Small is Necessary Shared Living on a Shared Planet | Left Wing Books

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Small is Necessary Shared Living on a Shared Planet

320 pages
$37.80 (CAD)

Does small mean less? Not necessarily. In an era of housing crises, environmental unsustainability and social fragmentation, the need for more sociable, affordable and sustainable housing is vital. The answer? Shared living - from joint households to land-sharing, cohousing and ecovillages.

Using successful examples from a range of countries, Anitra Nelson shows how "eco-collaborative housing" - resident-driven low impact living with shared facilities and activities - can address the great social, economic and sustainability challenges that householders and capitalist societies face today. Sharing living spaces and facilities results in householders having more amenities and opportunities for neighbourly interaction.

Small is Necessary places contemporary models of "alternative" housing and living at centre stage arguing that they are outward-looking, culturally rich, with low ecological footprints and offer governance techniques for a more equitable and sustainable future.


About the Author

Anitra Nelson is Associate Professor in the Centre for Urban Research School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Australia. She is the author of Marx's Concept of Money: The God of Commodities (Routledge, 1999), and she co-edited Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies (Pluto, 2011), Housing for Degrowth (Routledge, 2018) and is the author of Small is Necessary (Pluto, 2018).


What People Are Saying

"With great insight, Anitra Nelson shows how collaborative housing is emerging across the world to re-ignite the 'Small is Beautiful' spirit of E.F. Schumacher. This is a wonderful guide featuring inspiring examples for those who want to use shared eco-housing to tackle the challenges ahead" Paul Chatterton, Professor of Urban Futures, University of Leeds, and co-founder of the Lilac cohousing co-operative

"This is a timely report and a critical and informed exploration of an important and growing housing sector in which ideas of equity, sharing, and ecological responsibility are essential parts of real, successful communities" Paul Downton — Ecopolis urbanist and cofounder of Christie Walk cohousing (Adelaide, Australia)

"This book ranges widely and interrogates deeply. It imaginatively opens new and challenging horizons on the need to find forms of housing that are communal, affordable and sustainable" Peadar Kirby, Emeritus Professor of International Politics and Public Policy, and director of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society, at the University of Limerick and resident of Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland

"[This] book takes you on a journey that peels away layer after layer of traditional housing models to show the reader more and more eco-collaborative possibilities. You are left with a whole new menu of how things could be, and an appealing and inspiring vision at the end" Bronwen Morgan, Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales

"An extensive chronology of housing which shows that sharing land and resources can help … address the broader sustainability challenges we face … packaged like a novel, it can be used as a pocket guide to read in segments … There are hundreds of references and case studies of local and international developments which are used to explain the ins and outs, successes and pitfalls of small housing and shared housing arrangements" Sanctuary Magazine

"Recommended" CHOICE


Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables and Boxes
1. Less is More: Living Closely on a Finite Planet
Part I: Compact Urban Housing
2. Once We Were Small: Traditional and Contemporary Homes 
3. Apartment Living in Cities
4. Apartment Household Practices and Affordability
Part II: Eco-Cohousing and Ecovillages
5. From Sharing a House to Eco-cohousing 
6. Ecovillages: Sustainability and System Change 
Part III: Futures: Scaling Up, Shared Landscapes, Shared Livelihoods
7. ‘Will You Dance With Us?’ Governments and Collaborative Housing
8. ‘To Market, To Market’: Eco-collaborative Housing for Sale
9. Grassroots Sustainability, Sociality and Governance
10. Small is Necessary and, with Sharing, Feasible
Appendix: Key Sources and Links