First things first


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Walking the walk

Transition Towns are intended to be vehicles for creating or supporting real, visible, useful projects.

With Transition Westcombe at this early stage, some people may be thinking: 'I get the concept, but what will it actually do?

That is up to the people who get involved, of course - each Transition initiative is made unique by the local people and the resources they have.

But by way of illustration, here are just a few of the projects that transition initiatives elsewhere have managed to get off the ground or which are being planned.

But what would you like to see happening in Westcombe? Which of these ideas should we cherrypick or adapt, and what new ideas can you suggest? Feel free to use the comments section to post your thoughts.


Totnes has a projects page you can browse by clicking here. It includes:

Business Resource Exchange – One company's waste or spare resources used as input to another

Community Food and Well-being Garden – Creating a community garden within walking distance of Totnes

Energy-efficient lighting for business – Driving a switch to low-energy lighting for high street retailers

Garden Share – matching unused garden space with gardenless growers (we may well seek to do this in Westcombe)

Green energy for business – helping businesses to switch to renewable energy tariffs

Local Complementary Health Directory

Local Food Guide – Promotion of local produce and independent outlets

Measuring Transition – looking at how we know whether we are making progress towards our goals

Campaigning for more allotments

Nut trees - Planting nut trees around town and training tree guardians with the aim of becoming the 'nut tree capital of Britain'

Oil Vulnerability Audits – Helping businesses quantify their exposure to rising oil prices and to assess risk

Resource efficiency for businesses - Free audits and advice for small local businesses from Envirowise - pilot project

Seed and plant swaps - Retaining local plant diversity and promoting Grow-Your-Own

Solar Thermal Challenge - Bulk purchase and promotion of solar thermal kit for hot water on 50 homes

The Great Re-Skilling - Practical training programme to re-establish the skills we have lost

Totnes Pound - local currency, now accepted in over 70 shops in the town

Transition Library - Wide selection of transition-related books & films available for free in Totnes

Transition Tales - Storytelling the future to educate and inspire

Transition Teams and Home Groups - Support formation of small social based groups that take on their own transition agenda

Compost toilet – Plans to build one

Community Support Agriculture - Local people commit to buy seasonal shares of a local farmer's crops

Localising commercial food - Identify local commercial food needs and match with local supply potential

The Great Home Retrofit – Phase 1: Create energy map of Totnes housing stock to focus on least efficient first / Phase 2: Create low energy action plans for homes then support homeowners through retrofit activities

Totnes Youth Film Festival - Provide equipment and training for making short films about 'Totnes in 2030'

Transition Street Showcase - Work with typical street to deliver aspects of all these projects for a living demonstration


Distributing project grants – a small amount, but TTB has £1000 to give to projects this year

Fruit and nut tree map

ABUNDANCE project (Activating Barren Urban Niches for Daring Agricultural Networks of Creativity and Endeavour) – 2 strands: a green map of Brixton exploring possible growing space, especially on estates, roofs and walls / a demonstration urban agriculture & permaculture project in an allotments site

Possible: Establishing a transition / climate change / peak oil reference shelf in the local library – plus an exhibition space in the library foyer

Responding to the LDF consultation process

Simple A4 guide for local people on how to beat the cold; easy to revise and update

Remade in Brixton - a partnership working towards a zero waste Brixton through repair, reuse, recycling, and making better use of resources locally

Local currency - including Brixton Pound for local business resilience, and LETS to build trade networks beyond sterling

Planned: Street party to promote reduction in car use

Planned: An in-town-without-my-car day


Local food branding pilot

Garden buddies – connecting growers to share gardens and skills

Lewes community bag – cloth bags supported by local businesses

Schools workshops – transition projects / talks / workshops in schools

Lewes Pound - a local currency

Heat More Greens - A Lewes Householders' initiative to block buy and install solar panels

Car-free Lewes – A flyer with tips on car-free living

Ovesco – Ouse Valley Energy Services Company – to deliver energy saving, renewable energy and related projects. Ran a round of grants-making for the district council, fitting 50 solar panels in just over a year and 50 thermal panels and wood stoves


TT Wandsworth is at an early stage, but their ideas include:

Children's herb garden

Food-growing workshops

Community composting

Hazlenut tree planting

Website for exchange of local services, eg laundry, shopping

Green book club

Infrastructure support in case of crisis

1 comment:

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...
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