‘The national chains and large stores can increase our oil dependency rather than reduce it, and this is not a time when that is a smart thing to do.” A resilient, thriving, sustainable living local economy instead takes account of ‘plugging the leaks’ in our local Tooting economy and recognises how much MORE small and medium businesses contribute to local resilience than large brand companies who relocate at the drop of a hat. Smaller businesses are the ones that actually build a community’s resilience. We do hope Wandsworth Council are taking note..
It’s a fact: a local economy needs to take account of Peak Oil and Climate Change. We cannot ‘grow’ our economy without recognising we live on a finite planet. Our fiscal ‘crisis’ is tagged to these two reality-checked ‘barriers to growth.’ How exciting to see the new government Mary Portas report on bringing life back onto our High Streets talk of community well-being and sustainability – though she explains it in terms of building social and cultural capital to build economic capital – bringing human footfall back onto our High Streets to create vibrant centres.
To join the dots between what Transition’s been exploring for 4 years and what Portas herself is saying, do look at this recent Transition Culture blog by Rob Hopkins. ‘Another world is not only possible..she’s opening a bakery around the corner’.
Portas’ idea of local people as ‘co-creators’ of town life rather than simply consumers came alive during the TTT/BATCA re-envisioned High Street excercise back in March 2010 Let’s Make Tooting Better . A vision was conjured with more people-friendly streets, facilities for arts and learning and safe and easy places to meet, a redeveloped Tooting Market and much more..As we all move brilliantly down the road together in that direction, let’s not forget to take account of the real barriers to growth – peak oil and climate change.
And doing just that, see Tooting’s own contribution to Transition in 10 Objects – spot 2 Trashcatching Carnival Ducks, Bertie and Gertie adding to the footfall on July 4th 2010 along with 5000 others…now that’s what we call footfall!
Watch this space for work on Tooting’s community currency and more footfall action in 2012. A good season to all.