Last night I went down to be a part of the book launch by co-founder of the Transition Town movement, Rob Hopkins. The Transition Town movement promotes sustainability projects applying a bottom up approach, using a framework of local communities. Founded in 2007, the movement is growing rapidly and now boasts over 1,000 in 40 different countries. When listening to Rob talk it’s not difficult to see why the movement is so popular, as his enthusiasm is infectious and his ideas come across with clarity and logic. Change begins in small communities and spreads throughout neighbourhoods, towns and beyond, that’s the message.
The talk was illustrated using case studies from various projects, such as Transition Tooting’s high street pop-up shop with “nothing for sale, but lots to offer”, a space which served as a room for discussion, debate and workshops. Another was a shop in a Yorkshire village which, when threatened with closure, was taken over by the community in order to serve edible food grown and made by the community.
Crystal Palace Transition Town seems to be one of the most energetic at present, a fact backed up by the numerous speakers relaying projects happening throughout the area. An observer said he thought that the atmosphere had turned evangelical due to various whoops and hollers coming from a section of the audience. A revolution has come and planted itself in this corner of South London, and although it is usually a quiet one, converts can be forgiven for letting out a little celebrating when their Messiah has come to town!