Inderscience Publishers

Housing as basis for sustainable consumption

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An important element in the discussion regarding sustainable development in our part of the world is directed towards the large growth in private consumption, and the clash of interests that arises between this growth and sustainable development requirements. A considerable part of private consumption can be related to our houses and the living situations of which they are part. It is of considerable interest to obtain more knowledge about the variations in patterns and volumes of consumption between different living situations, as well as to explore the important factors behind these variations. The acquisition of this type of empirical knowledge is an important aim in the present study. It is based on the superior thesis that it is possible through land use and housing planning to achieve substantial changes in living situations and thus contribute to a development in a direction of "sustainable production and consumption". The article first sums up the state-of-art regarding research on relations between physical planning, household consumption and environment. A theoretical framework and the methods applied in a Norwegian research project acquiring new empirical knowledge into these relations are also presented. The project was intended to be finished by the end of year 2000. Parts of the investigations are, however, completed and the material has been analysed. Two different types of urban structure, Oslo and a small rural town, are included in the investigations. The article presents some of the findings and relates them to former research.

Keywords: environment, housing, sustainable consumption, urban planning

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