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What are Transition Towns?

Transition Towns are local communities (cities, towns, villages, districts, islands) who set out to make their way of living and working less oil-dependent. Peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis are the main drivers to take action for change from the bottom up!

Transition Towns work on solutions and show you how to realize them. The Transition Towns concept appeals to the own insights, wisdom, creativity and experiences of ordinary people. Transition Towns are based on the strength of the local community. 

The Transition initiatives have an ambitious goal: prepare your town, district, village, or (is)land on the combination of a permanent oil crisis (peak oil), climate change, and the need to switch to an economy that is not dependent on fossil fuels. And it is possible!

Worldwide Bottom-up Movement

The British permaculture activist Rob Hopkins began in 2005 in his hometown of Totnes (Devon, England) the first Transition Initiative. Totnes became the first Transition Town in England. In the meantime, the are multiple Transition Towns across Great-Britain and many more municipalities have the ambition to become a Transition Town. The model appeals so much, that it is now also reaching the rest of the world. By now there is a multicolored worldwide Transition-network.
Rob Hopkins described his ideas and experiences in the Transition Handbook, which came out in 2008. For many this book is an important source of information and inspiration. In May 2009, the full Dutch translation of this handbook was published supplemented by an analysis of the current economic crisis in relation to peak oil and climate change. It also includes reports on the developments around Transition Towns in the Netherlands and Flanders. The Handbook has 276 pages.

The most important information for groups who want to start a Transition Town is collected in a practical manual (primer). Even this basic guide is available in a Dutch translation; it has 100 pages.

Approach with Head, Heart and Hands 

The head collects and processes facts regarding peak oil and climate change. If you know about the current developments and you come to realize that it all has to change, then you can really move. It is the first step in a process of change.   
The heart is crucial to start with a positive vision. That also requires an understanding of the psychological processes of change. The greatest strength of the “heart” is to develop the confidence that things are going to succeed. Also imagination and the courage to cherish ideals are strong stimulanting forces. And of course, working with others from a sense of belonging.

Hands  are obviously the most practical. Here the theory comes to life on the basis of many current examples. Also the principles of permaculture are used.

There are countless possibilities and reasons why cities and towns want to develop into vital local communities. They grow their own food and generate their own energy. They build homes with materials from the environment. They deal smartly with water and they often have their own money system Need inspiration?

Of course there are initially many questions and concerns. These are the seven most common ‘buts’(and their refutations).

A Transition Town initiative is established according to a twelve-step plan. Before an initiative may call itself a real ‘Transition Town’ it must meet several international criteria. This approach has been successfully tested in dozens of towns and villages, initially in Britain, but now worldwide, and also in the Netherlands!

Transition Towns Netherlands

In September 2008 a group of people came together to explore the possibilities for Transition Towns in the Netherlands Their enthusiasm was so great that they decided to get to work. And: the concept seems to appeal widely! Meanwhile, there are in the Netherlands local initiatives in over fifty locations across all twelve provinces. Everywhere in the country movies, information and meetings take place to involve more people in local initiatives. Almost every week there are new enthousiasts reported.

Interested parties can participate in a national information national information day, whrer the background and approach to the Transition Towns concept are explained.

There are information days for those who want to start a group and there are training sessions for starters and also for those who are more experienced. See .   

With this website we introduce Transition Towns Netherlands. In the confidence that there are many more good bottom-up initiatives  are still to come, and that also in the Netherlands a strong and multicolored Transition movement will start.

An idealistic plan? Yes of course! But “the idealists of today are the realists of tomorrow,” said Jan Tinbergen (winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1969).

Do you want to support Transition Town Netherlands financially? Any donations are welcome!

Transition Towns Netherlands is part of the International Transition Town Network