Transition Streets on Blueprint for Living (ABC Radio National)

Transition Streets participants

Fitzroy Road Transition Streets group (Photo: Little Eco Footprints)

Blueprint for Living on ABC Radio National, recently did an 11 minute story on Transition Streets in Newcastle. We were essentially very happy with how they covered our story and it’s great they shared some of our experience.

The main thing I would have changed was making the relationship between the Transition movement and Transition Streets clearer. At times the two were confused. The Transition movement started in 2006 and Transition Streets was first run in Totnes in 2009. Transition Streets is just one project run by Transition Groups around the world. In Newcastle, Will started Transition Newcastle in 2008 and we launched Transition Streets (originally called Transition Streets Challenge) in 2012.

When the radio report said the “movement’s bible is the workbook,” it was quite an exaggeration. There are some great resources for the movement on the Transition Network webpage and a number of books by Rob Hopkins (one of the founders of the Transition movement) that provide a solid foundation for groups to work from. The workbook they mentioned on the show is the workbook we used for Transition Streets in Newcastle. In partnership with some Transition groups in Melbourne, we have also adapted it for a national version so that other groups can use it. It was a foundation for our Transition Streets groups, but it isn’t how to run a Transition group more broadly.

To suggest that some of the streets have established communal solar power setups, car sharing and even a community cinema, was quite an exaggeration. Some Transition groups around the world have taken on these types of projects (have a look at In Transition 2.0 to see some exciting projects from around the world) but I don’t know of any Transition Streets who have undertaken such actions. In Newcastle, streets have taken on small projects: one street held a community cinema night (powered by bicycles) and other streets have done things like held street parties or organised community garage sales.

The Transition Newcastle Pantry Cathy was credited with starting through Transition Streets was actually established by someone else involved in Transition Newcastle, Emily, and Cathy took it over after being involved in Transition Streets. Quite a few people from our Transition Streets group have joined as well.

Overall, it was a great story that captured the potential for Transition Streets: I love how Transition Streets helps people build connections while exploring sustainability. If you are interested you can read more about Transition Streets and the Kids Vegies on the Verge (which was the garden they talked about in the story).

If would like to see a copy of the workbook, email We are quite happy to share it with not-for profit groups and organisations who would like to give it a try. If you live in the Newcastle area and would like to run Transition Streets in you street (or with some other group you belong to) please get in touch!

Thanks to Annie Hastwell for creating a great report on Transition Streets which certainly captured the essence of what we are trying to do. You can listen to the story here.

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. What is the Transition Streets Challenge?
  2. What is Kids’ Vegies on the Verge?
  3. How (and why) I joined the Transition movement
  4. Food month(s) for our Transition Streets group
  5. A Transition Streets water challenge
  6. Take a street and build a community

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 Transition Streets on Blueprint for Living (ABC Radio National)

  1. Thanks for that Ivan – I’ll have a listen.


  2. Ivan Hawke says:

    Hi Graeme,

    A link to a great podcast that you would enjoy hearing … ABC-RN’s Science Show … Can Climate Change Have a Silver Lining? … 3 speakers including Bob Brown .. fantastic views expressed such as (my paraphrase) “If we walk up to the ballot box only thinking of ourselves and not our great grandchildren then we’ll get it wrong!” Also he recites the “Golden Rule” of modern society!

    Liked by 1 person

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