Retrosuburbia by David Holmgren – in conversation with Morag Gamble

Permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren, has just released an amazing new book, Retrosuburbia.

Retrosuburbia is about transforming our suburbs, and retrofitting our homes and neighbourhoods to be more vibrant and sustainable.

Why focus on suburbs?

More than half the global population live in cities and most in places like Australia live in suburb so this really is the conversation we need to be having – how to live more simply in the suburbs and how to be resilient in the face of growing uncertainties.

The interview

It was such a delight to chat with David  about Retrosuburbia while we were at the Australasian Permaculture Convergence last week (15-19 April 2018) in Canberra. In this interview (filmed by David’s son, Oliver) we explore why he wrote the book, his vision for cities and where he feels we need to put our energy. Enjoy and share!

About Retrosuburbia

Retrosuburbia is an incredible collection of strategies and case-studies for positive change. It is almost 600 pages and is filled with hundreds of photos by Oliver Holmgren, and around 100 colour illustrations from the very talented permaculture illustrator, Brenna Quinlan.

David and his wonderful team have self-published Retrosuburbia. It is printed in Australia and is not being distributed through the big multi-national online booksellers, so you’ll have to visit to get your copy or ask your local independent bookshop. Our copy at home is already very well used!

3 Responses

  1. Megan Blair
    Megan Blair at |

    What a great interview! Two warm, beautiful permaculturalists with an in-depth understanding of what it is about.

  2. Madeleine
    Madeleine at |

    Hi Morag,

    what a great interview, you really managed to facilitate this beautifully so that we got a wonderful picture of what the book is about – thank you!

    This book will definitely be making it’s way into my home soon. What a positive vision for the future, and perhaps it will help us decide whether to stay on our large ‘in town’ block in the country, or move to a bigger parcel of land.

    The idea of neighbourhood connections really resonated with me as I am concerned that by moving somewhere more isolated we are losing our neighbours and the ability to have a spontaneous meal or cup of tea with friends. We are able to grow most of our food on our just under quarter acre block. The thing that we don’t like about in town living is very high land rates, being surrounded by wi fi, and not being able to opt out of things like paying for garbage collection, even if we were never to use it. For us a more self-reliant lifestyle means not paying for things we don’t need. The upside of in-town living is the ability to work at home or get to work without a car, and the connections we have with friends and neighbours.