Transition Streets

What's it all about?

A pioneering project that brings neighbours together to create more caring, sharing and connected streets. It helps people reduce energy and household bills by taking practical action together.

Get involved

Groups of 6-8 households meet over 7 sessions to talk about topics including energy, food, travel, water and resource use (i.e. sharing, swapping, mending, composting, recycling). The aim is to support each other to reduce household bills by taking simple actions. All groups are supported to get their Transition Street started thanks to a wonderful team of volunteer facilitators.

Connections are formed, friendships are made, more sharing takes place, and all sorts of unexpected, wonderful things arise. This has included a community orchard, a community cinema, as well as Play Street sessions for children to play outside the home safely and for all ages to mix or party on the street without traffic. A street Share Garage has been established for neighbours to donate and borrow tools, toys and equipment, alongside projects to share communal food growing, wildlife habitat creation and more.

Knowing and feeling able to call on neighbours for help with shopping, buying groups, childcare, spending time together, or being creative, are just some of the ways we can support community wellbeing, and Transition Streets offers the tools for groups of neighbours to do just this.

"I moved to Totnes pre-Covid, nearly 3 years ago and found connections hard to make with everything that was going on. After only one session of my Transition Streets group, I have lots of contacts and people who I think will be my friends." Fiona, Transition Streets participant, 2022. 

The project was first established in Totnes in 2009 and thanks to its ground-breaking achievements in helping people to live more sustainably. In 2011, it went on to win an Ashden award - one of the world's leading awards that celebrate initiatives that help tackle climate change. Transition Streets was relaunched in 2021 due to popular demand and an awareness that communities were increasingly isolated during the pandemic.

Its success in bringing people together, saving energy and reducing bills has made it popular once more with interest from communities wanting to participate in Totnes, South Devon and across the UK. In response to this demand, we are running a Crowdfund appeal to roll out the project so that more households can benefit.

What happened in the past?

In its first year, Transition Streets supported 550 households to make savings of 1.3tonnes CO2 per year on average and saved £570 each. What also emerged from the project was just how supported and connected groups of neighbours felt, as a result of taking part, creating friendships and support structures that are still active and ever more relevant today.

The project went on to inspire similar projects across the UK and in 8 other countries, with Transition Town Totnes providing a support package for other communities and inspiring what is now a well-established Transition Streets programme in both the U.S. and Australia.

For more information check out this video of the project in action in 2009, or read the report from the first Transition Streets project in 2011.  

Participants reported:

‘Best thing that has happened to us since we moved in 1974!’

‘It’s not about whipping yourself because you’re not green enough, it’s just about seeing how you can change your life.’