Posts filed under ‘Resilience’

What keeps me going

There are a few things that keep me going through these difficult times and which keep me focused on what I can do to help.  The first is that you never know where the tipping points are.  You never know who will see a project you are doing and be inspired, who might hear the story of what you’re doing, and where it might go.  One Transition group in Berlin planted 26 fruit trees in their local park.  A year later their Council passed a law to say all new Council landscaping had to be edible species.  Things can tip, and they do so unpredictably.

Read What keeps me going by Rob Hopkins, Transition Town co-founder, at RobHopkins.net

June 7, 2017 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.

When one first hears calls for degrowth, it is easy to think that this new economic vision must be about hardship and deprivation; that it means going back to the stone age, resigning ourselves to a stagnant culture, or being anti-progress. Not so.

Renewable energy cannot sustain an energy-intensive global society of high-end consumers. A degrowth society embraces the necessity of “energy descent”, turning our energy crises into an opportunity for civilisational renewal.

In a degrowth society we would aspire to localise our economies as far and as appropriately as possible. This would assist with reducing carbon-intensive global trade, while also building resilience in the face of an uncertain and turbulent future.

Read Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it by Samuel Alexander at The Conversation.

May 22, 2017 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention

green leaf breaking through crack in concrete

One of the biggest challenges for many societies in the 21st century is mental health. In addition to the incalculable human cost of pain, distress and heartbreak, it has also become a huge economic cost.

The World Economic Forum report ‘The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases’ revealed that mental health issues are the single largest source of health care costs, more than cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, or diabetes.

At the same time that demand for services is increasing, austerity measures are exerting downward pressure on budgets. Communities everywhere will need creative ways to address mental health, and the associated spiralling costs.

Sharing and collaboration opens up incredible opportunities for strengthening individual and community resilience. Those participating in or monitoring sharing activity know this, usually anecdotally. But what if we could measure the benefits to people and societies?

Read Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention by Sharon Ede at Post Growth.

April 12, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

StrongestTown Contest 2017 – Championship Round

We’ve invited our members, listeners and readers to nominate towns based on the Strong Towns strength test and Strong Towns principles. We know that no town is perfect. This contest is about showcasing towns that are doing their best to be strong, that have the building blocks in place to be strong towns today and in the future.

The votes are in and we’ve narrowed down our 16 town bracket to two final contestants: Guelph, Ontario and Traverse City, Michigan.

April 10, 2017 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

Building Community from Your Front Porch

“Hi, neighbor!” After work Michelle Colussi’s husband sits on the front steps, attracting visitors young and old. This bit of neighborliness encourages relationships which come in handy — like bailing out one another’s houses when the nearby creek flooded. Co-founder of Transition Victoria (BC), Michelle organized her neighbors to join in a five-week “Transition Street” initiative to discuss and improve household practices around conserving water, growing food, and reducing waste, energy and transport.

Resilient Streets Toolkit HERE>>

 

April 3, 2017 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

Policies for Shareable Cities

IMG_0443Cities are built for sharing. It’s what makes cities engines of prosperity, innovation, and cultural exchange. Well connected cities have the unique capacity to raise per capita production and innovation while using dramatically less energy. For this reason, cities may be our best hope for achieving widespread prosperity within the earth’s natural limits.

The sharing economy has deep implications for how cities design urban spaces, create jobs, reduce crime, manage transportation, and provide for citizens. As such, the sharing economy also has deep implications for policy making. The sharing economy challenges core assumptions made in 20th century planning and regulatory frameworks – namely, that residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural activities should be physically separated from one other, and that each single family household operates as an independent economic unit.

The guide curates scores of innovative, high impact policies that US city governments have put in place to help citizens share resources, co-produce, and create their own jobs. It focuses on sharing policy innovations in food, housing, transportation, and jobs — key pocket book issues of citizens and priorities of urban leaders everywhere. The guide is meant to help cities develop more resilient, innovative, and democratic economies.

Read the guide  Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders produced by Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

March 6, 2017 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

How to Encourage Entrepreneurship in Your Town

…nine different ideas for promoting entrepreneurship, within both government and the private sector.

street-festivalA strong town needs strong local businesses. Local businesses provide jobs and opportunities for wealth creation. They can become a draw, encouraging visitors from outside your community, as well as a way for community members to support each other by buying local. Only with a thriving locally-based economy—one that isn’t owned or propped up by someone six states away—can we succeed in creating sustainable jobs and lasting economic prosperity.

Entrepreneurship is a hot word these days. Lots of towns say they would like to attract more entrepreneurs and grow their small business communities. But how do you do it? There are many ways to encourage entrepreneurship in your community, both through government leadership and private sector/neighborhood-level work.

THE GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN ENCOURAGING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

1. Adjust zoning codes to reduce business costs.

Do your zoning codes allow for mixed-use buildings where a shop owner runs her business on the first floor and lives upstairs? Are there minimum parking requirements for new businesses? Are food trucks permitted in your community? These are good questions to ask if you want to encourage small business growth. Buying or renting and renovating a building for a new business can be extremely costly. If your community allows for creative use of space, diverse income streams and smaller options than the typical stand-alone store, you lower the barriers to entry for small business owners.

2. Help facilitate walkable business districts.

Walkability is a huge factor in small business success and can create fertile soil for entrepreneurship to thrive. In a concentrated, walkable neighborhood with shops and restaurants, passersby are far more likely to frequent multiple businesses than if they were just driving to a specific store in an auto-oriented area.

Read How to Encourage Entrepreneurship in Your Town by Rachel Quednau at Strong Towns.

February 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

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