Transition Town Totnes
Text by Ed Thompson
Totnes has become a Mecca for sustainability studies due to its establishment as a pioneering Transition Town. The Transition Town concept emerged from work of permaculture designer Rob Hopkins. He 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. The idea has been adapted and expanded in Totnes, his home town, since 2005.
Transition Town Totnes (T.T.T) has become a dynamic, community-led charity that is strengthening the local economy, reducing the cost of living and preparing for a future with less oil and a changing climate. They have a large local support base and have contributed over £1 million to the local economy through grants, jobs and tourism.
There are a number of T.T.T schemes including allotments for local people to grow their own produce, a subsidised solar panel scheme for local homes, a farm producing vegetables for local shops/trade to reduce road miles on produce, local markets that sell an array of sustainable products, vegetable oil fuelled rickshaws that act as runabouts around the town.
Also of note is the fact that Totnes High Street has an absence of the chain stores that so dominate the high streets in other British towns. Rob Hopkins has gone on to write The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience, a how to guide for any town to become a Transition Town.
There are now around 300 towns worldwide classified as Transition Towns.
More Info: Transition Town Website
Date : 2011