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Living-With Others, Living-With an 'Eco-Home': From Frustration to Transformation in an Eco-Development

By L Jones


This paper considers how 'ordinary' families and individuals who would not consider themselves to have 'environmental values' or undertake sustainable practices are being transformed through 'living-with' eco-homes. The transformative process is unpicked, showing that frustrations with eco-developments not being 'eco-enough' may be more influential on the evolution of environmental values than the components of an eco-home which are prescribed and assessed by policy-makers. The findings are based on a single case study-the extension of Allerton Bywater in West Yorkshire, England. As a Millennium Community, the 520 dwellings were designed to the BRE EcoHomes standard 'Excellent'. The development was first inhabited in 2007 and the fieldwork for this research was conducted in 2007-2008 while inhabitants were getting acquainted with their eco-homes and adjusting to new ways of living. While other research focuses on scripting, appropriation and normalization, this research proposes the concept of 'living-with' as a model for understanding transformation in sustainable practices. The in-depth interviews were undertaken with couples and neighbours who shed new light on how individuals incentivize and motivate one another in the uptake of new sustainable practices, thus demonstrating the contingent and contextual embeddedness of sustainable practices. © 2013 Taylor & Francis

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1080/1523908x.2013.834248
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