AAA participates at the symposium Green Futures – from utopian grand schemes to micro-practices
In the last decade of planning and policy making, utopian thought and experimental approaches to the organisation of society and the built environment have been rare. What has instead evolved during recent years is a rather firm consensus around the sustainable society as something created within the frames of the current society, by small steps such as urban densification, improvement of public transport, recycling of materials, ‘environmentally friendly’ production and consumption, green taxes, etc. This consensus has been described in terms of a postpolitical condition in which the underlying assumption is that the liberal socioeconomic world order should be kept. Critical researchers, hence, argue that this ‘light greening’ of the current societal and urban structures is not deep-reaching enough to really handle the threats posed by climate change, uneven global development, and growing socio-economic segregation. They call for visions of alternative futures and more deep-reaching approaches, but are often quite unarticulated in terms of describing these alternative socio-environmental futures and accompanying strategies. At the same time, in the wake of the ‘triple crisis’, social movements are growing that challenge the predominant social order and open up for new ideas on green futures. Where can attempts in this direction be found and how can they be understood? To what extent are the current utopian energies strong enough to go beyond present comprehensions of social relations? To what extent are utopian thoughts and practices, in all its different guises, affecting political endeavours and institutional change? To what extent and how can historical utopian thought be re-read and made useful for current engagements in the field?