Dr Alex Baumann lectures on Sustainable Futures at the University of Western Sydney. His publications focus on a key structural obstacle to degrowth; the market opportunities most of us are forced to secure to afford the cost of land for housing. He makes the key point that since capitalism’s first privatisation - land privatisation – we have little choice but to find our place in the market economy, so we may pay the long-term cost of a rent or mortgage.
To overcome this unsustainable reliance on consumer markets and consequent economic growth, Alex’s work explores the idea of restoring land commons for housing and collaborative productivity. This focus has involved Alex with the 'Neighbourhood That Works' project (www.ntwonline.weebly.com) - a strategy that seeks to provide an example of postgrowth collaborative development on public land.
February 1st, 2022 | Season 3 | 1 hr 5 mins
alex baumann, degrowth, housing affordability, post-growth, public housing, urban planning
Housing is an essential human need, but as the average median house price in Australian capital cities now exceed $1 million, this requires some very significant dropping into the marketplace in order to afford a roof over our heads. According to the research of PGAP’s esteemed guest Dr. Alex Baumann, the act of owning a property of one’s own can place one in that dreaded 1% richest people in the world. Alex discusses why the privatisation of land forces us all into lifestyles that are antithetical to the degrowth movement and why housing needs to be at the core of post-growth activism. Alex also explains why public housing is one overlooked solution and how reinvigorating this asset is part and parcel to a degrowth future. Ready to have your whole perspective on housing turned around? This is the episode for you!