What is a Transition Initiative (Transition Town)?

“It’s a place where there’s a community-led process that helps that town/village/city/neighborhood become stronger and happier.”

It’s happening in well over a thousand highly diverse communities across the world – from towns in Australia to neighborhoods in Portugal, from cities in Brazil to rural communities in Slovenia, from urban locations in Britain to islands off the coast of Canada. Many of these initiatives are registered on the Transition Network website.

These communities have started up projects in areas of food, transport, energy, education, housing, waste, arts etc. as small-scale local responses to the global challenges of climate change, economic hardship and shrinking supplies of cheap energy. Together, these small-scale responses make up something much bigger, and help show the way forward for governments, business and the rest of us.

Really, it’s the opposite of us sitting in our armchairs complaining about what’s wrong, and instead, it’s about getting up and doing something constructive about it alongside our neighbors and fellow townsfolk. And people tell us that as a result of being involved in their local “transition initiative”, they’re happier, their community feels more robust and they have made a lot of new friends.

What are we “transitioning” away from?

All industrialized countries appear to operate on the assumption that our high levels of energy consumption, our high carbon emissions and our massive environmental impact can go on indefinitely.

And most developing countries appear to aspire to these ways of living too. However, any rational examination of our energy supplies, our economic inequalities, our diminishing levels of well-being, our ecological crises and the climate chaos that is already hitting millions of people tells us this can’t go on much longer.

We’re saying that the best place to start transitioning away from this unviable way of living is right within our own communities, and the best time is right now.

What are we “transitioning” towards?

Whether we like it or not, over the next decade or two, we’ll be transitioning to a lower energy future – essential because of climate change and inevitable because of diminishing supplies of fossil fuels (particularly oil).

There are a variety of possible outcomes depending on whether we stick our heads in the sand or whether we start working for a future that we want.

Transition Initiatives, community by community, are actively and cooperatively creating happier, fairer and stronger communities, places that work for the people living in them and are far better suited to dealing with the shocks that’ll accompany our economic and energy challenges and a climate in chaos. And here’s how they’re doing it…

Learn more about how Transition appears to be evolving:

Rob Hopkins’ words describe transition well:

More about Transition initiatives and Transition Towns:
– at the Transition Network – provides a wide (global) perspective on Transition activities
– at Transition US – the United States support hub for Transition Initiatives

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