Transition Towns: building community resilience in the face of emerging challenges, one joyful step at a time.
Originating in 2004 in the UK and spreading rapidly around the world, the Transition Town movement seeks an integrated and community-based response to economic instability, climate change, peak oil, environmental degradation and the erosion of community. Movement leaders argue that successful transition to a low-carbon society requires grassroots action to build community resilience, while emphasizing opportunities for greater connectedness, equity, quality of life, and fun. Key movement mottos include “if it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable”, and “let’s not let a good crisis go to waste!”. There are now over 20 official Transition Towns in Canada and another 60+ at earlier stages of development. Based on personal experience as a co-founder of Transition Oakville, anecdotal evidence from an extended network of transition founders across Canada, and preliminary findings of a national research study, this presentation will describe the emergence of the movement in Canada, the ways in which movement leaders have sought to build community resilience, some of the challenges the movement has faced and how they have sought to overcome these.
About Blake Poland
Blake Poland is Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Collaborative Program in Community Development. His areas of specialization include the settings approach to health promotion, critical social theory, qualitative health research methods, community development as an arena of practice for health professionals, community resilience, and social movement responses to emerging ecological threats to health equity. His latest project is a national study of the emergence of the Transition Town movement in Canada, a movement in which he is also an active participant as co-founder of Transition Oakville.