Shared Living on a Shared Planet
with author Anitra Nelson
A presentation and discussion with activist-scholar Anitra Nelson, whose new book Small is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet (Pluto Press) argues for ‘eco-collaborative housing’, i.e. smaller homes with shared spaces and facilities.
Houses and apartments in countries like the US, Canada and Australia grew larger in the 20th century even as household sizes shrank. This has made housing less environmentally sustainable and it contributes to the housing affordability crisis. Since the US mortgage fiasco triggered the Global Financial Crisis many countries have experienced skyrocketing house prices. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of state support for social and public housing means that private ownership or rental are the only options.
Small is Necessary advocates not only for smaller dwellings in compact settlements but for shared spaces and facilities. Anitra presents a range of practical options from co-living in a household to co-housing and eco-villages. She weighs the pros and cons of the tiny house movement and assesses the potential and limits of radical squats along the way. She considers the future of eco-collaborative housing managed by various different drivers—governments, market developers, and sharing economy initiatives, and grassroots communities.
Anitra has had ten years’ experience living in two different Australian housing collectives, but her new book is research-based, especially drawing on ecological footprint studies.
The author will sign books at the end of the program.
Anitra Nelson is an activist-scholar whose research interests focus on housing and community-based sustainability, environmental justice and non-monetary futures. She is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia). She was a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (2016–2017) and was a Visiting Scholar at the New School for Social Research (2012). She is a co-editor of Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies (2011) and Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities (forthcoming).