Tag Archives | RetroSuburbia

Retrosuburbia – ‘Aussie Street’ with David Holmgren

Back in Permaculture’s home state of Tasmania, come and see its co-originator, David Holmgren, take us back through the decades of our lived history in the streets where the quarter acre hosted the Aussie post war dream, through the decades of of rising affluence and additions, aging and infill, permaculture inspired retrofit and on, through a gritty but inspiring and realistic transformation in the Great Depression of the 2020s.

Aussie Street is a permaculture soap opera, made real by masterful storytelling that sounds a warning and clarion call for direct action on the home front. The presentation is also a window into the rich palette of design solutions and tips that Holmgren has explored in in his latest opus, Retrosuburbia; the downshifters guide to a resilient future.

Come and be entertained, inspired and challenged by one of Australia’s unsung heroes, presenting in Launceston for the first time in many years.

Format

Doors will open from 4pm. David will begin his presentation promptly at 4:30pm. This will be followed by a Q&A discussion and a sharing of thoughts and ideas and tips for bringing the retrosuburban ethic into your own life.

Additional Information on Retrosuburbia

This book is a dance, a tango between our habits and our actions, our visions and our intentions. RetroSuburbia boldly renovates what we know as our safety net and replaces it with an action plan; planning for the worst and hoping for the best. The answers are in the everyday. Let the transformation and retrofit begin.

– Costa Georgiadis from the foreword to Retrosuburbia

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

The venue has ample (free) parking.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

There are no minimum age requirements for this event, although all children must be accompanied by an adult. Children under the age of 15 receive free entry.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please get in touch via permaculturetasmania.com or the Permaculture Tasmania Facebook page. Please note we are a volunteer organisation and will respond as soon as possible.

What’s the refund policy?

As a not-for-profit organisation, ticket sales are the sole source of funds available in order to book venues for events such as these. As such, we are unable to offer refunds.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. There will be a list at the door.

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Creating Retrosuburbia in Your Garden

In this workshop, facilitated by Beck Lowe, participants will be invited to consider their current garden space and household setup, and start planning for increases in sustainability, productivity and resilience. We will use the ideas in David Holmgren’s book RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future, to examine the potential for household-scale food production and introduce permaculture food growing strategies.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have a starting point for designing their gardens – and lifestyles – to become bountiful and sustainable.

In partnership with Banyule City Council.

About Beck Lowe

Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia as chief editor, researcher and project manager. Since publication, she has also taken on the role of education coordinator. She is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels for more than 15 years. She has practical permaculture experience in private and community spaces in inner city, urban and rural areas.

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David Holmgren ‘Aussie St.’

Aussie Street is the history and future of suburbia as a serious but humorous presentation by permaculture co-originator David Holmgren. Over more than a decade this presentation has inspired creative household and neighbourhood responses to climate, energy and economic threats that increasingly cast a pall over the future of suburbia.

Rather than condemning our history and prospects, Aussie St empowers and enlivens us. Aussie St is now a short story built into a new book Retrosuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future. This manual draws together the patterns glimpsed in the presentation both of which have been transformed by Brenna Quinlan beautiful illustrations.

You can buy tickets here.

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Castlemaine State Fest presents Get Outta Town

DAVID HOLMGREN, GUNG HOE GROWERS, AUNTY JULIE

Permaculture guru David Holmgren, local farmers Gung Hoe Growers and artist, cultural leader and storyteller Aunty Julie will discuss how they ended up in this region, what inspires them and the events which led to their current occupations.

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Castlemaine State Festival: David Holmgren presents ‘Aussie St.’

Permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren’s new book, RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future (2018) is a bold manifesto on how to activate change that begins in the household. RetroSuburbia promotes household food growing, retrofitting and non-monetary activities of exchange and reciprocity.

In this discussion, followed by an audience Q&A session, David will advance the ideas of permaculture as a creative framework for applying vital retrofits to our homes, gardens and most fundamentally, our behaviour.

Come and be part of Holmgren’s insightful, thought-provoking vision for a life-enhancing sustainable future.

Tickets: https://castlemainefestival.com.au/events/retrosuburbia/

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RetroSuburbia trainers and facilitators workshop – Vic

Did you enjoy David Holmgren’s RetroSuburbia and want to share the message wider? This two-day workshop is open to permaculture and sustainability trainers and community networkers who want to incorporate the book’s inspirational ideas and practical solutions into their current or future work. Participants will explore methods and tools for supporting people to create fulfilling, abundant and sustainable lives through retrofitting their homes, gardens and lifestyles.

The workshop will:

  • explore themes from RetroSuburbia in more detail
  • allow you to try out, and contribute to, retrosuburbia resources such as games and interactive spreadsheets
  • provide a forum for sharing your ideas and experiences with other participants working in similar fields
  • help you create a plan for your retrosuburban education and/or facilitation work

Undertaking this workshop will allow you full access to the retrosuburbia resources being developed to help educators and facilitators, as well as giving you the opportunity to be listed as a RetroSuburbia Facilitator on retrosuburbia.com if you choose.

The cost of this workshop is $400 for two days including morning and afternoon teas. We encourage you to bring food to share for lunch. There will be an optional tour and dinner at local urban permaculture enthusiast Joel Meadow’s on the Saturday evening.

Workshop facilitator, Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia – editing, researching and project managing. She is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels from introductory workshops to post-graduate for more than 15 years. She runs regular Permaculture Design Courses in central Victoria, and will once again be a lead teacher on the Rocklyn Ashram PDC.

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RetroSuburbia trainers and facilitators workshop – WA

Did you enjoy David Holmgren’s RetroSuburbia and want to share the message wider? This two-day workshop is open to permaculture and sustainability trainers and community networkers who want to incorporate the book’s inspirational ideas and practical solutions into their current or future work. Participants will explore methods and tools for supporting people to create fulfilling, abundant and sustainable lives through retrofitting their homes, gardens and lifestyles.

The workshop will:

  • explore themes from RetroSuburbia in more detail
  • allow you to try out, and contribute to, retrosuburbia resources such as games and interactive spreadsheets
  • provide a forum for sharing your ideas and experiences with other participants working in similar fields
  • help you create a plan for your retrosuburban education and/or facilitation work

Undertaking this workshop will allow you full access to the retrosuburbia resources being developed to help educators and facilitators, as well as giving you the opportunity to be listed as a RetroSuburbia Facilitator on retrosuburbia.com if you choose.

Workshop facilitator, Beck Lowe worked closely with David Holmgren on RetroSuburbia – editing, researching and project managing. She is an enthusiastic and experienced permaculture educator and has been involved in permaculture training at all levels from introductory workshops to post-graduate for more than 15 years. She runs regular Permaculture Design Courses in central Victoria, and will once again be a lead teacher on the Rocklyn Ashram PDC.

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RetroSuburbia Rollout

Retrosuburbia is more than just a book – it is a wholehearted celebration of empowered do-it-yourself and do-it-ourselves culture. With the book now into its second print run, the retrosuburbia team is focusing on complementary ways of getting the ideas out there: we are calling this the ‘Retrosuburbia Rollout’.

Many aspects of the Rollout are already happening spontaneously and organically, such as the book clubs popping up around the country, and the enthusiastic sharing and discussion flowing on the Retrosuburbia Community Facebook page. We also know there is plenty happening under the radar with people quietly sharing ideas with neighbours, friends and family, and leading by example in their own lives.

The retrosuburbia team aims to support and enhance these personal, neighbourhood and community sharing opportunities.

As part of the Retrosuburbia Rollout, David will continue concentrating his efforts on public talks. These talks have mostly been in partnership with local governments, and include the entertaining ‘Aussie Street’, a permaculture soap opera in four acts from 1955 to 2025. As well as spreading retrosuburban ideas, these events inform the general public of council supported programs, and promote local permaculture, transition and other groups as well as book clubs, workshops and courses relevant to the audience. The audiences at these events have so far ranged from 40 to 400, with MCs from local activists and sustainability facilitators to Mayors and media celebrities.

David has also been active in building partnerships with NGO’s, academics, researchers and policymakers to provide the evidence base to substantiate and support retrosuburban strategies and actions, based on their environmental, economic and social benefits. For example, he has recently become an associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and has written the foreword to a new academic book Degrowth in the Suburbs by Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson.

While permaculture educators will naturally adopt much of the retrosuburban agenda and promote solutions relevant to their participants, we believe there are ways in which we can strengthen these synergies, as well as other educational frameworks for rolling out retrosuburban solutions. There are also many community and household level change programmes already running or in the planning stages, mostly focused on climate mitigation and/or adaption and run by local government, transition and other community groups. Further, there are always people just doing stuff at the household and community level without funding or a formal structure, and those that are keen to see uptake in their neighbourhood but don’t necessarily see themselves as educators or activists.

Photo: Phil Hines Photography and Transition South Barwon

To contribute to these types of Rollout pathways, we are running two day Retrosuburbia Trainers and Facilitators Workshops that draw on and expand the material in the book. Rather than creating a set formula, we are using a more open source approach where we share educational tools and resources we are developing and encourage participants to combine this material in ways that make sense for their communities, households and participants. In particular, we want to see established trainers bring along material and resources they have been using or developing to avoid reinventing the wheel. Workshop participants will be free to use our resources in their own courses and to apply to have their own workshops and courses listed on retrosuburbia.com.

Beck Lowe, experienced permaculture educator, editor of RetroSuburbia and manager of the ongoing Retrosuburbia Rollout, will lead these workshops.

In the lineage of self-regulation that has generally worked over four decades of permaculture education, we think that these workshops will:

• enable established educators to connect to colleagues and add to their credentials and curricula to keep them ahead in this rapidly developing field
• help enthusiastic young activists find their feet spreading retrosuburban behaviours and designs through their neighbourhood and networks
• encourage and support householders leading kitchen table and backyard centred activities, including skill sharing, RetroSuburbia book clubs and other small-scale sharings in their neighbourhood.

The RetroSuburbia book, already a best seller without mainstream media reviews, remains the primary vehicle and driver of the Retrosuburbia Rollout. The numerical and financial success of this innovative marketing strategy that bypasses the retail monopolies such as Amazon is critical in showing that we can create livelihoods changing the world for the better while boycotting systems that damage nature and community (see RetroSuburbia: network and community marketing).

The retrosuburbia.com website will continue to expand as a portal of case studies, resources and reviews that amplify the value of the book for householders, trainers, academics and activists. The Retrosuburbia Community Facebook group will continue as the noticeboard and discussion space for all things retrosuburban.

We won’t restrict the free flowing adoption of retrosuburban ideas and have consciously decided not to trademark the term ‘retrosuburbia’, however any attempts by others to capture the branding of the term will be precluded through maintaining our prior and ongoing use. In this way, we aim to combine the value in branding that is available to those associated with the source of retrosuburbia and its deep foundation in permaculture, while at the same time encourage a thousand flowering expressions of these ideas using whatever label, framework or sources of support that others choose to work with.

David Holmgren & the retrosuburbia team, November 2018

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Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary

Samuel Alexander, from the Simplicity Collective has just published a new book, Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary, co-authored with Professor Brendan Gleeson, with a foreword by David Holmgren.

The book addresses a central dilemma of the urban age: how do we make suburban landscapes sustainable in the face of planetary ecological crises? The authors argue that degrowth, a planned contraction of overgrown economies, is the most coherent paradigm for suburban renewal. They depart from the anti-suburban sentiment of much environmentalism to show that existing suburbia can be the centre-ground of transition to a new social dispensation based on the principle of enlightened material and energy restraint.

David’s foreword to the book begins thus:

Historians charting the trajectory of industrial civilisation will note the remarkable disconnect between the status accorded to “evidence based decision making” in our culture and the relentless pursuit of perpetual growth on a finite planet. While the contradiction has always been clear to the simplest of folks, the publication of the Limits to Growth report nearly half a century ago gave us the means to better understand the complex system dynamics that would characterise humanity’s overshoot of global limits.

Because these understandings coincided with the oil crises and resultant recessions, in affluent western countries there was some public discourse, and even early action, to consider the possibility of futures other than ones of continuous growth. On the fringes of society a flourishing counterculture gave birth to lifestyles and concepts (including permaculture) that have been the source of a continuous lineage of creative change. Some of these fringe ideas – such as the internet – have contributed to powerful creative action that has transformed society, whilst others – such as renewable energy and regenerative agriculture – provide pathways promising to manifest transformation now.

You can read the rest of the foreword here.

You can read a review of the book on Make Wealth History.

You can purchase the book here.

As a companion film, here is the latest offering from the talented folk at Happen Films:

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Reclaiming the Urban Commons

We are in the midst of a great shift, a fundamental transformation in our relations with the earth and with each other. This shift poses humanity with a challenge: how to transition from a period of environmental devastation of the planet by humans to one of mutual benefit? How do we transform our relationship to the land, nonhuman lifeforms, and each other? Reclaiming the Urban Commons argues this change begins with a deeper understanding of and connection with the food we produce and consume.

This book is a critical reflection on the past and the present of urban food growing in Australia, as well as a map and a passionate rallying call to a better future as an urbanised species. It addresses the critical question of how to design, share, and live well in our cities and towns. It describes how to translate concepts of sustainable production into daily practices and ways of sharing spaces and working together for mutual benefit, and also reflects on how we can learn from our productive urban past.

                    Reclaiming the Urban Commons:
                    The Past, Present and Future of Food Growing in Australian Cities and Towns
                    Edited by Nick Rose and Andrea Gaynor
                    UWA Publishing, RRP $29.99

David Holmgren’s chapter is Garden Farming: The Foundation for Agriculturally Productive Cities and Towns.
Here’s the opening paragraph:

Australian suburbs can be transformed into productive, resilient and sustainable places to live through garden farming. Growing food right where people live, in back and front yards, has environmental, social and psychological benefits. Garden farming in the household, non-monetary economy is complementary to commercial urban and peri-urban agriculture that, collectively, can be the heart of a resilient bio-regional food system.

You can buy the book here.

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