Hulbert Street – building community in a street

Hulbert St movie night (Photo:

Hulbert St movie night (Photo:

Hulbert Street in Fremantle (Western Australia) was one of my inspirations for the Transition Street Challenge. It is a great example of what can happen when neighbours get together.

Like many initiatives, there were a couple of motivated people who initiated the activities on the street that make it special and, I suspect, help maintain enthusiasm. At the same time, it sounds like other people are building on the initial impetus.

There are a number of wonderful initiatives in the street including a register of skills and resources people in the street are willing to share, showing movies on the side of a truck, and (one which I suspect could be unpopular with at least some people in the street) a Sustainability Fiesta.

I was talking with somebody the other day who suggested that people generally want to have connections with their neighbours (to at least some extent) and often it just needs someone to take the initiative and to make it easy for them to become involved.

There are lots of ways this can happen. The Kid’s Vegies on the Verge is an example in our street. One of our friends organised a Christmas Party and knocked on the doors of houses in the street. (She said it helped having a baby – people seemed less suspicious.) The Transition Streets Challenge is doing it in other streets.  A backyard cafe has done it in Tighes Hill.

What other examples do you know of streets where neighbours have built something special?

You can watch an inspiring TEDx talk by Shani Graham (from Hulbert Street) at Take a street and build a community.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

  1. What is asset-based community-driven development (ABCD)?
  2. Transition Streets Challenge – comments from coordinators
  3. Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
  4. An edible town?
  5. “We didn’t just build a garden, we built a community”
  6. Vertical and horizontal community engagement

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability, Working with communities and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hulbert Street – building community in a street

  1. Thanks for that Narelle. It’s great to see things happening around the place – it’s quite inspiring. Great to see that Council got behind your project. We hope to plant to fruit trees – I’ll be in touch.


  2. elleran says:

    Love your postings. We have similar in our community



    You might like this link. See photos enclosed. Our kids love playing outdoors in their neighbourhood and meeting new friends. We have also planted fruit trees for the kids to graze from when playing outdoors. Please feel free to write a blog (using photos taken by Narelle Debenham, all parents have signed permission forms for their children’s images to be used). Keep up the great effort. You are one of the greatest change agents around! Keep stirring the pot!! love it.

    Thanks, Narelle Debenham 0431 79137


    n 24/10/2013,


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