Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book: Green Utopianism (3 March 2014)

Green Utopianism

Perspectives, Politics and Micro-Practices

Edited by Karin Bradley, Johan Hedrén

Routledge – 2014 – 290 pages

Utopian thought and experimental approaches to societal organization have been rare in the last decades of planning and politics. Instead, there is a widespread belief in ecological modernization, that sustainable societies can be created within the frame of the current global capitalist world order by taking small steps such as eco-labeling, urban densification, and recycling. However, in the context of the current crisis in which resource depletion, climate change, uneven development, and economic instability are seen as interlinked, this belief is increasingly being questioned and alternative developmental paths sought. This collection demonstrates how utopian thought can be used in a contemporary context, as critique and in exploring desired futures. The book includes theoretical perspectives on changing global socio-environmental relationships and political struggles for alternative development paths, and analyzes micro-level practices in co-housing, alternative energy provision, use of green space, transportation, co-production of urban space, peer-to-peer production and consumption, and alternative economies. It contributes research perspectives on contemporary green utopian practices and strategies, combining theoretical and empirical analyses to spark discussions of possible futures.

1. Utopian Thought in the Making of Green Futures Karin Bradley and Johan Hedrén Part 1: The Politics of Science 2. Anthropocenic Politicization: From the Politics of the Environment to Politicizing Environments Erik Swyngedouw 3. A Feminist Project of Belonging for the Anthropocene J.K. Gibson-Graham 4. Utopianism in Science: The Case of Resilience Theory Johan Hedrén 5. Why Solar Panels Don’t Grow on Trees: Technological Utopianism and the Uneasy Relation Between Ecomarxism and Ecological Economics Alf Hornborg Part 2: Transforming Politics and Planning 6. Politicizing Planning Through Multiple Images of the Future Ulrika Gunnarsson-Östling 7. Mobility Transitions: The Necessity of Utopian Approaches Karolina Isaksson 8. Utopian Desires and Institutional Change Meike Schalk 9. The Urban Park as "Paradise Contrived" Ylva Uggla 10. Globalism, Particularism and the Greening of Neoliberal Energy Landscapes Tom Mels Part 3: Changing Practices 11. Towards a Peer Economy: How Open Source and Peer-to-Peer Architecture, Hardware, and Consumption Are Transforming the Economy Karin Bradley 12. Autonomous Urbanisms and the Right to the City: Squatting and the Production of the Urban Commons in Berlin Alexander Vasudevan 13. Utopianism in the Architecture of New Urbanism and Co-Housing Lucy Sargisson 14. Transition Delayed: The 1980s Ecotopia of a Decentralized Renewable Energy System Martin Hultman 15. R-URBAN: Strategies and Tactics for Participative Utopias and Resilient Practices Constantin Petcou and Doina Petrescu

Author Bio:
Karin Bradley is Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Johan Hedrén is Senior Lecturer in Water and Environmental Studies at Linköping University.

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