Upcoming events


From mid-October to early December I will be working out of, but mainly away from, the RMIT Europe campus in Barcelona. As co-editors of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities due for release 13 August in the Routledge Environmental Humanities series, François Schneider and I will be speaking at events and workshops planned in places such as Paris, Budapest, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, London, Brussels and Munich. Watch this space for details.


17 September François Schneider and I will present a paper on housing for degrowth at a postgrowth preparatory seminar at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels. This seminar precedes a 18–19 September Post-growth Conference arranged by several members of the European Parliament from different political groups, various academics, NGOs and unions, to take place in the premises of the European Parliament. The aim is to influence the next European elections and the nomination of a new Commission later next year so future policy might focus on measures that will ensure genuine sustainability.


The 6th International Degrowth Conference will take place in venues in and around Folkets Park, Malmö (Sweden), 21–25 August. On 23 August, 16:00-17:00 we co-editors will present and launch Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunitiesjoined by several contributors, including Jin Xue, Natasha Verco, Pernilla Hagbert and Karl Krähmer to talk about their chapters in the collection. This book is an outcome of the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest, specifically the Housing for Degrowth session and call for book chapter proposals. Our book with 25 contributors is now out in the Routledge Environmental Humanities series and we will have paperback for sale at a special price of 25 Euros.


A two-day workshop on consecutive Sundays, 5 and 12 August, for all those interested in learning more about and developing an Australian environmental justice case study for the international online Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas). In the workshop, we will support you developing a case study that you will have time to complete. There are more than 2500 international case studies but only 17 are Australian so we want to boost our presence on the site. For more details and to book:

Past events


Talk on Small is Necessary at 11.30am at a one-day workshop Creating Self-Managing Communities organised by Cohousing Australia. Venue: Dream Factory at 90 Maribynong Road, Footscray. Different presentations, facilitated by Cohousing Australia, demystified concepts and participants worked through key questions associated with the process of creating a citizen-led, cohousing and/or self-managing community.



Can we make housing more affordable through design? panel 2–3.15pm at the Everybody’s Home 2018 Affordable Housing Conference at the Sydney Masonic Centre organised by Community Housing Industry Associations NSW and Homelessness NSW.

I will talk about the affordability of eco-collaborative housing alongside Chris Johnson (CEO, Urban Taskforce), Francesca Muskovic (Policy Manager—Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs, Property Council of Australia) and John Brogden (CEO, Landcom).


Small is Necessary book event organised by Castlemaine Library at the Phee Broadway Theatre, Mechanics Lane. Does small mean less? More than 150 people came to hear Anitra Nelson speak about different strategies for shared, eco-friendly living around the world. I discussed the positive social and economic benefits of small, co-operative living with another local, Mary-Faeth Chenery, who is a member of a group establishing a cohousing project in central Victoria, WinC — Older Women in Cohousing. 5.30–6.30pm. Free.


A Localising Leanganook community conversation — at 5pm on Sunday 17 June at the Ray Bradfield Room adjacent to Victory Park in Castlemaine — where I asked: Are housing for ‘degrowth’ and ‘eco-collaborative’ housing ways of the future? With reference to both Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet and the soon to be published collection I have co-edited with Francois Schneider, Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities, I discussed aspects of degrowth, housing for degrowth and eco-collaborative housing as ways of achieving more affordable, sustainable and community-based living.


Eco-Suburbia: Low Carbon Futures What will a future Melbourne look like? Panel session with renowned environmental designer and permaculture co-originator David Holmgren (RetroSuburbia), Professor Ralph Horne (Housing Sustainability in Low Carbon Cities) and Associate Professor Anitra Nelson (Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet) — chaired by Emeritus Professor Mike Berry — from the RMIT Centre for Urban Research. We discussed models and current policy and planning debates on Melbourne’s future.

5–7pm RMIT University Lecture Theatre (hundreds of seats but booked out fast) Building 80 Level 2 Room 7 — 445 Swanston St Melbourne, VIC 3000. See video record of event here —


This year Left Forum took place at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University Of New York, 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY, 10019, 1–3 June. At 10–11.50am, 2 June (Sat) in Rm 1.114, I joined urban sociologist Miguel Á. Martínez projected by Skype from Sweden and was with ecosocialist David Schwartzman in a panel with a room of participants discussing Housing Strategies and Post-Capitalism — how housing struggles and strategies can be critical for revolutionary change. More details here Download our Left Forum Housing Strategies and Post-Capitalism FlyerHS&PC–LF — and our Reading ListReadingListHousingStrategiesAndPost-CapitalismLeftForum2018

I was in conversation with a member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Rae Machado, on ways that living together can make us environmentally sustainable by reducing our ecological footprint. This Thursday 7.30pm event was hosted by the Everything Goes Book-Cafe at 208 Bay St not far from the ferry stop on Staten Island. See more at the events pages of the EGBC site and at Pluto Press.

New York book launch of Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet hosted by Bluestockings radical bookstore at 172 Allen Street on Wednesday 7–8.30pm. I advocated low impact living via smaller and eco-collaborative housing, such as cohousing. Using international case studies, including New York, and personal experiences of collective living, I speculated on urban futures where sustainable neighborhoods and grassroots democracy develop out of well-connected and productive neighborhoods, i.e. where ‘alternative’ becomes mainstream 


Hosted by the Marxist Education Project, come to New Perspectives Studio, 456-458 West 37th Street (near 10th Avenue) in Manhattan—a short walk from Penn Station/Port Authority or Hudson Yards 11th Avenue 7 train stop — on Tuesday at 7.30pm for a talk, and discussion on new book Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet (Pluto Press 2018) arguing for ‘eco-collaborative housing’, i.e. smaller homes with shared spaces and facilities, to promote more sustainable, affordable and convivial living. For more, see —


At, and hosted by, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space 155 Avenue C at 4–5.30pm, I talked referred to case studies of eco-collaborative housing involving radical sharing households, squats and communes associated with Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet. The discussion was great and books sold at a discount (US$20).


At the full room on Sunday at the 11.30am session on Socialist and Anarchist Utopias at The Great Transition: Preparing a World Beyond Capitalism international conference, 17–20 May, in Montreal (Canada), I and Terry Leahy presented papers on non-market socialism: ‘Socialism where people and planet, not money, are central’ and ‘How to save the environment “without planning”‘, respectively. Download NMS-Montreal-Final We wre rapt with the response and discussion afterwards, including over lunch. The conference offered an opportunity to promote the emergent Palgrave Macmillan Alternatives and Futures: Cultures, Practices, Activism and Utopias book series of which I am the series editor. I am seeking proposals, see Alternatives&FuturesFlyerB&W.


Shared, Sustainable Cities — an evening conversation on the challenges of creating more shared housing and living, and sustainable cities, which took place at the Victoria Hotel in Great George Street, Leeds (just behind the Town Hall) on 9 May, 7.30pm to 9pm. I spoke about Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet and Paul Chatterton, Professor Urban Futures at University of Leeds talked about models presented in his forthcoming Pluto Press book Unlocking Sustainable Cities and plans to set up a Centre for Sustainable Cities in Leeds’ Kirkstall Valley. We chatted to the full room of participants about our experiences of eco-collaborative housing. Hosted by the Kirkstall Valley Development Trust  and Leeds Permaculture Network Free entry but tickets here


Eco-collaborative housing; eco-collaborative futures? A talk for the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield 4pm Tuesday. Affordable, sustainable, community-based and neighbourhood oriented housing seems the way of the future — might not ‘alternative’ housing — specifically eco-collaborative housing, become mainstream? This talk analysed possible futures for such housing driven, alternatively, by government policies, ecohousing entrepreneurs, and/or resident-driven models eschewing both the state and the market.

The London launch of Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet took place at Housmans Bookshop 7pm 4 May. I went into conversation with Victoria and Albert Museum Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism Rory HydeHousmans is at 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, a two minute walk from King’s Cross/St.Pancras terminals, at the bottom end of Caledonian Road where it meets with Pentonville Road. Phone 020 7837 4473 for more details. More at the publisher’s site here.


Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet launched in Sydney at 5.30pm 12 April at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Design Architecture Building, Room 6.6.38, 702-730 Harris Street, Ultimo. Chaired by Ariel Salleh, Associate in Political Economy at University of Sydney, my other panel members were Cameron Tonkinwise — commencing as Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at UTS mid-year — and Bronwen Morgan, Professor of Law at University of New South Wales researching legal and regulatory pathways of diverse new economy initiatives. Signed books sold at a discount. Free event, with registration at —


Noon talk on Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet at Southern Gippsland Sustainable Living Festival, Wonthaggi. Signed books available at discount.


Interviewed, 2 March, by Esty Dinur for WORT FM community radio Madison (Wisconsin) on Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet. See item and listen to podcast here.


A conversation between Anitra and Giselle Wilkinson on Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet at New International Bookshop (54 Victoria Street Carlton) on Thursday 1 March 7pm. Dynamic Giselle is a sustainability and eco-collaborative housing expert who co-founded the National Sustainable Living Festival and Murundaka.


On the Tuesday 27 February, the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute Political Economy Reading Group met through lunch to hear a short talk by Anitra and to discuss a reading of Chapter 9 of Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet.


Melbourne launch of Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet at Readings Carlton bookstore (309 Lygon Street) 6.30–7.30pm 22 February 2018. Eco-polis urbanist Paul Downton — cofounder of urban cohousing project Christie Walk in Adelaide — launched the book. I gave a talk of gratitude to multiple people and referred to benefiting from a Carson Writing Fellowship (2016–2017) at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU in Munich. Professor Jago Dodson, director of the Center for Urban Research at RMIT University was MC. Buy paperback for $42.95 online or in Readings shops. Event, wine and author’s signature all free. An event of the National Sustainable Living Festival 2018.