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Visioning Workshop: "Newport as an Urban Eco-Village", Newport Folk Festival 2012
The Newport Folk Festival has offered Transition Hobsons Bay a 1 hour slot in this year's festival, Sat 7 July, to host a Visioning Workshop. The following description will be published in the program. If you want to help me pull it all together please do... (our expectation is that it will be a free event in the Festival program, probably held in the Scout Hall):
"What would Newport look and feel like if it were an 'urban
Transition Hobsons Bay present an interactive workshop to explore and
imagine future living in Newport with an emphasis on clean and green.
To set the scene, some simple framework examples from eco-villages will be
presented, the rest is up to our imagination. Bring your favourite ideas
for a healthy, beautiful, vibrant, resilient and happy community and place.
Suitable for all ages.
Post up what you think.
Replies to this Topic
We wonder about the 1 hour being a 5 minute presentation of the Transition Town concept (a little history, what Transition Towns can do, what we aspire to, etc), then a short introduction (5 minutes) for the workshop, presenting some ideas and motivational material, then the workshop itself (40 minutes-ish) perhaps forming a few little groups (maybe around interest areas) to brainstorm ideas (perhaps on butcher's paper). All being loose, easy, and welcoming.
It has been suggested that if we could find an artist or two they could rove about capturing the vibe, then quickly create an artwork from the ideas/words/thoughts, perhaps a colourful drawing.
Then a wrap-up, 5-10 minutes, perhaps with Q&A.
Edited Mon, May 7, 2012 11:06 PM
A great little paper from a Permaculture conference capturing outcomes of a workshop entitled "Urban Eco-villages Group In Melbourne"
The paper sets out 28 indicators of urban villages (useful idea seeders, and inspirational concepts too).
Check out the Hampstead Common, a community (Transition Town) led project in Brisbane to transform one entire street into a green, ecofriendly environment - a very inspiring vision. The link is to a slideshow with 14 pages.
Visioning is a key element of the Transition Town concept. Here are two instructional and illuminating articles, one written by Rob Hopkins, about the visioning process.
Here's a brief summary of the workshop (raw text in PDF attachment):
The visioning workshop was attended by 25 festival participants. After a brief introduction involving a description of the Transition Town concept and a social exercise to make acquiantances, 3 working groups were formed to quickly brainstorm ideas from the prompting question "if you could wave a magic wand, how would you want Newport to look in 2020, 8 years from now?"
A surprising number of common themes arose after 10 minutes of discussion. Every group wished for less cars, better bike paths, and better public transport. All groups envisaged more edible gardening, including community gardens, street and verge gardens, more fruit and nut trees, and community orchards. Other common desires were the reclaiming of used industrial land for community purpose, less waste generation and more recycling, greater community participation in community centres and local enterprises, more sharing of resources and better work/life balance, and interest in locally generated renewable energy.
After reviewing the thoughts of each group 5 common themes were identified. Participants were then invited to choose their favourinte idea for a further 10 minutes of imaginative brainstorming. The themes were Social Life, Local Energy, Local Food, Transport, and Less Waste.
The Social Life group imagined building on local resources and organisations to engage and communicate with more sections of the community, the creation of a tool sharing facility, a local film club and a community newsletter.
The Local Energy group envisaged a local community owned power generator using solar panels on the roofspaces of large community assets with some simple but empowering community financing arrangements.
The Local Food group could see grand designs for community gardens and orchards, street food gardens throughout the town, community shared chooks, water and land sharing, food sharing through weekly markets and swaps, more community picnic spots and even a children's farm that emphasises the source of food.
The Transport group thought through better bicycle usage support and considered greater provision of local services within walking or cycling distances.
The Less Waste group could see community composting facilities, support for local traders to compost their waste, school recycling programs, refunds to encourage recycling, encouragement of greater reuse of resources, and a complete rethink of waste generation, including reductions of packaging and dealing with waste locally.
Jason it was a great workshop, well done. It would be interesting to run it in a few different demographic groups - eg with school children, at a migrant resource cente, at a ment's shed - to see what different priorities and ideas people had. I suspect we were a pretty homogenous bunch. I found it inspiring to think about all th things we could do, and all the things Newport already has going for it.
Edited Mon, Jul 16, 2012 10:54 PM
That's mighty Jason.
What would you like to happen next with this 'Visioning' ?
Good question - in an ideal world more people would take interest and effort in visioning the future they'd like to have - and then they'd self organise into neighbourhood groups and start making the changes. I ordered the "Superbia! 31 Ways to Create Sustainable Neighborhoods" book at the library; the next step for me is to read that book when it comes in.