Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary

Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary

by Samuel Alexander, Brendan Gleeson

Hardcover(1st ed. 2019)

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This book addresses a central dilemma of the urban age: how to make the vast suburban landscapes that ring the globe safe and sustainable in the face of planetary ecological crisis. The authors argue that degrowth, a planned contraction of economic overshoot, is the only feasible principle for suburban renewal. They depart from the anti-suburban sentiment of much environmentalism to show that existing suburbia can be the centre-ground of transition to a new social dispensation based on the principle of self-limitation. The book offers a radical new urban imaginary, that of degrowth suburbia, which can arise Phoenix like from the increasingly stressed cities of the affluent Global North and guide urbanisation in a world at risk. This means dispensing with much contemporary green thinking, including blind faith in electric vehicles and high-density urbanism, and accepting the inevitability and the benefits of planned energy descent. A radical but necessary vision for the times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789811321306
Publisher: Springer Singapore
Publication date: 09/22/2018
Edition description: 1st ed. 2019
Pages: 213
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Samuel Alexander is Research Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne, Australia. His books include Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits (2015) and Wild Democracy: Degrowth, Permaculture, and the Simpler Way (2017).

Brendan Gleeson is Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia. His books include The Urban Condition (2014) and Australian Heartlands: Making Space for Hope in the Suburbs (2006).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgement.- Foreword.- Chapter 1 Reimagining the Suburbs beyond Growth.- Chapter 2 Carbon Suburbia and the Energy Descent Future.- Chapter 3 Light Green Illusions and the ‘Blind Field’ of Techno-Optimism.- Chapter 4 Resettling Suburbia: A Post-Capitalist Politics ‘From Below’.- Chapter 5 Unlearning Abundance: Suburban Practices of Energy Descent.- Chapter 6 Degrowth in the Suburbs: Envisioning a Prosperous Descent.- Chapter 7 Regoverning the City: Policies for a New Economy.- Chapter 8 A New Suburban Condition Dawns.- Index.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In a world seemingly beset by intractable challenges with potentially dire outcomes, Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson offer a beacon of hope through their sketches of a tantalizing and realistic suburban future in which resource use has been downscaled and localised, and most importantly a culture of sufficiency has taken root. They elaborate a bold imaginary demonstrating how the myriad of initiatives that are already present might form the basis of a radically different suburban future. Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary sets the compass in a direction that will help steer civil society and government towards the type of world we would be proud to bequeath future generations.” (J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy, authors of Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities)

“There is nothing that embodies the twisted values of growth-addicted capitalism more visibly than suburban sprawl. Massive matrices of carbon-intensive consumerism, the suburbs reflect the forces that are driving our descent into ecological crisis. But as deepening crises begin to engulf us, Alexander and Gleeson see an unlikely flicker of hope. The suburbs, they argue, hold the potential for a new, more resilient way of living that could help see us through the calamities of the Anthropocene. This is a brilliant, invigorating book, poetically written and full of exciting ideas. A marvelous achievement.” (Jason Hickel, author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions)

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