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Chris Buse Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto CPHA May 27, 2014 Toronto ON The emergence of the transition movement in Canada: Implications.

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Presentation on theme: "Chris Buse Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto CPHA May 27, 2014 Toronto ON The emergence of the transition movement in Canada: Implications."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chris Buse Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto CPHA May 27, 2014 Toronto ON The emergence of the transition movement in Canada: Implications for public health

2 Outline Emerging threats to health equity and public health practice in the 21 st CE Transition Towns: A social movement preparing people to meet the challenge? Transition Emerging Study – Overview – Preliminary findings – Next Steps

3 Emerging Threats (to health equity) Climate change Ecosystem degradation Widening socio-economic inequities Resource depletion & energy insecurity

4 Implications for Public Health Practice “Public health's role is to protect and promote health, prevent disease and reduce inequalities in health: Encouraging and supporting the transition to a sustainable, just and healthy future is entirely consistent with this role.” CPHA (2013) Global Change and Public Health: Addressing the Ecological Determinants of Health (Draft Report – August 9). Ottawa.

5 Integrated Healthy Settings Approach Parkes et al. 2012

6 The Transition Town Movement: A Technology for Building Resilience Transition initiatives “are an emerging response: in essence, a powerful carbon reduction ‘technology’ and a new way of looking at responding to climate change and peak oil” (Hopkins 2008, p.1).

7 Goals of Transition Initiatives Building Community Resilience Transition to a low- carbon society Reskilling Emphasize connectedness Re- localizing production of basic needs

8 Resilience, Equity and the Development of Ecological Social Practices: Examining The Transition Town Movement in Canada FUNDER: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), RESEARCH TEAM: Blake Poland (PI)(UofT), Paul Antze (YorkU), Randy Haluza- Delay (KingsUCollege), Cheryl Teelucksingh (Ryerson), Chris Ling (RRU), Lenore Newman (UFV), André-Anne Parent (ULaval), Chris Buse (UofT), Rebecca Hasdell (UofT), Rivka Kushner (UofT) MOVEMENT ADVISORY GROUP CHAIR: Michelle Colussi (CCCR)

9 Research Goal: "To understand the Transition Town movement in Canada as an attempt to meet a series of looming environmental and economic challenges by forming more resilient, equitable and locally engaged ‘communities of practice’ that foster a new ‘culture of sustainability’ among participants."

10 MethodsYear 1Year 2Year 3 Document AnalysisWeb scan (N=88) Internal Documents Update Webscan e-Surveys Transition Initiative Founders (N=47) TT Participants (N=289) In-depth interviews Local TT Founders/Leaders (N=20) Community key informants, municipal councillors (N=10) Key informants on equity in transition in UK, US, Brazil (N=6) Dialogic Workshops Regional workshops National KT summit Components of TES Methodology

11 Distribution of Canadian Transition Initiatives by Province/ Region, up to and including 2012 (N=60)

12 Descriptive Statistics for Canadian TIs (N=47) Selected Variables Categories Canada TIs Identified Through Webscan88 TIs Participating in Survey 47 Initiatives Registered on TT Network 37 (79%) Average Age of TIs in years 2.9 Number of Organizers5 or less 15 (33%) 6 or more 31 (67%) Frequency of Meetings1-2 per year 4 (9%) 1 per 2-4 months 7 (15%) 1 per month 25 (53%) > 1 per month 6 (13%) Frequency of EventsNo events 2 (4%) 1-2 per year 5 (11%) 1 per 2-4 months 10 (21%) 1 per month 18 (38%) > 1 per month 9 (19%) Perceived Local Political ClimateConservative27 (58%) Progressive 18 (38%) Perceived Impact of TI on Community 3 Moderate 15 (32%) Weak 25 (53%) None 4 (8%)

13 Event Focus (N=4695)

14 Interest in health and well-being from a national survey of Transition participants (N=289)

15 Situating Health in Transition: Findings from a National Survey of Movement Participants (N=289) Relationship between: – Interest in health and food (Spearman’s = 0.281, p<0.01 – Interest in health and enviro degradation (Spearman’s = 0.233, p<0.01) – Health also associated with alternative transportation, energy issues, inner transition, housing, planning Longer lived in community, greater interest in health (Spearman’s = 0.104, p<0.05) – Relationship not explained by age

16 Still a work in progress… Lessons for public health include: – Reframing of environmental threats as opportunities for community building and social connectedness – Emphasize transformative learning, connectedness, resilience – Emphasis on entire communities as settings for health promotion How do sustainable practices scale up and out? – It is a global movement, but to what extent does change in one neighbourhood influence change in a city? How can strong interests related to health be leveraged for social change?

17 Thanks!

18 To what extent have initiatives discussed diversity?

19 workshops; book clubs; speakers; groups discussions; re-skilling; conferences garden share; seed and plant swaps; tree planting; community gardens; agriculture; food security; local food conference; permaculture; farming Events using arts to explore peak oil, climate change, and transition; screens; movie nights; films and discussion Education 21% Food 20 % The Arts 15%


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