Episode 7: Discovering Degrowth with Anitra Nelson


September 16th, 2020

51 mins 55 secs

Season 1

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Degrowth? What does it mean? Is it about austerity and deprivation? Or is it about community, collaboration and unshackling ourselves from the matrix of the growth economy into a world that is more equitable, liveable and sustainable? According to Anitra Nelson – definitely the latter!

Anitra Nelson is an author, scholar and activist. She is passionate about the degrowth movement in addition to alternatives in restructuring the ways in which we live and relate to each other. Particularly, co-housing, shared living and localised economies and governance.


During this interview, we discuss two important books of wisdom that Anitra has delivered to the world. Anitra was just launching “Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet” when we first met in early 2018.

At the time of this episode’s broadcast, Anitra has released “Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide” – a book that she has co-written with Vincent Liegey and has published through Pluto Press. Both excellent books are covered in the interview.

Degrowth book

In addition, Anitra provides a very detailed and eloquent description of what life might look like in a degrowth world where localised governance and shared community living is the norm and not the exception.

Following the interview, I discuss some of my experiences and reflections on community shared living. I discuss the Retrosuburbia movement, linked here to find out more.
There are so many positives to shared living and we need to see more of this if we are to pull the breaks on bad urban planning outcomes that are shaping our cities and towns for the worse. However, shared living comes with many challenges that perhaps not all of us are ready or willing to jump into just yet.

Just as important (in my opinion) is to unite on a broader scale reform of the town planning system, so that housing can be built around the many different needs of the diverse people who live in our towns and cities. Not just for the growthist and profit driven mentality of property developers. As such, it is worth checking out movements that are challenging the ‘big picture’ such as Town Planning Rebellion.

Another pithy episode with much (locally grown?) food for thought!