Suburban Resilience

 I have been thinking a lot lately about this series of posts.  You know the type of thinking, really deep and meaningful sort of stuff.  I have been imagining possible futures, researching case studies, and thinking about the present events around the globe.

Then I came across this quote by Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement.

“If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.”

The quote really rang loud and true in my mind, except that I personally believe that individual action also has its place in leading by example.  I have been following Rob’s work in the Transition Town movement with interest, and believe that it is a great model that has merit simply by bringing the community together and building resilience.  But what is resilience and what does it mean in this context?  Let me show you a very good video on the subject to help you understand.  It has a good message that is easy to fathom.

So individual and community resilience is the key to riding through the approaching shit-storm, making changes for the better, doing something useful with what we have, and in our case the suburbs. By learning new skills, building community bonds that strengthen our sense of belonging and common purpose, we will be able to retrofit our vast suburban wasteland, and re-purpose it into a liveable and thriving landscape that will provide for everyone who lives in it.

The suburbs will remain in physical form, but not in the way we are used to.  By being creative, adopting permaculture practices to transform the landscape into an edible one, and by building community resilience via similar Transition Town/Village/City type actions, we will go a long way towards making them better places to live.  No more sterile wastelands, but places with a beating heart full of local resources, and filled with happy, productive people getting on with their role in their very own community!

“The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn.” – Unknown

Well that is the way I see it going down, even if many others don’t.  Penny for your thoughts?


  1. says

    I still have faith in the little changes that people make, new skills people take up and slowly spread the word on to others will help. Nothing makes me happier than hearing someone has changed their way of thinking, or living for something more sustainable.
    Enough and in time?… *sigh*

  2. says

    @ dixiebelle. Keep on plugging away at the problem, you are doing great work up there in Canberra. I agree about some TT groups here in Australia, they have not achieve the results that they have in the UK, but I think there may be some exceptions (can’t find any examples). More and more people are listening, and learning and we must be fairly close to the Great Awakening, because I can feel it in my water! 😉

    @ Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams. It is never too late to learn the required skills, as there are lots of people to learn from who are willing to help.

    Gav x

  3. says

    Hi Gavin. Those of us who are thinking about this stuff now, and forging those connections, will have a role in helping others in the future. I’m just getting started and have a lot of catch up to do. I hope there is enough time…

  4. says

    This is exactly what we have been trying to do for the last 2 or 3 years! It can be hard to build community resilience if you can’t find community members who feel the same way you do. The TT Group here was a joke… too many power plays & more talk than action! We’ve had to just keep on doing individual work to build our own urban homestead, and slowly we’ve found others who feel the same as we do in our area. At some point when The Great Awakening occurs, we’ll be able to teach & help others. We call ourselves Survironmentalists (def. on my blog) and this means we are seen as weird by the ‘greenies’ and the ‘preppers’ and most def. we seem crazy to regular folk! Now I run a group called The Urban Homesteaders, and though not all started ‘urban homesteading’ because of post peak oil/ climate change/ preparation for the future, they at least know about & understand the concepts.

    I’ve noticed that these issues that we’ve been blogging about for years, Gavin, are becoming more & more known about… even if people are not willing to make changes just yet!

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