Transition Whatcom

Hi friends,

The following is an excerpt from the article by Rob H. recently posted on the Energy Bulletin. I thought this part could be a useful starting place for assessing our community/region for the EDAP:


Link to the article


Here's the section from the article Ingredients of Transition: Strategic local infrastructure:

So what new businesses, buildings, livelihoods and infrastructure might a Transitioned community need? Here is a list I came up with in order to get your Transition initiative started with coming up with its own…. just a few initial thoughts… you will notice that actually there are lots of things, lots of opportunities for local economic development, that actually require very little in the way of infrastructure, or perhaps it shifts our thinking away from a nuts and bolts interpretation of the word ‘infrastructure’:

Employment Sector Industry Type Opportunities for Economic Development Infrastructure needed
Food Production/Land Use Organic Farming Farm workers, research and innovation, value adding and processing, retail, Community Supported Agriculture initiatives Farm buildings, packing houses,

Textile Production Farming, processing, manufacturing Factories with facilities for washing, scouring, retting, grading, spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing

Organic Food Production Training, freshwater aquaculture, organic gourmet mushroom production for food and medicines, intensive market gardening, food preservation Glass houses for aquaponic fish production, sealable buildings for mushroom cultivation, greenhouses, composting,

Forestry Timber for construction and a variety of uses, sawdust for mushroom cultivation, charcoal, wood gasification, coppice products, saps, tannin, bark mulch, education, training, food crops, fibre Mobile sawmills, wood gasification equipment, shredders, drying kilns, covered working space, timber storage space

Urban Agriculture Co-ordination, land access provision, edible landscaping consultancy, online tools for linking growers and consumers, large potential for commercial production, plant nurseries and propagation Greenhouses, tools, access/deliveries by cycle, horse or electric vehicle, space for storage, packing and processing

Gleaning Apple harvesting and pressing, hedgerow drinks and other products, education

Agroforestry systems Design consultancy, planting and ongoing management, selling of wide range of produce, long term enhanced timber value, courses, publications, research Tree nursery beds, nut harvesting equipment, processing,

Schools Edible landscaping, teaching, Education for Sustainable Development, food growing training, apprenticeships, bespoke Transition training programmes Polytunnels, garden infrastructure, tools and equipment
Manufacturing and Processing Recycling Salvaging building materials, processing and reclaiming materials (bricks, timber etc), making insulation from waste paper, glass bottles into insulation A yard or industrial space with covered area, the various appropriate equipment for the relevant tasks

Sustainable Industry Renewable energy technologies manufacturing and installing, technology systems, Workshops with specialist equipment, office space

Repair Extending the life of machinery, building for durability Covered space for working on machinery, appropriate equipment

Scavenging Materials reuse, refurbishing, resale to low-income families
Services Healthcare Holistic healthcare, research into effective herbal medicines, local herb growing and processing, training for doctors, apothecaries, nutritional advice Glasshouses/polytunnels,, laboratory, bottling,

Energy Home insulation advice, energy monitoring, energy efficient devices, investment co-ordinators, sale of energy to grid or decentralised energy systems, producing wood chip/pellets for boilers, Energy Resilience Analyses for businesses

Compost Management Collecting, Managing, Training, Distribution, Education, potential links to urban food production

Information Technology Creation of effective software systems for energy management, carbon foot printing and much more Office space?

Hospice services / bereavement Hospice services, supporting families who keep relatives at home, green burials

Financial Investment Credit Unions, local currencies, mechanisms whereby people can invest with confidence into their community, Green Bonds, crowd funding
Government Councils Opportunity to organise efforts throughout region, and parishes

Researchers Opportunity to gather information from the many projects and enterprises underway.
Education and Design Educators Wide range of opportunities for supporting ‘The Great Reskilling’, developing Distance Learning programmes, training for professionals

Sustainable Designers Landscape architects specialising in edible landscaping, zero carbon buildings

The Arts Art projects documenting the Transition, installations, exhibitions, public art workshops, local recording studios, storytelling

Transition Consulting Working with businesses on energy audits, resilience plans, a range of future-proofing strategies
Personal / Group Support Counselling Personal ‘Transition Counselling’, group support, community processes

Citizens Advice Debt advice, housing advice, financial management skills, debt scheduling

Outplacement/Redundancy Support Support, retraining, ongoing support and training
Media Print media Local newspapers, small print run books on different aspects of the Transition

Internet Online retailing systems for local markets

Film media Online TV channels documenting inspiring examples of Transition in Action
Construction Reskilling Retraining builders to use local materials and green building techniques, improving awareness around energy efficiency in building, setting up local construction companies, rainwater harvesting systems, design and installation Demonstration site where people can learn by doing, storage for natural building materials, a shop where people can buy them,

Materials Creating local natural building materials, clay plasters, timber, lime, straw, hemp etc. Growing, processing, distribution, retail etc. Locally made wallpaper. Hemp processing equipment, sawmill, limekilns and roller mixer, yard and covered space, equipment for processing, bagging and storing clay plasters,

Architects Specialists in passivhaus building, local materials, retrofit advice
Transportation Low energy vehicle fleets Marketing, maintaining, renting, chauffeuring Garage space for repairs, recharging points

Bicycles Selling, servicing, maintenance training, rental Bicycle workshop for repairs

Rickshaws Importing, servicing, taxi service, weddings etc. Garage space for repairs, fuel processing

Biodiesel Sourcing, processing, selling, training and advice Simple equipment for processing biodiesel

Biomethane/Electric vehicles Fleet management, sales, leasing, car clubs

Views: 63

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Angela.  Reading down farther in the article, I like this bit:

"The Solution

Make one of the key focuses of your Transition initiative’s work and thinking the practicalities of stimulating the infrastructure required by a more localised future. Ideas as to which will be the key pieces of infrastructure will emerge from the EDAP process. Ensure that thinking is strategic and connected, and that it is based on considering the viability of each enterprise."


I'm really finding the Transition Culture posts useful.  And I hope he's right--that working on the EDAP will inspire some of these projects.

Laura, what are the Transition Culture posts you referred to?

This is a website where Rob Hopkins identifies and links patterns, or "ingredients" of Transition which he collects from anecdotes from people all over doing Transition, as well as his own experience.  I signed up for email updates and every few days or sometimes more, he posts a little bit.  What I like is that it's just bites at a time, but with enough regularity that it starts to weave together in your brain.


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