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The costs of keeping a roof over our heads create a dependence on market growth that puts low-consumption, sustainable living out of reach for many of us. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Access to land is a barrier to simpler, sustainable living. Public housing could offer a way forward

The cost of land and, in turn, housing forces people to buy into the rules of market capitalism, making it very hard to 'downshift' from consumer lifestyles. But what if we rethink public housing?
Filmmaker Agnes Varda holds the Honorary Palme d'Or award at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, France. Varda, a central figure of the French New Wave who later won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, has died. She was 90. AP/Thibault Camus

Agnès Varda, a pioneering artist who saw the extraordinary in the ordinary

Beloved film director Agnès Varda died at age 90, on March 29th. She was a pioneer of French New Wave cinema and admired for her ability to understand time and see beauty outside of mechanical norms.
Conspicuous consumption is one of the main ways that China-born migrants come to mirror Australian society. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Chinese migrants follow and add to Australian city dwellers’ giant ecological footprints

Australian cities are world-leading – in the worst sense – for resource use and greenhouse emissions. China-born residents have embraced these consumption patterns, which is bad news for the planet.
A man browsing the shoe department in a shopping centre. Can he really afford new shoes, and does he really need them? Alex Buirds/Wikimedia

Why we perceive ourselves as richer than we think we are

Under some circumstances, people may feel wealthier than they actually are and this makes them psychologically more prone to increase their spending, as well as their borrowing.

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