Webinar #6 Degrowth and overconsumption



The 20 March 2023 from 10:00 until 11:30



« 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/)

Come and discuss this with us and our guest speakers in the next HUB 5 webinar!   

With support from the French National Energy Agency