A Viable Future? Explorations in post-growth from Steady State Manchester – free ebook and affordable paperback
This is a collection of our work from the last decade. It is a substantial book, nearly 400 pages. October, 2021.
Contributions by Mark H Burton, Carolyn Kagan, James Scott Vandeventer and Mike Riddell.
Find out more on our dedicated page where you download it and alternatively buy a print version.
This is a guide for local campaigners who want to estimate the carbon (greenhouse gas) consequences of proposed planning developments on local land.
It takes you through the various aspects to consider and data that you can use in your estimates. It also aims to forewarn you of potential problems and uncertainties in making such estimates. This first, test, edition is very much work in progress so feedback and suggestions will be very welcome.
Update (July, 2022): we will be updating this work soon as we’ve refined some of the methods through our work on the Carbon Consequences of Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone plan.
February 2020. ISBN 978-1-9163858-0-1
Also available as a printed edition at our online shop.
This mini-book is for everyone concerned about the dangers we face from the current unviable economic system and who would like to explore an approach that integrates economic, social and ecological well-being.
It is a revision, some 60% longer, of our Viable Economy pamphlet from 2014, thoroughly revised and updated with additional diagrams, explanations, references and with two new sections on Care and Caring and the Built Environment.
This is a contribution from Steady State Manchester to the debate about policies for the city region. In it we suggest some key ways to respond here to,
- environmental challenges including climate change, resource depletion and damage to the environment,
- deep-seated social problems including poverty, social deprivation and fragmentation,
- economic problems including debt, unemployment, austerity and instability.
See also this 2020 handout on policies at national, regional and municipal level.
Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone Plan:
the Carbon Impact July, 2022
This report, produced in collaboration with Save Greater Manchester Green Belt, makes a high level estimate of the carbon emissions that would result from implementing Places for Everyone, the strategic spatial plan for Greater Manchester (except Stockport). -> Longer introduction.
Now superseded by The Viable Economy … and Society, 2020.
“The Viable Economy” (2014), a pamphlet for everyone concerned about the dangers we face from the current unviable economic system and who would like to explore an approach that integrates economic, social and ecological well-being. (And here is a short summary)
And also see our Viable Economy Policy Checker – Download
In Place of Growth: Practical steps to a Manchester where people thrive without harming the planet. Our first report. Publication date, 13 November, 2012. [or read without downloading]
How do we create a society with local prosperity and justice? How do we prepare
for the challenges that climate change and other aspects of the ecological crisis
are already bringing? This was our first report, from 2012. It has a wealth of relevant material and background to our approach of exploring the implications of the limits to growth at the regional scale.
Living Well: Practical Solidarity and Steady State Economics. Publication date, 13 November, 2012.
Though the link between steady state economics and international solidarity may not be immediately obvious, the two issues are closely
connected in many ways. So how do we manage the transition to steady state in ways that minimise exploitation of people of the global South, and also minimise the shocks to their economies and livelihoods?
A short policy pamphlet, December, 2016.
Housing in the Viable Economy
So what would we do? Towards an alternative strategy for the city region (November, 2016) Download the Working Paper here
We are critical of the way our city and regional leaders have generally tackled the difficult problem of economic, social and environmental viability. We see their approach as based on a fundamentally flawed model that puts the economy first and attempts to restore economic growth to our post-industrial city region in the context of a competitive global order. So what would we do instead?
This paper is background reading for our Policies for the City Region: you can see something of the thinking process by which we arrived at the policy proposals.
Of related interest: A short reading list of critical resources on city-regional and other localised economies.
Living within limits to Growth – how do we do it?
Talk given by Mark H Burton, Steady State Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, 6 May, 2017.
It covers the following issues:
- Limits to Growth, Planetary Limits and Climate Change
- GDP and its problems
- Alternative Frameworks
- Feasibility of Degrowth and Steady State
- What practical policies does this entail?
Communicating Climate Change in the Greater Manchester Region: a whole systems approach to change
Written for World Symposium on Climate Change Communication, Manchester, UK, 22nd-24th February 2017. (Or read the lay person’s guide which was the conference presentation.) The paper explores what Steady State Manchester is learning from public health and asks how this may contribute to the work of other climate change communicators.
Universal Basic Income: Is it the only cornerstone of a just society? (April 2017)
Reviews and compares UBI and several allied and alternative proposals.
Universal Basic Income – a participative ‘learn-in’. (Sept. 2016)
Steady State Manchester and the Social Change and Community Wellbeing research group at MMU held a ‘learn in’ about UBI on September 8th 2016. People came from all sorts of organisations (or from none) and with different background knowledge of UBI. universal-basic-income-learn-in-summary
In Place of Pay Inequality (March 2014)
is a detailed study by Steady State Manchester and Equality NW into the pay policies of Local Authorities in the North West. Launch, April 2, 2014
“It is rigorous, highlights important info well, well written and theoretically ground-breaking in terms of bringing together SSE, social value and equity issues.”
The report also explores,
– How public sector pay policies might play a leading role in making Manchester a more equal place.
– Ways to strengthen the accountability of Local Authorities for their pay policies and encourage them to implement stronger policies to reduce pay inequality within their workforce and via their suppliers in the wider local economy.
Downloads SUMMARY FULL REPORT FULL REPORT (larger font version)
New evidence on decoupling carbon emissions from GDP growth: what does it mean? (April, 2016)
New evidence apparently suggests absolute decoupling in some economies, but is it real, is it enough, and will it last? We critically reviewed the evidence. “A carbon literate contribution” – Carbon Literacy Project. Download
Shaping the Viable Economy: The role of education
We are delighted that SSM has inspired Susan Brown to write: How can education help to shape a Steady State culture? A Discussion Paper’. We highly recommend that supporters read it. Below, and in more detail in the summary at the beginning of the paper, we draw your attention to its richness and contribute to the discussion that she advocates.
Briefly Susan’s paper
- Argues that a learning renaissance is required to achieve a Steady State culture. A transition from the current role of education ‘to ensure a workforce able to compete in a global market’ to one where people ‘ play full roles in developing sustainable local economies’
- Includes an accessible, broad, diverse, inclusive vision of a Steady State education culture which responds to the initiatives and issues of local communities. It is brought to life by descriptions of existing educational initiatives from near and far which are ‘which are changing the learning landscape in ways that can shape a Steady State Culture.’
- Moves from a very individualistic, competitive form of current education to a collective endeavour
Measuring Progress Toward a Low Carbon Economy in Manchester Report prepared by Benjamin Irvine (Steady State Manchester) for Manchester a Certain Future Low Carbon Economy Steering Group – July 2015. A review for MACF by Ben Irvine.
Food: a foundation for a steady state in Greater Manchester? Report of a workshop organised by Steady State Manchester on 2nd November 2013
Ethical Finance for a Steady State Economy – a briefing note (2012), Ben Irvine.
Long Distance and Inter-Regional Travel (second edition): A guest report by Dominic McCann September, 2013.
Biodiversity in Manchester, by Dave Bishop, originally commissioned as part of the SSM project has (by mutual agreement) been published by Manchester Climate Monthly. Second edition, via GM Environment Forum.