People, Place and Politics

Jenny Pickerill


The first book to comprehensively explore eco-housing from a social and political perspective.

It is widely understood that good, affordable eco-housing needs to be at the heart of any attempt to mitigate or adapt to climate change. This is the first book to comprehensively explore eco-housing from a geographical, social and political perspective. It starts from the premise that we already know how to build good eco-houses and we already have the technology to retrofit existing housing. Despite this, relatively few eco-houses are being built.

Featuring over thirty case studies of eco-housing in Britain, Spain, Thailand, Argentina and the United States, Eco-Homes examines the ways in which radical changes to our houses – such as making them more temporary, using natural materials, or relying on manual heating and ventilation systems – require changes in how we live. As such, it argues, it is not lack of technology or political will that is holding us back from responding to climate change, but deep-rooted cultural and social understandings of our way of life and what we expect our houses to do for us.

Author Bio

Jenny Pickerill is a professor of environmental geography at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on how we understand, value and (ab)use the environment. She has written widely on activism, the environment and indigenous politics, with her previous books including Cyberprotest (2003), Low Impact Development (2009), and Occupy! A Global Movement (co-editor, 2015). She has a particular interest in innovative eco-housing, having worked with eco-villages and self-build eco-communities in Wales, England, Spain, Argentina, Australia, Thailand and the US.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Eco
  • 2. Home
  • 3. History
  • 4. Place
  • 5. Affordability
  • 6. Comfort
  • 7. Gender
  • 8. Mobilisation
  • 9. Community
  • 10. Future 
  • Appendix


'Written for both an academic and practitioner audience, this book is relevant to all interested or practicing in the field of eco-housing, be it through construction, planning and policy-making, or academic study.'

Environment and Urbanization

‘Without sustainable homes, there will not be a sustainable future. What we need is a detailed and cutting edge book that teases out the complexities of the people, politics and places that will deliver the eco-homes of the future. Jenny Pickerill's inspirational book does just this.’
Paul Chatterton, University of Leeds

‘Pickerill illuminates the contested nature of eco-homes and housing, bringing a refreshingly broad and much needed feminist perspective to a subject that has been traditionally dominated by a “technology first” approach.’
Fionn Stevenson, University of Sheffield

‘This fascinating book explores the many facets of eco-homes that are environmentally benign, emotionally rewarding, endearing, enduring, protecting and comforting and that ‘belong’ to their own places, climates and communities, and pasts, and ultimately to all our common futures too.’
Susan Roaf, Heriot-Watt University

‘A timely reminder of different ways of living and housing people. A must-read for anyone involved in housing and energy policy, research and house building or (eco-)design.’
Sofie Pelsmakers, author of The Environmental Design Pocketbook


Publication Date: 15 January 2016
360 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780325309
Hardback: 9781780325316
eBook ePub: 9781780325330
eBook PDF: 9781780325323
eBook Kindle: 9781780325347

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