Earthscan book on Lilac cohousing project out in August

Monday, March 3, 2014 Posted by


Low Impact Living

A Field Guide to Ecological, Affordable Community Building

By Paul Chatterton

Series: Earthscan Tools for Community Planning

£24.99 paperback

*20% Discount ‐ Order online using discount code DC361*


This book is the inspirational story of one project that shows you how you can become involved in building and running your neighbourhood. The author, co‐founder of Lilac (Low Impact Living Affordable Community), explains how a group of people got together to build one of the most pioneering ecological, affordable cohousing neighbourhoods in the world.

The book is a story of perseverance, vision and passion, demonstrating how ordinary people can build their own affordable, ecological community. The book starts with the clear values that motivated and guided the project’s members: sustainability, co‐operativism, equality, social justice and self‐management. It outlines how they were driven by challenges and concerns over the need to respond to climate change and energy scarcity, the limits of the ‘business as usual’ model of pro‐growth economics, and the need to develop skills so that communities can determine and manage their own land and resources. The author’s story is interspersed with vignettes on topics such as decision making, landscaping, finance and design.

The book summarises academic debates on the key issues that informed the project, and gives technical data on energy and land issues as well as practical ‘how‐to’ guides on a range of issues such as designing meetings, budget planning and community agreements. Low Impact Living provides clear and easy to follow advice for community groups, practitioners, government, business and the development sector and is heavily illustrated with drawings and photographs from the architectural team.

“LILAC is a British exemplar that might even prove a template for many more, similar schemes. There’s much learning in these pages to be gleaned…. As to inspiration, you’re holding it in your hands.”

‐ Foreword by Kevin McCloud

Selected Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Motivations, Values and Challenges 3. Making it Happen 4. Low Impact Living: Designing and Building our Homes 5. Affordable: a Green Housing Revolution for All 6. Community: Co‐operating Collectively 7. Learning from Lilac

For more information on Low Impact Living, please visit:

Talk at TEDx lectures on Pioneering Lilac project

Thursday, October 10, 2013 Posted by

i recently did a lecture at the Ted talks in Leeds. Watch it here

New article out now on the ‘Post Carbon City’

Friday, January 4, 2013 Posted by

I have just recently finished writing an article on the pioneering Lilac cohousing development i am involved in. Its coming out in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research soon.

Chatterton, P (2013) Towards an agenda for post-carbon cities: Lessons from LILAC, the UK’s first ecological, affordable, cohousing community. International Journal for Urban and Regional Research . ISSN 0309-1317 (In Press)

Here is a draft to read.


Interview in Localflux magazine

Monday, July 16, 2012 Posted by

I recently did an interview in a great on line magazine called Localflux. Read it here.

Article out in new publication Atlas

Thursday, January 19, 2012 Posted by

There’s a rather cool new online publicationcalled Atlas. Ive written a piece. Read the article here.

Article reprinted in New book ‘Human Geography’

Friday, October 21, 2011 Posted by

One of my articles from 2006 in the journal Antipode called “Give up Activism” and Change the World in Unknown Ways: Or, Learning to Walk with Others on Uncommon Ground’ has been selected amongst only 82 other articles for inclusion in a five-volume major reference work just published called ‘Human Geography’ (part of the SAGE Fundamentals of Geography series edited by Derek Gregory and Noel Castree). The book looks great and is worth a look. See

New article out on Cities and Resilience

Monday, July 4, 2011 Posted by

I have just written an article with come colleagues form our Community research company ‘Leeds Love it Share it’ called ‘Building resilience and well-being in the Margins within the City’. You can download it and read a summary here


New Website Launched for journal ‘City’

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 Posted by

For the last ten years I have been involved in the journal ‘City’ – one of the most cutting edge and critical journals in urban studies. We have just launched a new website with free article downloads, analysis and information.

See the website at:

City, Issue 14.6 December 2010

Free Articles to download in new Paper Symposium on ‘Autonomy and Activism’

Saturday, August 21, 2010 Posted by

FREE ARTICLES downloadable in new Paper Symposium on ‘Autonomy and Activism’ published by Antipode, Geography’s radical journal.


Antipode, Geography’s long standing radical journal of Geography, is pleased to announce a special symposium of papers called: ‘Autonomy: The struggle for survival, self-management and the common’ (Vol 42:4). This symposium has been pulled together by Paul Chatterton, from the University of Leeds, cofounder of the MA in Activism and Social Change ( and the ‘Cities and Social Justice’ research group in the School of Geography.

The articles in this paper symposium aim to reflect the rich and creative desire of autonomous political activism that has flourished over the last decade through the anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist movement leading to new tactics and ideas for resistance and alternatives to capitalism such as climate camps, anti-roads protests, social centres, squats, free schools, teach-ins and hacklabs.

These articles are all concerned with the urgent political tasks of promoting self management and building practices and spaces embedded in commoning as survival routes out of the capitalist present. They are framed by a backdrop of the need for urgent change. Their concepts, case studies and provocations invite us to dwell further on this preoccupation and to force solutions into existence. The hope is that the papers presented here will stimulate much needed further writing, research and action from academics, campaigners and activists on the desire for autonomy – a desire that points to survival routes out of this capitalist present through building capacity for self management and the development of the common.

Contributors to the Special Symposium are leading academics and activists from across the world directly involved in the practice and theory of autonomous politics. They include:

John Holloway who lives in Mexico and is author of several landmark books on autonomous Marxism including most recently ‘Crack Capitalism’ (Pluto, 2009) and is one of the leading commentators on the Zapatista insurrection.

Gustavo Esteva is writer and activist and author of numerous books including the classic text ‘Grassroots Postmodernism’ (Zed Books). He is currently involved in many grassroots struggles in Oaxaca, Mexico, including the Oaxacan Popular Peoples Assembly (APPO) and “La Universidad de La Tierra” (“The University of the Land”)

Chris Carlsson and Francesca Manning. Chris Carlsson has been an activist and writer in San Francisco for a number of decades and was involved in setting up the magazine Processed World in the 1980s. He is a dedicated nowtopian, developing this idea in a recent book (Carlsson, 2008). Francesca Manning is pursuing these ideas at the CUNY Graduate Centre.

Massimo de Angelis is Professor of Political Economy at the University of East London and is author of one of the key books on commoning and value struggles (De Angelis, 2007). he is also editor of the website and online publication ‘The Commoner: a web journal of other values’ (

Jai Sen, writer and activist from India who has been involved in the World Social forum Movement since its inception, continues this theme with an article on open space. Sen is Director of ‘India Institute for Critical Action: Centre In Movement’.

The Free Association who are a writing collective based in several locations some of whom are involved in publishing the magazine ‘Turbulence: Ideas for Movement’ and write at

All the papers are FREE to download in Volume 42:4 and include:

  • Paul Chatterton. Autonomy. The struggle for survival, self-management and the common
  • Gustavo Esteva. The Oaxaca Commune and Mexico’s coming insurrection
  • Chris Carlsson and Francesca Manning Nowtopia: Strategic Exodus?
  •  John Holloway Crack capitalism. The Crisis of Abstract Labour
  • The Free Association. Antagonism, neo-liberalism and movements. Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
  • Jai Sen. On open space Explorations towards a vocabulary of a more open politics
  • Massimo De Angelis The Production of Commons and the “Explosion” of the  Middle Class

Special issue on ‘Cities, Justice, Conflict’ out now

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Posted by

I have just contributed an article to a special issue called  ‘Cities, Justice, Conflict’ in the journal Urban Studies.

My article is called ‘ and can be downloaded here.