R.I. in Transition for New Town

July 20, 2012
By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff
Eco RI News

Plans are underway for a new town in Rhode Island. It likely won’t appear on a map, but it will create a new community with a unique mindset.

The international movement known as Transition Town began in 2005, in England, as a response to concerns over peak oil, unsustainable economic systems and the exploitation of nonrenewable resources. Its founders envisioned networks within cities and towns working to create “community resilience.” Within these networks, Transition members collaborate on daily needs, such as growing food or child care, but also seek local solutions to broader issues, such as social inequity and climate change.

Today, Transition communities have been established in various degrees in 34 countries. A hundred groups exist in the United States, and each New England state has at least two. The farming collaborative in North Smithfield, Revive the Roots, is a designated Transition Initiative. A group in the Providence area is attempting to attain an official Transition Town designation, which includes training from a certified Transition instructor.

“This training in a significant step towards introducing our communities to the Transition movement,” said Michael DeForbes, one of the principal organizers of the Providence Transition initiative. The goal, he said, is to “begin creating towns and neighborhoods in which the inhabitants work together to offset the effects of the global peak oil crisis, climate change and economic stagnation.”

Potential hubs for a Transition Town include neighborhoods in Central Falls and Pawtucket, according to DeForbes. But where and how will be decided by the participants, he said.

The official training session will be held Aug. 18 and 19 at the Urban Environmental Lab at Brown University.

For more information, contact Lisa Conlan at 401-383-4884 or via e-mail at lisa@newhopeexchange.org.

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