Developing Pro-Environmental Practices within Community Based Initiatives: Eco-Villages and Low Carbon Municipalities
Conceptualising the linkages between practices and the influence of interventions on current unsustainable practices is at the heart of social practice theory. Here, theorists have attempted to conceptualise how practices are linked together through time and space and co-evolve to either become incompatible or closely coupled. We examine such co-evolution of practices within community-based initiatives by drawing on six in-depth case studies, including interviews, visits and workshops. Two contrasting community-based initiatives are investigated: eco-villages and low carbon municipalities in order to firstly, draw out potential similarities and differences in the way they initiate and develop pro-environmental practices and intervene in unsustainable practices and secondly, demonstrate how certain material and social arrangements lock community members into unsustainable practices but also facilitate pro-environmental practices. In so doing, the paper aims to contribute to the literature on social practice theory and pro-environmental community-based initiatives, by exploring the linkages between practices and their configurations within two contrasting case studies.