Post Growth Cities Overview

Published on 9 February 2024 at 11:45

Post-growth cities are urban areas that have shifted their focus from traditional economic growth models, which emphasize continuous increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and physical expansion, to more sustainable, resilient, and quality-of-life-oriented goals. This concept challenges the conventional wisdom that cities must constantly grow in size and wealth to be considered successful. Instead, post-growth cities prioritize:

  1. Sustainability: Implementing policies and practices that support environmental sustainability, including green infrastructure, renewable energy sources, and conservation efforts to mitigate climate change impacts.

  2. Quality of Life: Enhancing the well-being of residents through improved access to healthcare, education, affordable housing, and public spaces. Emphasis is placed on creating inclusive communities with high standards of living for all citizens.

  3. Resilience: Building the capacity to withstand and adapt to economic, social, and environmental shocks and stresses. This includes diversifying economies, strengthening local food systems, and investing in disaster preparedness.

  4. Circular Economy: Transitioning from a linear economy (make, use, dispose) to a circular one where resources are reused, recycled, and kept in circulation for as long as possible to minimize waste.

  5. Localism: Fostering local economies by supporting small businesses, local artisans, and farmers, thereby reducing dependence on global supply chains and enhancing community ties.

  6. Equity and Social Justice: Addressing inequalities and ensuring that development benefits are shared widely among all segments of society, including marginalized and vulnerable groups.

  7. Participatory Governance: Engaging citizens in decision-making processes to ensure that urban development reflects the needs and aspirations of its residents.

Post-growth cities are seen as a response to the challenges of the 21st century, including climate change, resource depletion, social inequality, and the diminishing returns of a growth-at-all-costs economic model. By focusing on sustainability, resilience, and quality of life, these cities aim to create a more balanced and equitable urban future.


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