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Eco-municipalities and Transition Towns: Sustainability and Community Development Community Development Society Annual International Conference July 26,

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Presentation on theme: "Eco-municipalities and Transition Towns: Sustainability and Community Development Community Development Society Annual International Conference July 26,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Eco-municipalities and Transition Towns: Sustainability and Community Development Community Development Society Annual International Conference July 26, 2010

2 JERRY HEMBD State Specialist Community and Economic Development University of Wisconsin-Extension Associate Professor of Economics Department of Business and Economics University of Wisconsin-Superior

3 Overview Relate to conference theme Personal interest Eco-municipalities and The Natural Step Transition Towns and the Transition Initiative Community development connection

4 The Role of Community in Economic and Disaster Recovery Weve changed the planet, changed it in large and fundamental ways.... We need... increased engagement. Some of that engagement will be local: building the kind of communities and economies that can withstand whats coming. Bill McKibben Source: McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. New York: Times Books, 2010.

5 The Role of Community in Economic and Disaster Recovery Disaster demonstrates... the factors determining whether you live or die are the health of your immediate community and the justness of your society... If paradise now arises in hell, its because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way. Rebecca Solnit Source: Solnit, Rebecca. A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. New York: Viking, 2009.

6 Personal Background and Interest Eco-municipalities and The Natural Step (TNS) in Wisconsin Training in both approaches Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum Regional (NCRCRD) Extension sustainable communities curriculum development Sustainable Twin Ports Potential links between such approaches and community developers

7 Eco-municipalities

8 Background Origin – 1989 in Sweden Key figure – Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt International Sweden, US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, UK 60 eco-municipalities in Sweden; 40+ in US

9 Background Key text: The Natural Step for Communities by Sarah James and Torbjorn Lahti (New Society, 2004) Web resources:

10 Distinguishing Characteristics Systems framework – preanalytic vision Science-based with solid research support Open source; non-proprietorial Four key principles or system conditions Fundamental human needs (Max-Neef) Backcasting from principles Participatory, process-oriented, non- prescriptive

11 Four Sustainability Principles...concentrations of substances extracted from the Earths crust,...concentrations of substances produced by society,...degradation by physical means,...people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing... and, in that society...

12 Fundamental Human Needs SubsistenceProtectionParticipation IdlenessAffection Understanding CreativityIdentityFreedom

13 ABCD Awareness Baseline Creative Solutions Decide on Priorities Present Future Does it move us in the right direction? Is it a flexible platform? Is it a good return on investment?

14 Seven Steps to Success 1.Finding the Fire Souls 2.Initial education/awareness raising 3.Official endorsement 4.Involving the implementers 5.Applying the sustainability framework 6.Whole plan endorsement 7.Keeping it going (institutionalization) Source: The Natural Step for Communities by Sarah James and Torbjorn Lahti (New Society, 2004)

15 Transition Towns

16 Background Origin – in Ireland (Kinsale) and England (Totnes) Key figure – Rob Hopkins International Ireland, Scotland, US, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland, New Zealand 321 official initiatives; 198 mulling initiatives

17 Background Key text: Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins (Green Books, 2008) Web resources: (wiki)

18 Distinguishing Characteristics Peak oil and climate change as drivers Power of a positive vision Psychology of change (and addiction) Permaculture concept as a principal foundation Energy descent plans Building resilience Participatory, process-oriented, non-prescriptive Community-level origin and focus

19 Climate Change and Peak Oil as Fundamental Drivers of Change

20 Industrial Ascent (Modernism) Energy & Resource Use Population Pollution Pollution Climax Techno-explosion (brown tech) Techno-stability (green tech) Techno-stability (green tech) Earth stewardship Collapse/lifeboats (civilization triage) Great Grand Children Agriculture 10,000 yrs BP IndustrialRevolution Baby Boom Pre-industrial sustainable culture Historical Time Future Time Creative Descent ( Creative Descent (Permaculture) Where are we going?

21 Source: The Four Energy Descent and Climate Scenarios

22 Peak Oil and Climate Change PLANNED RELOCALISATION local resilience carbon reduction consume closer to home produce closer to home play closer to home decentralised energy infrastructure the Great Reskilling localised food energy descent plans local medicinal capacity local currencies CLIMATE CHANGE (a la Stern et al) climate engineering carbon capture and storage tree-based carbon offsets international emissions trading climate adaptation improved transportation logistics nuclear power PEAK OIL (a la Hirsch et al) coal to liquids gas to liquids relaxed drilling regulations massively scaled biofuels tar sands and non- conventional oils resource nationalism and stockpiling

23 12 Steps of Transition 1.Set up a steering group and design its demise from the outset 2.Awareness raising 3.Lay the foundation 4.Organize a Great Unleashing 5.Form sub-groups 6.Use Open Space

24 12 Steps of Transition 7.Develop visible practical manifestations of the project 8.Facilitate the Great Reskilling 9.Build a bridge to Local Government 10.Honor the elders 11.Let it go where it wants to go 12.Create an Energy Descent Plan

25 Community Development Connection Community as context or unit of analysis place based, asset based, action oriented Localization and resilience Systems thinking or approach (holistic) Theory and practice to build knowledge base Process comparability science-based context Local government involvement Sustainability imperative and community development?

26 Questions


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