ecological means, such as in Europe, North America and Australasia. The calculations focus on outcomes rather than on detailed discussion of the methods used. The main objective is to show that living with a reduced ecological footprint is both possible and not so very different from the way most people currently live in the west. 

    The book clearly demonstrates that change in behaviour now will avoid some very challenging problems in the future. The emphasis is on workable, practical and sustainable solutions based on quantified research, rather than on generalities about overall problems facing humanity.

    Part 1: Introduction 

    1. Footprints and Fair Earth Share. Bill Rees and Jennie Moore 

    Part 2: What does Living within a Fair Earth Share Mean? 

    2.1: Personal Footprint 

    2. Food. James Richardson 

    3. Domestic Travel. Robert and Brenda Vale 

    4. Consumer Goods. Maggie Lawton 

    5. The Dwelling.  Nalanie Mithraratne 

    6. Tourism. Abbas Mahravan 

    2.2: Collective Footprint 

    7. Infrastructure. Ning Huang  

    8. Government. Jeremy Gabe and Rebecca Gentry 

    9. Services. Soo Ryu 

    Part 3: Footprints in the Past 

    10. A Study of Wellington in the 1950s. Carmeny Field (with Brenda Vale)  

    Part 4: Footprints in the Present 

    11. A Study of China. Yuefeng Guo 

    12. A Study of Suburban Thailand. Sirimas Hengrasmee 

    13. Kampung Naga, Indonesia. Grace Pamungkas (with Brenda Vale and Fabricio Chicca) 

    14. A Study of Hanoi, Vietnam. Han Thuc Tran 

    15. A Study of Suburban New Zealand.  Sumita Ghosh 

    16. The Hockerton Housing Project, England. Brenda and Robert Vale 

    17. Education for Lower Footprints. Sant Chansomsak 

    18. Footprints and Income. Ella Lawton 

    19. Sustainable Urban Form. Fabricio Chicca 

    Part 5: Conclusions 

    20. "I wouldn't start from here..." Robert and Brenda Vale


    Robert and Brenda Vale are Professorial Research Fellows in the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. They share common research interests in ecological footprinting and sustainable building design, and are both currently working on the new Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) project to deliver ecological footprinting and systems approaches to sustainable development of communities.

    "Informed, informative, scholarly, insightful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking... [A] vitally necessary addition to professional, academic, corporate, and governmental library Environmental Studies reference collections." - The Midwest Book Review, June 2013

    "‘Sustainability’ is a term that is bandied about all the time, casually applied to anything that is slightly better than the usual, however marginal the improvement might be. This is a book that corrects that mis-use, setting out exactly what a sustainable lifestyle actually entails." – Jeremy Williams, Make Wealth History

    "The key contribution of this collection is the provision of extensive, detailed comparative assessments of the relative ecological footprint associated with different dimensions of our resource consumption, providing at times surprising insights into the comparative impact of, for example, automobile versus air travel, or the ecological footprint reduction that could be achieved with a lowering of meat consumption."Canadian Studies in Population, Debra J. Davidson, University of Alberta