Housing Studies Association Annual Conference

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organising a conference


    Low Carbon Housing: A ‘green’ wolf in sheep’s clothing

    The move to a low carbon economy is frequently presented as a solution to both the economic downturn and the anticipated impacts of climate change (While et al., 2010). An off-spin from the sustainable development meta-narrative (Raco 2005), the low carbon discourse has received criticism for being a weak form of ecological modernisation, where eco-efficiency and technology-led solutions dominate (Pickvance 2009). As a sector through which the low carbon economy has been and continues to be mobilised (Lovell 2004), housing is central to this agenda, as the code for sustainable homes and the zero-carbon standard demonstrate. However, questions remain about the role that housing can and should contribute to the low carbon economy, and whether the low carbon economy is indeed desirable. For instance, recent research has suggested that carbon management is ‘less than progressive...reinforcing existing social and spatial inequalities, expending the reach of market environmentalism, and strengthening the power of the state and capital at the expense of consumers, workers and interests in social and spatial equity’ (While et al., 2010). This paper will thus critically explore how the current preoccupation with low carbon presents some potential pitfalls in relation to advancing sustainable housing.
    Event typeConference
    LocationYork, United KingdomShow on map