The Transition Movement

Following up on the previous blog post on local coastal resilience, it’s worth looking at a different sort of resilience that is part of what is known as the Transition Movement or Transition Towns. The Transition Movement (the American network is Transition US) is a network of communities that are re-imagining and rebuilding the future, moving away from dependence on fossil fuels toward local resilience and self-reliance (check out its free TeleSeminars; the next one is Tuesday, June 13). In fact, another American organization focused on the Transition is called, a program of the Post-Carbon Institute, and the scholarly body focused on resilience is called the Resilience Alliance. Another useful resource is the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub, which covers the six states just south of CT.

This movement is attractive to those interested, as this blog is, in local activism. The movement seeks to mitigate global crises such as climate change and the economy by having communities engage in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning. There is some overlap with CT’s coastal resilience plans, in that this information is important to coastal communities seeking a transition to a lower-carbon, more equal, democratic, and participatory world.

New England has the New England Resilience & Transition Network (NERT), which includes the Whitneyville Cultural Commons in Hamden, the Coginchaug Area Transition in Middletown, and Transition Litchfield.

Not part of NERT, but part of the Transition US network, is the New Haven Bioregional Group, which “sponsors walks, films, canoe trips, potlucks, and other events to help residents of the Quinnipiac Bioregion connect with their natural and built environment, and to build community and local resilience.”

Tomorrow, the Bioregional Group is co-sponsoring the showing of a film about how American cities have dealt with water-related problems. The film is Water Blues, Green Solutions, and it is showing at 7:30 on Thursday, June 7 at the Cold Spring School Community Building, 76 James Street, New Haven.

Saturday, June 10 at 1:00 pm, the Bioregional Group is leading a Westville Village Walkabout, starting from Manjares Restaurant at the intersection of West Rock & Whalley Ave., New Haven. For more on upcoming events and publications, click here.

If the Transition Movement interests you, and you live in one of the few places where there is an active organization, contact them about how you can help. Otherwise, consider starting a conversation about the transition, based on readings of the articles and books that are included or mentioned on the national and regional websites. Because the movement is young, you can have an important role to play in it.

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