These resources provide background reading to the RetroSuburbia book. Some are standalone resources that were written before or concurrently with the book, others are extensions to specific sections in the book.
File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.0

Bushfire Resilient Land and Climate Care

In this thoughtfully written document, David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept outlines that while devastating, the recent Australian bushfires provide an opportunity to come to terms with both the legacies of colonisation and the unfolding climate emergency in ways that empower bottom up householder and community level resilience.

Read More
RetroSuburbia Bushfire Resilience Cover

RetroSuburbia Bushfire Resilience Extract

Here is an extract from RetroSuburbia. It is the two chapters concerning bushfire preparations and resilience. The production and availability of this extract as a free and sharable download is part of our response the Australian bushfire crisis of summer 2019/20.

Read More

RetroSuburbia; The Manifesto

This essay is based on an earlier version that was first published by the Simplicity Institute in 2012. It was written before RetroSuburbia and summarises many of the ideas behind the book. The transformation of suburbia, and similar low density residential landscapes, into dynamic, productive and engaging communities is the...

Read More

A short personal and global history of Retrofitting the Suburbs

This article is an extension of the Preface in RetroSuburbia. It outlines David Holmgren’s personal journey to writing RetroSuburbia in the context of events and movements in wider society over many decades.

Read More

Feeding RetroSuburbia

Food and where it comes from is an ongoing theme in RetroSuburbia. This essay extends on the discussions in Chapter 29, Sustainable and sustaining diet, and the further information given in Appendix 4, Retrosuburban diet. It outlines David’s vision for a localised, resilient food system in an energy descent future...

Read More

The Melbourne Model

For the last 50 years, the debate about suburban sprawl vs high rise has been repeated ad infinitum with very little questioning of the assumptions behind the debate. Adam Carey & Timna Jack’s article in The Age 22 Feb, 2018 is a current example of the restatement of these outdated...

Read More

A History from the Future

This essay is a speculative story about responses to energy descent in central Victoria. Many of the scenarios and ideas in the story are referred to in RetroSuburbia, but the focus is on wider community and government responses rather than household responses. As such, it provides useful background reading on...

Read More

Futures framework for RetroSuburbia: limits to growth, energy futures and energy descent scenarios

This article outlines some of the background concepts informing RetroSuburbia, in particular the concepts of ‘Limits to growth’, ‘Energy descent’ and ‘Future scenarios’. It extends on the information given in the ‘Energy descent futures’ text box (p 22) and ‘My assumptions’ (p 22–23).

Read More

Phil Bourne on decision making, interpersonal relations and conflict resolution

This piece was written by Phil Bourne to lend his expertise in the area of ‘people processes’ to the final chapter of the book: Decision making, interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution. It has a few additions from David Holmgren. Phil is a long term member of the Commonground Co-op and...

Read More

Looking after teeth: a personal story

This piece is an extension of the section Looking after your teeth in Chapter 31, Health, disability and ageing in which Holmgren uses his own experience to illustrate issues around, and the importance of, dental care for a resilient household.

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest

Subscribe to the
RetroSuburbia Newsletter

Our newsletter is filled with all kinds of permaculture goodness, just like our compost!