Living in the Future: Environmental Concerns, Parenting, and Low-Impact Lifestyles

  • Fiona Shirani
  • Christopher Groves
  • Catherine Butler
  • Karen Parkhill
  • Karen Henwood
  • Nick Pidgeon
Living reference work entry
Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP, volume 8)


Existing work has demonstrated how the presence of children of different ages in families can impact on people’s ability to make imaginative connections to longer-term socio-environmental futures and maintain these links in the context of everyday pressures. This chapter explores such connections by presenting selected data extracts from residents of a low-impact ecovillage. The ecovillage represents a relatively unusual case site where people showed strong connections to the future, which had an impact on their present lifestyle choices. In particular, the way in which parents spoke about their children as central to their decision to live a low-impact rural lifestyle is highlighted. The ecovillage data is contextualized via an extended literature review covering issues regarding parenting, rural childhoods, low-impact living, and how these areas relate to a connection with the future. Drawing together these insights, the relevance of resilience is discussed as a concept for thinking about how particular visions of the future may create lifestyles that make possible flexibility and adaptability in the face of uncertainty. In summary, this chapter highlights how parents’ views of wider environmental futures can impact on the lifestyles they foster for children in the present.


Ecovillage Resilience Future Parenting Environment Rural 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Shirani
    • 1
  • Christopher Groves
    • 1
  • Catherine Butler
    • 2
  • Karen Parkhill
    • 3
  • Karen Henwood
    • 1
  • Nick Pidgeon
    • 4
  1. 1.Cardiff School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Geography DepartmentUniversity of ExeterExeter, DevonUK
  3. 3.Environment DepartmentUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  4. 4.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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