How many local jobs could insulation projects deliver?
What opportunities are there for urban farmers to feed Brixton with locally grown food?
How much do local businesses and citizens benefit from a local currency?
These are just some of the questions that an exciting new piece of research led by Transition Town Brixton, in partnership with theÂ Transition Network Reconomy Project, will hope to answer. The project willÂ model the quantitative economic value of a more localised Transition economy. The study will put a number on the number of local jobs and economic value created when money circulates more locally, whilst also looking at the social and environmental benefits.
â€œThis work will help us make a credible case for community-led economic development in our area. We can use the data to talk to our local councillors, chamber of commerce members, and businesses in their own language, and show them there’s a viable solution to some, if not all, of our economic problems. We can unite behind an economic strategy that’s realistic and that gives enormous social and environmental benefits too. Lambeth Council are supporting and will provide as much data as they can.â€ Duncan Law, Chair, Transition Town Brixton
The study will focus on food and energy â€“ in particular the retrofit of local buildings, energy saving measures and renewables.
The Brixton study isÂ part of the REconomy Project, run by the Transition Network to pioneer Transition Economies in Transition Initiatives around the globe.Â Totnes asan example of a rural market town, and Herefordshire, as an example of a rural countyÂ are other economies in the project. Brixton has been chosen as the inner city example. The intention is to use the work done in these three areas to develop modelsÂ that can be applied nationwide.
The study will explore the economic benefits of:
- A more local food economyÂ â€“ by understanding how much and what people in Brixton eat each year we can understand the potential opportunities for urban farmers. According to a report by DEFRAÂ 80%Â of the food we eat comes from overseas!
- Building insulationÂ â€“ by understanding the job creation and energy saving opportunities from better insulation. Fifty eight percent of Lambethâ€™s housing is solid walled and hard to heat so there is enormous potential to save money and carbon.
- Locally owned renewable energyÂ â€“ by looking at how local solar power schemes can help people save money and cut carbon as energy prices rise.
- Local currencyÂ â€“Â Â money that is spent on local independent businesses does 2.5 timesÂ more economic good to people in the area than money spent on large chains. What is the opportunity for creating more economic value through localised spending?
The projectÂ willÂ engageÂ a stakeholder group of influencers in Lambeth, council, community, public and private sector, to vision what this local economy might look like, to inform the research and then agree a 3 year plan and a strategy to take it forward.Â This includesÂ Brixton Pound and Brixton Energy, two key Transition Town Brixton projects, as well as Lambeth Cooperative Council, the Business Growth and Enterprise departments and the various Business Improvement Districts.
The first stakeholder meeting will be held on Wednesday 13th March at 2pm and attended by Lambeth Council.
If you are interested in being involved and would like to find out more please contact Duncan LawÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about further REconomy project visitÂ www.reconomy.org.