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Resilience Takes Form – A Handbook for Transition

Cameron Sinclair, Huffington Post
Something strange has happened over in old Blighty. I’m not sure if the Utopian dreams of the 1960’s are making a comeback or if a new movement, one grounded in reality but focused on our future, has taken shape. No matter how cynical you are, you can’t ignore one of the fastest growing grassroots movements in the UK — The Transition Network.

In 2006 a founding member of this network, Rob Hopkins, had begun working on an idea in Totnes, a sleepy town in the West of England. From the land of Cornish pasties and clotted cream a community-led initiative began to focus on a duel issues of climate change and the realities of a post peak oil society.

It seems crazy, but by galvanizing the community Rob and a highly networked team developed what is now called the Transition model, the 12 steps or initiatives to transition as described in his book The Transition Handbook. Totnes has become the accidental epicenter of a quiet revolution…
(17 Sept 2009)

A Detailed Analysis of Somerset County Council’s Transition Resolution

Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
Somerset County Council was the first UK local authority to pass a resolution in support of Transition Initiatives across Somerset in July last year. The motion was pushed through by what was largely a LibDem council, since when, a few months ago, following a local election, the Council has gone largely Conservative. Transition Training also ran a training day with Councillors. So what has happened since? Has the resolution been sidelined by the new administration? How deeply does awareness of Transition run? What role has Transition Somerset, a coalition of local initiatives, played? Niamh McDonald, in her MSc dissertation at University College London has set out to answer those questions.

Her dissertation, “The Role of Transition Initiatives in local authority responsiveness to Peak Oil: a case study of Somerset County Council” is an excellent piece of research which sets out to answer those questions. She sets out to analyse actual and perceived barriers to successful implementation of the resolution and the role that Transition initiatives have played, both in bringing the resolution about, and subsequently. She concludes that Transition initiatives themselves played no significant role in the passing of the resolution, but have played a major role in the implementation and progression of the resolution. Although there is little to show from it so far, she concludes, it lays excellent foundations for deep systematic change within the Authority. Niamh has very kindly given me permission to post her dissertation here for your perusal. It is a very valuable addition to the Transition literature…
(25 Sept 2009)
You can download the pdf here.

Curry Stone Prize Finalists announced, includes Treehugger fave Rob Hopkins

Lloyd Alter, treehugger
Designers can be an instrumental force in improving people’s lives, and the Curry Stone Prize is given architects who do the kind of work that normally would not make the conventional design scene, but that can have huge impact. (Last year we were all over the Curry Prize winner MMA for his sandbag housing)

Kate Stohr of Architecture for Humanity, an advisor to the program, wrote to tell us that this year’s finalists have been announced. First up are public works in Medellin, Colombia instigated by Alejandro Echeverri and Sergio Fajardo, the former director of public works and mayor, who used architecture and design as one of their tools to clean up the notoriously deadly city. This project was the prizewinner. -KS

…In most countries, when people get a little money they emulate western construction styles that are not necessarily appropriate for the culture and climate. Anna Heringer,Architect and Visiting Professor University of Art and Design Linz, Austria, uses local materials and techniques.

…The Transition Network is well known to TreeHugger regulars; see Sami’s posts listed below. Rob Hopkins was one of its founders and wrote the book on the movement (literally: The Transition Handbook). Read Sami’s review here and interview of Hopkins here.

Hopkins credits the Transition movement’s fast-spreading appeal to its purposeful disavowal of doomsday environmentalism in favor of an ethos powered by creative and collective response to a future that has already arrived. “Transition doesn’t start out against things,” he has said. “Our starting point is that we’re all in this situation together – that’s how we’re able to capture the imagination of so many different kinds of people.”