The Transition Town network encourages communities to get together to do something about climate change, reducing dependence on oil and developing a sustainable lifestyle while building a resilient and flourishing local community.
- In 2004, permaculture designer Rob Hopkins set his students at Kinsale College the task of applying permaculture principles to the concept of peak oil. The output of this student project was the ‘Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan’. This looked at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of energy production, health, education, economy and agriculture as a “road map” to a sustainable future for the town.
- Two of his students, Louise Rooney and Catherine Dunne, developed the Transition towns concept. They then presented their ideas to Kinsale Town Council. The councillors decided to adopt the plan and work towards energy independence.
- Hopkins moved to his hometown of Totnes, England, where he and Naresh Giangrande developed these concepts into the transition model.
- In early 2006, Transition Town Totnes was founded and became the inspiration for founding of other Transition initiatives.
- The approach has now spread now to over 50 countries, in thousands of groups: in towns, villages, cities, Universities and schools around the world, with many located in the United Kingdom and others in Europe, North America and Australia.
The Transition Towns movement is about working together as a community to achieve more and have a greater impact that we can do as individuals. To collaborate as a community to reduce carbon emissions and to mitigate the effects of climate change. To build resilience to reduced energy provision/more expensive energy and develop a strong local economy.
While the aims remain the same, Transition initiatives’ solutions are specific depending on the characteristics of the local area. Towns set up their own Transition Town organisation. Being part of a network means change can be created more quickly and more effectively, drawing on everyone’s experiences and insights. Other benefits of having local Transition Networks include:
- Ideas can be taken up rapidly, widely and effectively because each community takes ownership of the process themselves. Transition looks different in different places.
- The basic building blocks of the movement are groups of people who are making positive change happen locally – in their village, town or city neighbourhood or sometimes in their school, workplace, college or university.
- They can access support and connect up with others across the movement, but they’re not waiting for permission to act and nobody gives them instructions.
More information on the transition town network can be found on the Transition Network website: