Submission on Rural Housing To the Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Local Government

6th Nov 2003 , Emer O’Siochru

This submission makes a case for promoting small compact housing settlements rather than dispersed housing. It examines precedents for this development model in Ireland, arguing that most Irish villages and towns came into existence as a result of conscious planning. It suggests that the tax system be used to influence decisions about housing construction in favour of compact settlements, and that a ‘Participatory Budget’ system be introduced, following the example of Sao Paulo in Barzil, with the County Development Boards playing a strong role.

The full version can be downloaded as a PDF file

Notes for the UK Sustainable Development Commission, re Redefining Prosperity

By John Jopling for Feasta, October 2003

This submission argues that the Sustainable Development Commission has thus far tended to emphasise symptoms of global problems rather than their root causes. In particular, it argues that the SDC should consider the role played by the global financial system in the world economy, and the link between debt-based money and the pressure on economies to expand indefinitely.

The full text can be found below or downloaded as a PDF version

Short Circuit

Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies in an Unstable World
by Richard Douthwaite. Expanded online edition published June 2003 with updates by Richard Douthwaite, Joanne Elliott and Caroline Whyte.
Read Short Circuit online in its entirety.
Download pdf version(6 MB)

The global economy can no longer be relied upon to provide the necessities of life. Even in wealthy countries, the vagaries of free trade and the unimpeded movement of capital pose a threat not just to job security but to food and energy supplies as well.

Short Circuit proposes that each community build an independent local economy capable of supplying the goods and services its people would need should the mainstream economy collapse. It details the financial structures necessary for self-reliance, and it describes the techniques already in use in pioneering communities across the industrialized world. These inculde local currency schemes and community banks that enable local interest rates and credit terms to differ from those in the world economy. Efforts to meet local food and energy requirements using local resources are also reviewed.

Submission to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution Concerning Property Rights


12th June 2003

This is a submission from Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability on the issues of property rights within the Irish constitution.

Download the whole submission in pdf format (44K)

Executive Summary


Introduction


Change to the Constitution re property rights is not legally necessary for social equity and sustainability. All the powers required reside in the current provisions — if broadly interpreted and fully and fairly utilised. A debate to reinforce important principles and dispel misunderstanding is more necessary that an amendment.


1. Sustainability is an important element of the ‘common good’.


An amendment to …