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Transition Towns

Publication date: 2015
Keywords: Climate Change, collaborative community, economic resilience, transition towns

A network of more than 1,100 grassroots communities working on ‘local resilience’ in response to peak oil, climate change and financial crisis. The concept of the Transition Network originates in the UK – where it is also still most strongly represented, but in the past years has spread to many other countries. Empirical studies about the Transition Network initiatives have been mostly conducted in the context of urban studies and the ‘relocalisation’ movement (e.g. Mason, K. and Whitehead, M. 2012, Bailey et al. 2010, Hopkins 2012). The case study on the Transition Network may resemble GEN a little, with some overlap in interests and activities. However, Transition Towns involves the transformation of existing settlements, rather than the creation of new ones.


Relevance for TRANSIT

Transition initiatives are an interesting case of social innovation because it has explicit transformational ambitions in its desire to change society and a model of change that is based on community empowerment. It also has a strong experimental ethic which means that Transition initiatives create the space for other forms of innovation to emerge. 


Social Innovation Initiatives in the Critical Turning Points-database

Omstilling Ry (Transition Ry – Denmark)

Transition Norwich (UK)

Transition Town Tooting (UK)

Transition Bro Gwaun (UK)


Social Innovation Initiatives studied in-depth

Transition Norwich (UK)

Transition Town Tooting (UK)

Transition Bro Gwaun (UK)



Longhurst, N. (2015) Transformative social innovation narrative of the Transition Movement. TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement: 613169

Longhurst, N. and Pataki, G. (2015) WP4 : case study report : the Transition Movement. TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2.-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Research Coordination: UEANoel Longhurst 

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