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Towards an agenda for post-carbon cities: Lessons from LILAC, the UK's first ecological, affordable, cohousing community

Chatterton, P (2013) Towards an agenda for post-carbon cities: Lessons from LILAC, the UK's first ecological, affordable, cohousing community. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37 (5). pp. 1654-1674. ISSN 0309-1317


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This paper explores an agenda towards post-carbon cities, extending and deepening established debates around low-carbon, sustainable cities in the process. The label post-carbon builds upon issues beyond those of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy conservation and climate change, adding a broader set of concerns including economic justice, behaviour change, wellbeing, land ownership, the role of capital and the state, and community self management. The paper draws upon a case-study of an embryonic post-carbon initiative due for completion in 2013 called Lilac. Based in Leeds, Lilac stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community and is the first attempt to build an affordable, ecological cohousing project in the UK. Its three aspects each respond to significant challenges: low impact living and the challenge of post-carbon carbon value change; affordability and the challenge of mutualism and equality, and community and the challenge of self-governance. I conclude the article by exploring six lessons from Lilac that tentatively outline a roadmap towards post-carbon cities: the need for holistic approaches that deal with complex challenges, prioritizing self-determination rather than just participation, engaging with productive political tensions, adopting a process rather than outcomes based approach, developing strategy for replicability, and finally embracing a non-parochial approach to localities.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2012, Blackwell. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds) > SOG: Cities & Social Justice (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2012 13:38
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2016 02:09
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12009
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2427.12009
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74549

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