The Transition Network
This is the website of the Transition Network, founded in 2006 in Totnes, UK that supports activities of over 1400 Transition communities in more than 50 countries of the world, with the majority of them located in Europe and North America. Transition towns or transition initiatives refer to grassroot community projects that aim to increase self-sufficiency to reduce the potential effects of peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability. The first town to engage in a transition experiment was in Totnes, UK.
The movement emerged from the work of permaculture designer Rob Hopkins and his students Louise Rooney and Catherine Dunne that explored how permaculture concepts could be applied to problem of peak oil. They sought to develop practical ways on how communities could build self-sufficient, resilient local economies that would not depend on fossil fuels for their existence. Although none of the communities that are part of the movement could be considered as having actually achieved the transition away from fossil fuel dependence, many successful projects were implemented that have helped increase energy efficiency, lower fossil fuel dependency, led to revitalization of local economies (sometimes also through the use of local currencies) and have arguably contributed to increase in general well-being in the communities.
The Transition Network website offers a lot of resources on transition movement, including practical and well-informed guidebooks and other supporting documents on how to initiate transition projects in one’s own community (see links below). The transition movement represents arguably one of the more widely spread and better-known experiments in local-based responses to global sustainability challenges (fossil fuel dependency).
Perhaps similar to the degrowth movement, although with more visible outcomes, the transition movement offers an informative example of what is possible (and somewhat replicable) in different, committed, local communities that have decided to address sustainability challenges through their own engagement. A lot can be learned from how transition movements helped re-shape and re-vitalize local communities and about which problems the transition initiatives are willing and able to address and which not. A particularly interesting aspect of the movement is its exploration of both “inner transition” (personal adjustment to change) in parallel to “outer transition” (changes in society/community).