Today sees the publication of what may well turn out to be one of the most important documents yet produced by a Transition initiative. Over the next few weeks we will be returning to it, to hear a range of perspectives on it, and hope it will generate debate and discussion. The document is the ‘Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint‘, and you can download it for free here. The Blueprint is the first attempt that I am aware of to map in detail a local economy and to put a value on the potential benefits of an increased degree of localisation. If you like, it identifies “the size of the prize” of Transition.
Here Fiona Ward of the REconomy Project introduces the Blueprint:
Berry Pomeroy Castle near Totnes is famed for supposedly being one of the most haunted castles in Britain. It is said that the ghosts can still be seen of the Pomeroy brothers riding to their doom over the castle cliffs to avoid losing the castle following a siege. Or there’s the Blue Lady, reputed to be a Pomeroy who strangled the child conceived with her father, or the White Lady, who was supposedly shut up in a dungeon by her jealous sister and whose ghost now walks the walls at night. None of these phantasms has any basis in history though: there never was a siege, the guy who first wrote about the Blue Lady said he had seen her in the Castle even though at the time of writing it had already been in ruins for many years, and the White Lady is the creation of a Gothic tale first published in 1806. The truth about the castle is less supernatural and exciting but a fair bit more interesting.
I am just back from 3 days in Germany, and great fun it was too. I spoke on Wednesday evening in Bonn at an event organised by Bonn im Wandel (Bonn in Transition) at the University there, and on Thursday evening I was the guest of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin. I am currently teaching myself to make short films, and here is my first (I’m doing a proper course in 2 weeks). Nothing fancy but hopefully it captures some of the spirit of both events.
Some additional information on what’s going on in the film might be useful…
We start this month’s round-up in Tooting in London. Transition Town Tooting recently posted this film about their Foodival last year. Foodival is an annual event which celebrates what local food means in this diverse urban context:
Susan Gregory (NE Seattle Tool Library), Pastor Lorraine Watson (North Seattle Friends Church), Signe Gilson (Cleanscapes), Dai Gorman (Lease Crutcher Lewis), Richard Conlin (Seattle City Council), and Tim Croll (Seattle Public Utilities) at the opening day for the Library.
Here is a wonderful story from Seattle. I am indebted to Susan Gregory and Leo Brodie for their time in telling me about it. In North Ravenna, NE Seattle, a rather exciting project has emerged from Sustainable NE Seattle, the local Transition initiative. Inspired by a similar project in West Seattle, the NE Seattle Tool Libraryopened to the public last month, and already has over 1,100 tools available for local people to hire. Members pay an annual membership and can then borrow tools for a week at a time. The Tool Library is housed in a building belonging to a local church which was renovated using a grant from a local recycling company. I asked Susan to tell me about the Library, how it came about and how it works: