High Poverty Neighborhood Tackles Peak Oil - First "Transition Slum" Launched

transition barrio sao paolo photo

Image credit: Transition Culture
The Transition Movement has spread like wildfire across the planet. Yet when the Transition USA movement was featured in the New York Times, some interviewees grumbled that the touchy-feely hippy aspects were only appealing to a self-selecting niche of green minded people. Likewise, others have pondered how this community-lead response to peak oil and climate change can avoid becoming just a rebranding of the decidedly middle class back-to-the-land movement, or becoming just a gathering place for seed swappers and doom-mongerers. Let's see what the launch of the world's first "Transition Slum" does to break those perceptions. Back in December, members of the "low low-income Brasilândia community" of 247.000 people in São Paulo gathered together for the official launch, or unleashing, of 'Transixion' Brasilândia. Writing over at Transition Culture, May East describes the development and birthing of the world's first "Transition Slum".

While the unleashing is the official unveiling of a Transition initiative to the world, as with most of these groups, work has already been quietly underway for some time to build skills, resilience, networks and knowledge among the community that will come in handy in meeting the challenges of peak oil and climate change. Working with community groups, non-profits and activists, the Transition group has already offered training to over 85 residents, created 7 community gardens, established a local film group with youth in the neighborhood documenting the work of the group, and also formed working groups on everything from reforestation to water preservation to food security.

Attendees at the unleashing included ancestors of the original pioneers that settled Brasilândia, as well as representatives of local indigenous groups. Also present (via low carbon webcam of course) was Rob Hopkins - founder of the Transition Movement, and João Leitão from Transition Pombal in Portugal.

All too often we hear that green living is only for the wealthy—an irony given the role that consumption plays in undermining sustainability—so it's good to see concrete examples providing evidence to the contrary. Here's a little rap to help us celebrate...

More on Transition Towns
Transition Reaches Australia
Transition USA in the New York Times
How Do Transition Towns Stay Relevant?
The Dark Side of Transition: Wordchanging Slams Transition Towns
The TH Interview: Rob Hopkins - of the Transition Movement and Transition Culture

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