Just been to an inspiring talk by transition town founder, Rob Hopkins. In his talk, entitled What Makes Transition Tick?, he covered a whole host of projects from all over the world and gave an excellent introduction to the transition movement. It was interesting to hear about the re-localisation movement and the bottom-up development that the transition movement favours. The movement is largely self-organising and aiming to make the world more resilient to peak oil and climate change. The resources being used included the local currencies, transition streets, regional and global transition networks, renewable energy and transition homes to name a few.
The idea of steady state economies and the newly announced tradable energy quotas were some of the ideas mentioned. The concept of steady state economies is that we cannot keep growing forever and that life would generally be better than the erratic economic cycles that are perhaps likely with rapidly rising oil prices and peak oil. There are details of the tradable energy quotas in this link here: tradable energy quotas. The scheme would mean that individuals are granted a free carbon allocation and they may either sell this or buy more on the carbon markets. People with a low carbon footprint could sell some of their quota to those people who are high carbon users. The British Government have enacted a 34 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 through the Climate Change Act 2008.
One other feature of this talk was mapping town’s footprints for food. There was an excellent map of the South West of England showing how big an area each town covers: Bristol’s footprint extended into South Wales and the footprints from Plymouth and Torbay covered Totnes. An interesting map tool to show the extend of urban areas. I had a quick word about openstreetmap and the excellent OpenEcoMaps website by Tom Chance is to feature in Rob Hopkin’s forthcoming book. I look forward to seeing it.
Whilst on the topic of OpenEcoMaps I have recently helped Transition Exeter get the city added to this website. It allows users to view themes of interest around the city including sustainable transport and food. To view the map click on the link here: OpenEcoMap and then choose Exeter. Tom’s blog is here: Acrewoods.
The map is rendered to highlight features that are of interest to the transition movement: public transport, green spaces and recycling for example. OpenLayers powers a choice of maps to choose from: the cycle map, public transport map, Default flavour of OpenStreetMap and aerial imagery from Bing. I feel this is an excellent starting point and will provide a good platform for the future of transition mapping.