Visiting Our Future: The Original Transition Town

Photo Essay

Totnes, Devon, England. Just over 23 thousand inhabitants, is the most ecologically developed city in the world. According to the good authority of “Observer”. Exactly, Totnes is the first of Transition Towns. This project was devised years ago by Rob Hopkins, perfect applied in the green Devon, and repeated all over the world in 35 communities. In Italy something similar is in Prato allo Stelvio. Solar panels on the roofs, chimneys and wood stoves, vegetable gardens in the house gardens, fruit trees on the sidewalks, advanced (and respected) waste recycling’s schedule, electric public transports, electric cars, electric bicycles. These are the strong points of Transition Towns, that, besides environmental sustainability, let save a lot of money. Today Totnes is a technological artistic and unique laboratory in the world as well a model that should be assumed in all.

Portrait (above) of Holly Tiffen. This farm is part of Transition Town Totnes Food link initiative. This is a project that aims to increase the availability of local food, by linking local farmers and producers with retailers and restaurants in Totnes. In the Southwest there are many small-scale farmers producing bountiful quality food that has helped the area to build up it’s reputation as a place rich in fantastic food and foodie outlets. Despite this most of the food produced is sold outside of our region, travelling across the country to distant consumers. At the same time, much of their food purchased locally is brought in from far and wide. The Food Links project aims to build a more resilient local food economy by building confidence and loyalty between producers and retailers within the locality. The project is funded by The lottery’s Local Food Programme and is managed part-time by Holly Tiffen. “I am keen to get all of the parties involved in food production and their end-markets talking together, in order that everyone understands each other’s issues and what is currently preventing greater availability. By getting everyone around the same table to discuss these issues jointly, we hope to come up with creative solutions that maximise the amount of locally sourced food in the town.”