Originally a two-day face-to-face symposium at the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for contributors to the Post-Growth Planning book edited by Federico Savini (University of Amsterdam), Kim von Schönfeld (Wageningen University) and António Ferreira (University of Porto). Private Zoom meetings will now be held instead. My contribution is a chapter on dwelling beyond growth co-written with Paul Chatterton.
Can degrowth save us from the climate catastrophe? What changes must we make to live within Earth’s limits? Where are the practical models? Hosted by the Darebin Climate Action Now, Anitra Nelson explores these questions and more around the degrowth movement as she lives it and analysed in the Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide book she has coauthored with Vincent Liegey. See Facebook event page here. Register here.
Revolutions are wrought from testing times and sparks that light the way ahead. Anitra Nelson (Central Victoria) and Vincent Liegey (Budapest) speak in postcapitalist terms to their recent books – Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide and Pandemic Solidarity: Mutual Aid during the Covid-19 Crisis — which are imbued with transformational insights. One explains the background, activities, and political achievements and challenges for ‘degrowth’. The other analyses the eruption of mutual aid organisations across 18 countries and regions in the current pandemic. This SEARCH Foundation event was on Wednesday 28 October at 20:00–21:00 AEDT. Here is the recording.
Climate Conversations— the continuous conversation about climate change: news, views and interviews — hosted by regional Victoria’s Robert Mclean posts a podcast interview ‘Anitra Nelson takes us on a journey through degrowth’ (21 October 2020) here. Robert feels somewhat apprehensive about a degrowth future but Anitra tries to convince him that a degrowth future is nigh.
Anitra Nelson and Patrick Jones in conversation about ‘degrowth’ — living with minimal ecological footprints locally and as a society — with reference to the recently published Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide. Patrick has contributed a key chapter to Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices, which Anitra co-edited, due out in December. This event is hosted by the Goldfields Library Corporation and Castlemaine Library on Thursday 8 October 7.00–8.00pm AEST. Media here. Recording here.
Anitra Nelson talks on ‘COVID-19: Capitalist and postcapitalist perspectives’ on the panel at the 2nd Urban Economy Forum — on the occasion of World Habitat Day and 75th United Nations Anniversary— in the Theme 4: Urban Transformation: Shifting Paradigms in Urbanism session. Day 2, 6 October 9am–Noon (Toronto time). Booking for the free forum here.
Degrowth, Solidarity and the Welfare State — Anitra Nelson and Boris Frankel in conversation on the recently launched FireWorks series from Pluto Press (London), for which Anitra is a series editor. This Melbourne Sustainable Society institute (MSSI, University of Melbourne) event focused on significant topics in Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide by Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson, Pandemic Solidarity: Mutual Aid During the Covid-19 Crisis by Marina Sitrin and Colectiva Sembrar, and Reinventing the Welfare State: Digital Platforms and Public Policies by Ursula Huws. Q&A followed — Wednesday 30 September 1.00–2.00pm, recording here
Michael Bayliss presenter and producer of Post-Growth Australia Podcast interview for Episode 7: Discovering Degrowth with Anitra Nelson Degrowth? What does it mean? Is it about austerity and deprivation? Or is it about community, collaboration and unshackling ourselves from the matrix of the growth economy into a world that is more equitable, liveable and sustainable? According to Anitra Nelson — definitely the latter! Listen to the podcast here.
A Global Tapestry of Alternatives event in the Webinar series ‘Dialogue on Alternatives in the Time of Global Crises’— co-authors Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson in conversation on the recently launched Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide Friday 28 August 18.00–19.30 AEST. More details and 99 min. recording here — https://globaltapestryofalternatives.org/webinars:10
Vincent Liegey and I participated in a webinar panel launching the special Crisis issue, Demos Journal #10 with thoughts and reflections on writing and analysing crises for our feature essay ‘Democratic crises and degrowth‘. Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm AEST See Facebook event. Our contribution to the journal focuses on degrowth and genuine democracy; you can read it here
Vincent Liegey and I talked with one another about our forthcoming book Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide — in a public online session — outlining why and how we got together to collaborate on the book and some of its key points. Pluto Press (London) will issue the book in August, the second in their new FireWorks series.
The 6 June, Global Degrowth Day — Good Life for All event went live 11.00–12.30 Central European Summer Time (19:00–20.30 Australian Eastern Standard Time). You can watch a 10mins preview video here And the 90mins live event YouTube recording is here.
At 7–8.30pm on 3 June I conversed with Ana Poças from the Dutch Degrowth Platform on ‘What role for degrowth in a Covid-19 world?‘ This webinar session had Michelle Maloney as the MC as it was organised by the New Economy Network Australia (NENA). Watch this space for the recording.
At 7–8.30pm on 4 June I talked about degrowth to a class of the Marrickville School of Economics (Sydney) in a course — Contagion the Kitchen Table — run by Rebecca Conway, mainly drawing on Exploring Degrowth, Food for Degrowth, and Housing for Degrowth. (A longer version of this talk was presented online for RMIT University environmental and planning students (ENVI 1051) on 25 May.)
In conversation with Terry Leahy on Exploring Degrowth — aka postgrowth — a movement that focuses on quality rather than quantity and respecting Earth’s limits — at 2pm–3.30pm, Trades Hall, The Commons, Cnr Victoria and Lygon Sts Carlton 3053. We discussed the degrowth movement and activism, housing for degrowth, such as eco-collaborative housing with food grown collectively and frugal abundance shared. This was a ‘Re-Tune Talk’ organised by Dance House, Carlton — podcast to come.
I contributed remotely to the 5th Dortmund Conference on Spatial Planning and Research 2020 17–18 February at the School of Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund University — jointly organised with the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL), Hanover, and the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Dortmund. The overall theme of the conference was Rethinking Spaces — Planning in a Changing World. The roundtable to which I contributed on Monday 17 February 17:30 to 19:00 — ‘Post-growth from international planning perspectives: Digital roundtable on the future of planning in a post-growth world’ was moderated by Christian Lamker (University of Groningen) Kim Carlotta von Schönfeld (Wageningen University) and Viola Schulze Dieckhoff (TU Dortmund University). For more details see page 199 in the Book of Abstracts.
I spoke in a small panel at a Cohousing Australia and New Economy Network of Australia (NENA) event of the 2020 Sustainable Living Festival, at 10am on Sunday 16 February at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street in Carlton. There were 60+ people participating. We talk about what prompted us to seek eco-collaborative housing, our experiences and why we believed living this way is significant in the context of a climate emergency. See the full day Collaborative Futures Festival organised by Cohousing Australia and NENA here, and details on our panel, here.
Terry Leahy and I will present together on a dedicated panel at the 11th Australian International Political Economy Network (AIPEN) workshop organised by the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney 6–7 February. We will talk about Nonmarket Socialism. What is it? How will we get there? My talk will draw on a book manuscript I am currently working on Moving Beyond Money: A Post-Capitalist Strategy to be published by Pluto Press (London). Check out AIPEN here.
I joined Ariel Salleh, Terry Leahy and Samuel Alexander on a panel — with Hans Baer as MC — at 15.30–17.30 on Monday 25 November in the Swanston Academic Building Main Theatre 80.07.01, 445 Swanston St Melbourne (RMIT University). Our panel discussed Radical Futures for Ecological Economics at the Australia New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics (ANZSEE) 2019 Conference ‘Ecological Economics: Solutions for Now and In the Future’. My talk ‘”Through the Looking-Glass” of Ecological Economics’ is the second half of a duo with Terry Leahy and offers non-monetary economies (real value studies), specifically non-market socialism — as the foundation of postcapitalist transformation.
Elena Peyrera and Anitra Nelson on e-cohousing at the Bendigo (e)cohousing forum held at The Old Church on the Hill, 36 Russell Street, Quarry Hill, VIC 3550 5.00–8.30pm.
25 SEPTEMBER 2019 CASTLEMAINE, AUSTRALIA
Talk on recent research in Europe and relevance to Australian cohousing developments. Held by the Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group affiliated with the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group in the Ray Bradfield room in Victory Park Mostyn Street, 7–9pm.
Participant in Workshop 1 (4–5 July in Cardiff ) of the Eco-communities in Urban Futures research project instigated by Sheffield University Professor Jenny Pickerill. We are co-developing chapters for the Eco-Communities — Another Life is Possible book. I responded to the keynote speaker. Here is a short item I wrote relevant to our discussions:. Afterwards, I conducted a week of self-funded fieldwork at Cloughjordan Ecovillage (Ireland) and spent another week in a housing cooperative in Zurich (Switzerland) collecting primary material for my chapter. Finally, I joined a small team of international contributors to the Eco-Communities book for a team residency in Berlin, 5–9 August, partially funded by The Netherlands Independent Social Research Foundation. Alongside our book, we are co-writing a journal article for Urban Studies and scoped funding for continuing our collaboration.
Short talk on ‘Dirt Justice’ in Panel 1, Dirt Governance, led by Wendy Steele at 9.30am on Day 1 of the Transformative Urban Governance Conference 26–27 June at RMIT University, Melbourne (Victoria, Australia).
20 JUNE 2019 BENDIGO, AUSTRALIA
Breakfast with Fiona Parker interview for ABC Central Victoria radio — 9am–9.40am — in a special session on ‘downsizing’ and eco-collaborative living (including Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet).
26 MAY 2019 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Interview as one of a panel discussing sustainable housing, living and urban planning during the wee hours of Sunday morning on 3RRR’s The Party Show
Invited speaker at the Postgrowth City: Perspectives of Socio-Ecological Transformation of Urban Society Conference 10–11 May, at the Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany. Contributing talk (remotely) on Housing for degrowth: Contradictions challenging grassroots activists.
As part of the National Sustainable Living Festival 2019, the last — and best? — of 30 events in 14 countries comes the Melbourne launch of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities, at RMIT University in Building 80 (aka Swanston Academic Building) at 445 Swanston St Melbourne on Level 2 in Lecture Theatre Room 7 at 5.30 – 7pm on Thursday 21 January.
Explaining and debating ‘degrowth’ in housing and urbanisation was lead editor of the collection Associate Professor Anitra Nelson; Professor Jago Dodson, Director RMIT Centre for Urban Research; Routledge Environmental Humanities series editor Emeritus Professor Libby Robin (ANU); Professor Brendan Gleeson (Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne) and Terry Leahy (Conjoint, University of Newcastle). Free but please register at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/housing-for-degrowth-melbourne-book-launch-tickets-53612013977 We had 200+ attendees
What are the housing alternatives of the future? This Cohousing Australia event — at 6–8pm at the Presidents Room at the Kelvin Club 14–30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne — to find out about cohousing and why everyone is talking about it was attended by 60+. It was an opportunity to learn the value of community living and resource sharing, and to find out how cohousing and alternative ownership models can lift community engagement and build a more sustainable future, as well as the potential of Community Land Trusts to deliver perpetually affordable housing. Panel of speakers: Anitra Nelson, Heidi Lee, and Karl Fitzgerald with MC Elsie L’Huillier of Commoners Coop. Find out more here.
As co-editors of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities, from 27 October to 4 December, I and François Schneider will speak with other urbanists and contributors to the book at more than 25 events and workshops in cities in 11 European countries.
A working schedule of the tour can be found here. Details for just some of these events appear below.
On Monday 3 December, I spoke on Housing for Degrowth and allied themes in Small is Necessary in a Multidisciplinary Seminar of architects and engineers, humanities and social science students organised by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and their colleagues at the Technical University of Munich. On Tuesday 4 December, I spoke in the late afternoon on Housing for Degrowth Tuesday Discussion series (16:15–17:15) for writing fellows and students at the Rachel Carson Center at the Ludwig Maximilien University in Munich.
On Saturday 10 November at 6pm (TBC), François Schneider and I spoke as co-editors of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities and discussed degrowth more generally at the event ‘Podrast Odrasti’ in the Atrium at ZRC SAZU, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Novi trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
The meeting and workshop ‘Housing for Degrowth — A Different plan for Urbanisaton‘ took place on Sunday 4 November at 5–7.30pm at Cafe Kryzys: ul. Wilcza 30, 00-544 Warsaw. The authors of Housing for Degrowth discussed degrowth in practice, problems of contemporary housing and emerging ideas for the future. The future is now! More details appeared at the Facebook event page here.
This Housing for Degrowth event on Friday 2 November from 7–9 pm was one in a series of id22 2018 ExperimentDays where we talked about eco-collaborative housing and degrowth. ExperimentDays annually showcase CoHousing and CoLiving and this event was held at RAW-Friedrichshain, Warschauer Brücke / Revaler Str. in Berlin. They had to stop participants after 135 were fitted into a venue generally catering for a maximum of 90!
On Thursday 1 November at 7.30pm the ‘Zurück zur Zukunft – Degrowth und das Recht auf Stadt’ event included chapter contributor Lina Hurlin (Mietshäuser Syndikat) and me as co-editor — speaking on Housing for Degrowth and discussing degrowth more generally at Pögehaus, Hedwigstraße 20, Leipzig-Neustadt. The event was ably facilitated by Nina Treu, also the event contact (n.treu(at)knoe.org).
The Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH — Döppersberg 19 D-42103 Wuppertal — hosted an event with François Schneider and myself speaking as co-editors of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities and discussing degrowth more generally. The event took place at 17:00 on Tuesday 30 October.
At the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), at 19:00 Monday 29 October, I and François Schneider spoke together on the book that we co-edited and the work of its 25 contributors — Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities.
Casseurs de pub — producers of the journal La Décroissance — hosted an event with François Schneider where we spoke as co-editors of Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities and discussing degrowth more generally at 17:00 on Saturday 27 October. This public event took place at 52 Rue Crillon, 69006 Lyon mainly presented in French.
17 September François Schneider and I presented a paper on housing for degrowth at a postgrowth preparatory seminar at Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels preceding the 18–19 September Post-Growth Conference and arranged by members of the European Parliament from different political groups, various academics, NGOs and unions, which took place in premises of the European Parliament. The aim was to influence the next European elections and the nomination of a new Commission so future policy focuses on measures to ensure genuine sustainability.
The 6th International Degrowth Conference took place in venues in and around Folkets Park, Malmö (Sweden), 21–25 August. On 23 August, 16:00-17:00 we co-editors presented and launched Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities — joined by contributors Jin Xue, Natasha Verco, Pernilla Hagbert and Karl Krähmer who talked about their chapters. An outcome of the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest 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 — contact me through this site or using my RMIT email address.
A guest lecture on Radical Landscape Architecture referencing Mike Davis’s classic Ecology of Fear at 11am–noon, Thursday 16 August, at RMIT University Design Hub. Invited by landscape architecture lecturer Alban Mannisi. Great discussion with landscape architecture students and lecturers afterwards.
A two-day workshop on consecutive Sundays, 5 and 12 August, from 9.30am onwards, 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 supported participants to develop and complete a case study. At the time of this event, here were more than 2500 international case studies but only 17 were Australian so we wanted to boost the Oz presence on the site. For more details and to book: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ejatlas-workshop-5-and-12-august-tickets-47972891209
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 talked 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 that I 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 — https://www.facebook.com/RMITCUR/videos/1654502681315134/