Sufficient cities, by will or by force!
« Since 1972 and the Meadows report, we know that there are limits to growth. Nonetheless, our societies remain obsessed by economic growth and cities are the main engine of that growth. Cities cover 2% of the planet’s surface. Yet, they consume 75% of all materials in the economy. The acceleration of climate crisis coupled with the energy crisis question the effectiveness of public, including local, policies implemented so far. As a response to the impossibility of infinite growth, a new agenda has emerged proposing a radically alternative approach: degrowth. Degrowth means to both downscale and slow down the metabolism of cities: all the materials that are imported, transformed and rejected in and from cities. Degrowth means a radical change of all policies, including at local level. How would cities look like in a degrowth society?
The degrowth movement criticized the phenomenon of metropolisation and attractiveness. Cities have been the terrain where this culture of growth has been materialized. How to find a balance between territories and what alternative development should be promoted? What kind of urban planning/housing policies can contribute to the transition towards a city of degrowth?
In addition, numerous researchers argue that a resource that is not regulated by a common good will be regulated by price. How cities can therefore organize resources locally while meeting the basic needs of all? Who and how do we decide on the activities to maintain or to stop in a city?
Since uncontrolled consumption is at the core of the present culture of growth, challenging and changing such aspects is central to thinking about a city of degrowth. What are the levers cities can act on to challenge this culture of growth? Is the reduction of ads in public space a relevant answer?
For the #6 episod of the sufficient cities series, we will discussed all these questions with:
- Tristan Riom municipal and metropolitan councillor in Nantes, in charge of building, energy and climate. Author of the blog post: "Attractiveness, the new enemy?" (https://energy-cities.eu/attractiveness-the-new-enemy/)
- Miljenka Kuhar, senior expert at DOOR, a civil society organization in Croatia, in charge of the 9th International Degrowth Conference in Zagreb part of the Zagreb Degrowth Week (https://odrast.hr/)
This series is brought to you by PATH2LC. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
With support from the French National Energy Agency ADEME.
This webinar series is centred on the topic of SUFFICIENCY: a circular production-consumption principle that acknowledges the boundaries of our planet, in favour of lifestyles that set the standard for adequate wellbeing, without precluding it to other communities or exacerbating climate change.The ecological emergency, exacerbated by the economic backlashes of the war in Ukraine, requires structural changes of our production and consumption patterns. However, until today, public policies have mainly focused on the production side and on technical changes, neglecting the demand side that meets our needs and affects our way of living. Ready-made solutions do not exist, they must be built collectively.
How can local authorities avoid emissions, support only climate-compatible activities and shift local activities so that they respect the ecological and social boundaries of their territory? As part of its ‘Resource-wise and socially-just local economies’ HUB, Energy Cities organises this webinar series that will provide alternatives and new narratives to inspire cities to rethink local social and economic models putting sufficiency at the core.
#1 – What emergency energy saving measures should my city take? - 15 June 2022
Take-aways in this article. Speakers were:
o Julie Purdue, Head of the Mission for the Ecological Transition of the City of Lyon (FR)
o Todor Tonev, Energy Advisor to the City of Sredets (BG)
o Lydia Korinek, Policy Consultant at ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies, co-author of the Publication “Demand-side solutions to address energy shortages”
#2 - Changing cultures and organisations - 4 Oct with Mathieu Saujot, coordinator Lifestyles in transition, IDDRI. Take-aways in this article
#3 – Ecological transition and jobs : accelerating green local economies - 8 Nov with Hayat Boaira for the Zero Unemployed Territories in the City of Villeurbanne and Eddy Adams, EUI and URBACT Expert. Summary here.
#4 – From 'vacant spaces' to 'meanwhile spaces' - Transitional urbanism in the cities of today and tomorrow. - 1st Dec with Dickel Bokoum (La Belle Friche), Jen Storan (Meanwhile Space UK) and Levente Polyak (Eutropian & KEK) Take-aways in this article
#5 - New local compasses for territorial policies: how can new social and well-being indicators shape public policies? - 27th Feb. with Sylvine Bois-Choussy and Jean Laudouar (27th Region) and Thomas Delahais and Annabelle Berthaud (IBEST) - watch the replay Take-aways in this article
20 Mar 2023, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.