Upcoming events


As part of the National Sustainable Living Festival 2019, the last — and potentially 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 is 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:


What are the housing alternatives of the future? Join 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. This is an exciting opportunity to learn the value of community living and resource sharing. Find out how cohousing and alternative ownership models can lift community engagement and build a more sustainable future. Learn about the potential of Community Land Trusts to deliver perpetually affordable housing. Ask your burning questions to the panel of speakers: Anitra Nelson, Heidi Lee, and Karl Fitzgerald with MC Elsie L’Huillier of Commoners Coop. Find out more here.

Past events


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)


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 Opportunitiesjoined 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:


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 —


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