36th AESOP Annual Congress 2024 Paris, France
“GAME CHANGER? Planning for just and sustainable urban regions”

Event Evening 03

Cities beyond growth now. Tomorrow will be too late


  • Izabela Mironowicz, Gdańsk University of Technology
  • Federico Savini, University of Amsterdam


  • John BArry, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Sofia  Greaves, University of Vigo
  • Jean-Marc Jancovici, The Shift Project
  • Zeynep Şirin Enlil, Yildiz Technical University

Both research and empirical data demonstrate that there is very little probability of decoupling economic growth and its negative environmental impacts at the scale and speed necessary to prevent the collapse of life supporting systems on planet Earth. Thus, economic models for which growth is not a precondition are conceptualised and debated. Some of these do not address the issue of growth at all, such as "doughnut economics", while others explicitly argue for degrowth as a prerequisite for ensuring the survival of life (humanity including) on the planet. 

Only very recently there is a growing attention to the spatial aspects of degrowth and the role of planning therein. Being spatial planning historically rooted in the management of  economic growth, scholars are questioning the radical implications of degrowth for planning theories, practices and instruments (e.g.Barry, 2020; Lehtinen 2018; Mironowicz and Skrzypczyński, 2022; Savini, Ferreira, von Schönfeld, 2022; Xue 2021). How are cities supposed to look and function in a system which is different from the one in which they have operated so far? This is not an entirely new situation for cities, as some of them existed under systems other than a liberal capitalist economy. Yet, the transitions from one social (and therefore economic) system to another certainly constitute a serious challenge. How are the problems of de-growth, climate adaptation, biodiversity loss and pollutionreflected and interconnected in cities, how will they shape their structure? And the lives of its residents? These and other questions will be discussed at the roundtable.

Degrowth involves both academic research and social movements. The roundtable also aims to facilitate the development of a supportive academic community interested in the urban aspects of degrowth and open to working with social movements to co-create social transformation.  

Barry, J. (2020). Planning in and for a post-growth and post-carbon economy. [in:] Davoudi, S., Cowell, R., White, I. (eds.) Routledge Handbooks Online. The Routledge companion to environmental planning. pp.1 20–129). DOI:10.4324/9781315179780-13 Lehtinen, A. A. (2018) Degrowth in City Planning. Fennia 196 (1): 43–45. 

Mironowicz, I., Skrzypczyński, R. (2022) From sustainable development to degrowth: paradigms critical towards growth and their implications for spatial planning. Samorząd Terytorialny, 7-
8:379-380, pp. 80-98. 

Monbiot, G. (2020) Private Sufficiency, Public Luxury: Land is the Key to the Transformation of Society. 40th Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures, October 25, 2020. Schumacher Center for a New Economics. Available at:, access 3.09.2023. 

Savini, F., Ferreira, A., von Schönfeld, K.C. (eds.) (2022) Post-Growth Planning. Cities Beyond the Market Economy. New York:Routledge. 

Xue, J. (2021) Urban planning and degrowth: a missing dialogue. Local Environment, DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2020.1867840

Keywords: degrowth, post-growth cities, degrowth planning, urban transformation