SS22. Spaces for Degrowth: Urban metabolisms and solidary spaces of degrowth between the Global South and Global North

Conceptualising the spaces and geographies of degrowth has accompanied the debate on degrowth since its beginning. In recent years, a specific literature has emerged that reflects systematically on the urban, rural, and planning implications of degrowth, both in terms of its critique of the capitalist growth-oriented reality and its proposal for a socio-ecological transformation, relating to literatures such as (critical) geography and spatial design and planning. From an initial focus on a few themes like localism and housing, a wide field of research has evolved that touches multi-faceted aspects through very diverse research approaches. The special track "Spaces for Degrowth: Researching and transforming cities and territories" brings together these aspects in a structured debate, organised by many of its protagonists. It tries both to take stock of the state of the art of the debate and to push it further, academically and in dialogue with practitioners.

  • Expected proposals format: conventional panel contributions
  • Keywords: Space, Geography, Cities, Rural areas, Social Justice, Ecological Sustainability
  • Related track(s): None (new track)
  • Organizers: Krahmer, Karl (Università di Torino, Italy); Varvarousis, Angelos (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)

Full description

The critique of the global social metabolism and the necessity of its (equitable) reduction is foundational to degrowth. Spatialising the question of metabolism, tying it to specific places and people, urban-rural and global  South - North relationships etc., helps to better understand and repoliticise both the issues of spatial metabolism and the implications that the objective of its reduction (i. e. selective and just rightsizing) has. A relational conceptualisation of space, furthermore, can help to overcome a debate which often has been centred around local/global, urban/rural, north/south dualisms. What does it mean to limit/reduce the urban/societal metabolism in specific places? How would such an international degrowth urban agenda have different implications in the Global North and the Global South? And how would this relate to alternatives to development situated in the Global South, such as Buen Vivir, Ubuntu and Ecological Swaraj? This session calls for conceptual contributions as well as case studies that may regard different aspects of the urban metabolism, such as food, energy and materials for the building sector and look at both the social and ecological impacts of extractivist practices and the characteristics of more sustainable and just alternatives, contributing to a framework of how metabolic relations at different scales could and should change to build both local and global solidary spaces of regrowth.

The format will be that of very short presentations with abundant time for well-moderated discussions.