Taking Resilience to the Streets

This fall, neighbors across the U.S. will be meeting in each other’s homes to support each other in reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, building social cohesion, and strengthening their community’s resilience.

transition_scene_color_2Sixteen Transition groups in 12 states are currently laying the groundwork in their communities to pilot Transition Streets, a project proven to reduce the carbon footprint of entire neighborhoods and save hundreds of dollars on energy bills.

Transition Streets brings together small groups of neighbors and supports them in taking effective, practical, money-saving and carbon reduction actions. A workbook helps each person to build their own action plan that improves household energy efficiency, minimizes water use, reduces waste and consumption, explores local transportation options and promotes local food.

The Transition Streets project, which was originally developed in 2008 by Transition Town Totnes in the U.K., was awarded the 2011 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy. Since then, the project has spread across the world, to countries including Australia, Canada, and France. This year Transition US, the U.S. arm of the international Transition movement, will be supporting Transition groups in piloting the project in the following cities/counties in the U.S.: Albany, CA; Ashland, MA; Catskill, NY; Charlottesville, VA; Clemson, SC; Berkeley, CA; Goshen, IN; Humboldt County, CA; Monmouth County, NJ; Milwaukee, WI; Northfield, MN; Northhampton, MA; Sarasota, FL; Schenectady, NY; Seattle, WA; and State College, PA.

The project has had impressive results in the U.K. On average, households participating in Transition Streets cut their bills by $900/year and reduce their carbon emissions by 1.3 tons. Just as important were the side benefits: neighbors formed a social bond and glimpsed what a low-carbon future would look like in their neighborhood. Additional outcomes from one year of implementing Transition Streets in Totnes included:

Read more: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-07-11/taking-resilience-to-the-streets