The Post-Growth City


The Netherlands


Own initiative




Marco Broekman, Jordy Stamps,

Frank de Boer


Researching alternative ways for designing cities; with respect for our planet



Crimson Historians & Urbanists




From growth...

Spatial development and urban planning are driven by a focus on economic growth. In recent decades, this growth imperative has led to an increase in production, consumption, trade and the exchange of goods & services. At the same time, the focus on economic growth lays major claim on our environment, raw materials & energy, which is increasingly pushing the planet out of balance. The effects of the ‘growth imperative’ are undeniable in our cities: the shortage of housing, the ever-rising house prices, land speculation, segregation, climate pollution, and (over) consumption are just a few of the examples.


This research is based on the assumption that we can only work towards a sustainable and just city if economic growth is no longer the starting point. This means that we need to move towards an alternative way of doing urban development, which takes place within our planetary boundaries and that allows for steady state, degrowth, or even defines growth completely differently (for example, growth of well-being or happiness). Within this research, we want to find a model for urban development that is not aimed at economic growth but takes into account a better balance between people, animals, and nature. A model that focuses on a habitable and just living environment, on sustainable use of food, water, energy & materials, and provides meaningful work for as many people as possible. Such a new paradigm or model requires a major economic, social and cultural shift, which will have a significant impact on the way we plan, build and design our cities. the Post-Growth City

Post-Growth City builds on existing research and articles regarding degrowth, by taking a closer look at the spatial & urban aspects. Within the current urban planning we will examine the visible & invisible instruments of the underlying systems such as, land policies, tax systems, planning instruments, construction lobby and interweaving with the financial system. We outline the (new) building blocks and principles of the Post-Growth society and what effects this will have on our living environment. We are looking for a new narrative that appeals to the imagination and can offer a real alternative to current ‘green growth’ models. The research by design thus shows what Post-Growth urban planning looks like; an alternative way to design our cities, with respect for our planet.