Posted by: Mike Grenville | 5 December 2008

Transition Cities Conference 2008


Nearly 150 people from across the UK (as well as Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Gent in Belgium) gathered in Nottingham, supported by Nottingham City Council for the first ever Transition Cities Conference.

The event brought together those who have been testing the Transition model in the cities in an Open Space conference format to share ideas, insights, tools and techniques, exploring what works and what doesn’t in urban Transition.
After introduction sessions, the Workshops and Open Space sessions got underway. Workshop topics included Energy Descent Plans, the Sustainable Communities Act and Nourishing our Cities.

There were many Open Space sessions which included What is “local” in a city context?; Does the Transition Model work for cities?; taking advantage of the Credit Crunch, Twinning, Funding, Direct Action, creating a sense of community and many more.


You can read notes on all the sessions here:

One question posed was “does the Transition model as it exists so far (the 12 Steps, the 7 Buts etc) work for you?  Does it need revising, updating, or completely rethinking?”

Rob Hopkins concluded that “What was clear was that one of the key elements of success was setting up structures and good and clear communication processes early on, which seems, given the scale, to be more important for urban groups than for those in smaller communities.

While concluding that Transition is possible in cities, Rob said that there was a sense that they need perhaps more specific support than those working on a smaller scale.

Rob’s Blog on posts the Transition Cities Conference: Day 1 and  Day 2

and more Photos.

The Transition Cities Conference: The Movie

Deepest thanks to Ed and Sally Collard, who filmed the Nottingham Cities conference and produced the following fantastic film about it.

A Hi res version of  the movie is available here and for mobile phones (in .3gp format).
The annual Transition Conference is scheduled for late April 2009. The precise date and venue will hopefully be  announced by the end of the year.



  1. Dear Transitionalists

    Just caught Ed and Sally Collard’s movie taster of the conference – sorry not to have been able to have been there.

    A group of us in Manchester are meeting in January to look at the possibilities for the City. I would really like to show the movie as a starting point for discussion. Is it possible you can send me a copy of .MOV file?

    Also, is it possible to contact Ed and Sally?

    I look forward to hearing from you – v soon.

    Best regards – Mike

    Mike Franks
    Chair Greater Manchester SERA

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