Master´s Thesis 2021 Rurban Transformation

Sofia Andersson

Degrowth for Regrowth

– Speculative scenarios in a fossil-free future

“‘Degrowth’ […], 
“la décroissance” in French 
or “la decrescita” in Italian 
refers to a river going back to its normal flow 
after a disastrous flood.”



This thesis focuses on a break from the current line of action in sustainable development, and
questions the notion of economic growth as a general target or means to reach social and
ecological security. By exploring alternative approaches within planning practice, it provides an
investigation into more efficient and powerful tools beyond sustainable development. The aim is
to envision alternative scenarios where social and ecological values are the driving forces that
shape society.

research questions

How could society be shaped if it favored growth mainly in environmental and
social values rather than economic growth?

How could sites and structures that become obsolete in the transition towards a
fossil-free future be implemented in a socio-ecological transformation?

While the planet is finite in its biophysical sense, 
infinite growth in human existential values, 
such as beauty, love, and kindness, as well as in ethics,
may be possible. 

–  European Environmental Agency (2021)


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