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Urban Consumption

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Urban Consumption

Edited by:
Peter Newton   Swinburne University of Technology

304 pages, 270 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2011
ISBN: 9780643096875 - AU $110.00

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Growth in human consumption is the transcending problem of our times. In the short span of 50 years, high income societies have shifted from an era when a 'simple life' was the norm to one where material consumption is pervasive. Consumption has become the engine for post-industrial societies. The liveability of cities in these societies is directly attributable to the consumption of resources – indirectly via their built environments and directly by their residents. This pattern of development is not sustainable. Nor is it equitable.

Urban Consumption is an important book, exploring the prospect for winding back current levels of household consumption in high income societies, and covering such critical areas as energy, water, food, housing and travel.


  • Explores the prospect for winding back current levels of household consumption
  • Covers such critical areas as energy, water, food, housing and travel
  • Represents the results of original research directed towards understanding the determinants of consumption

 Consumption and environmental sustainability
  • Peter Newton
Consumption in context

Inside looking out: the global politics of Australia's population debates
  • David Ritter
The Ecological Footprint of consumption: spatial and sectoral context
  • Thomas Wiedmann, Richard Wood, John Barrett and Manfred Lenzen
Consumption and the environment: impacts from a system perspective
  • Graham M Turner
The elementary forms of the consumerist life: a sociological perspective
  • Peter Corrigan
Consumer sentiment and consumption
  • Chew Lian Chua and Edda Claus
The psychology of consumption
  • Michael Kyrios
Consuming online in Australia
  • Scott Ewing
Household consumption in an urban context

Australian household consumption and the slow burn of the environment
  • Terry Burke and Liss Ralston
Food consumption in Australia
  • Leonie J Pearson and Liss Ralston
Wasteful consumption
  • Richard Denniss and David Baker
Sustainable travel: mobility, lifestyle and practice
  • Stewart Barr and Jan Prillwitz
Consuming the urban environment: a study of the factors that influence resource use in an Australian city
  • Peter Newton and Denny Meyer
Understanding household attitudes and behaviours towards waste, water and energy conservation
  • Kelly S Fielding, Winnifred R Louis, Clive Warren and Alice Thompson
Factors in energy and water consumption
  • Bill Randolph and Patrick Troy
Practices involving energy and water consumption in migrant households
  • Cecily Maller
Spatial and socioeconomic drivers of direct and indirect household energy consumption in Australia
  • Dominik Wiedenhofer, Manfred Lenzen and Julia K Steinberger
Who cares? An exploration of attitudes and behaviour towards the conservation of resources
  • Peter Newton and Denny Meyer

  • Government
  • Industry
  • University students studying sustainability
  • Significant multi-disciplinary interest, including: psychology, marketing and business, sociology, economics, and urban studies

 "The book provides a good overview of the key demographic, economic and socio-cultural issues that have and are currently influencing and shaping the public debate about private household consumption."
Roberto Colanzi, Australian Planner, 2013

"The range of different approaches taken to understand consumption, qualitative and quantitative as well as mixed methods, is refreshing and enlightening to the reader... The navigation of the breadth of research is excellent, creating links between chapters and giving a wide range of perspectives which complement, rather than compete with each other."
Malcolm Campbell, Urban Research & Practice, Vol 5(3), 2012, pp 369-371


 Peter Newton is Research Professor in Sustainable Urbanism at the Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Prior to his move to Swinburne in 2007 he was Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. 

Related Titles
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