Transition Towns – resilience indicators & upcoming conferences

Rob Hopkins, Founder of the Transition movement, published ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience’ in 2008. Here is an extract from the book under the headline ‘What are resilience indicators’,

Carbon footprinting and the cutting of carbon emissions are clearly a crucial part of preparing for an energy-lean future, but they are not the only way of measuring a community’s progress towards becoming more resilient. In the Transition approach, we see cutting carbon as one of many ‘Resilience Indicators’ that are able to show the increasing degree of resilience in the settlement in question. Others might include:

- the percentage of local trade carried out in local currency

- percentage of food consumed locally that was produced within a given radius

- ratio of car parking space to productive land use

- degree of engagement in practical Transition work by local community

- amount of traffic on local roads

- number of business owned by local people

- proportion of the community employed locally

- percentage of essential goods manufactured within a given radius

- percentage of local building materials used in new housing developments

- percentage of energy consumed in the town that has been generated by local ESCO

- amount of 16 year olds able to grow 10 different varieties of vegetable to a given degree of basic competency

- percentage of medicines prescribed locally that have been produced within a given radius

Interestingly, the book goes on to say that,

This is a new area the Transition Network is currently exploring. Your thoughts on what form other Resilience Indicators might take are very welcome. The core point is that we need more than carbon footprinting, that we could cut settlements’ emissions by half, but they would still be equally vulnerable to peak oil.

There are two upcoming Transition-related conferences in May 2010:

The 2010 Transition Network conference will be held in Forest Row in Sussex on the 29th, 30th and 31st May

The European Transition Conference from Wednesday 19th May 19 to Monday, 24th May 2010 in northern Germany

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