Sustainability begins at home? An ecological exploration of sub/urban Australian community-focused housing initiatives

Louise Crabtree

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper responds to challenges made by Castree [Castree, N., 2004. Environmental issues: signals in the noise? Progress in Human Geography 28 (1), 79–90] and Sneddon [Sneddon, C., 2000. ‘Sustainability’ in ecological economics, ecology and livelihoods: a review. Progress in Human Geography 24 (4), 521–549] for human geography to clarify its contribution to environmental debates and engage with recent formulations of sustainability as informed by the ‘new ecology’. This approach focuses on resilience, functional diversity, flexibility and complexity, here used to examine housing sustainability within an industrialised sub/urban context in terms of design philosophy, ownership, management bases, community engagement and funding mechanisms. This framework highlights areas of concern for enhancing the functional diversity of housing systems, echoing recent assertions that challenges for sustainability arise more from trust and power sharing issues, than from physical design and maintenance issues. It is argued that it is precisely human geography’s place-by-place consideration of power, embeddedness, scale and politics that can lend new ecology the social relevance it requires.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)519-535
    Number of pages17
    JournalGeoforum
    Volume37
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Keywords

    • cities
    • ecosystems
    • resilience
    • ecology
    • sustainable development
    • sustainability
    • sustainable livelihoods
    • urban design
    • Australia

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