“Transition Area Bouzovsko”. Is the Transition approach applicable in socially/culturally less responsive areas?
This topic is just to make aware that I made a M.Sc. Thesis in January 2010 as part of my Environmental Management studies at Department of Development and Planning, Faculty of Engineering and Science of Aalborg University, Denmark
The thesis starts with the following:
What would happen to the specific Czech rural area of Bouzovsko, if suddenly -or gradually in a 15-year time span- a drastic shortage of fossil fuels occurred?
The aim of the Transition Initiatives is to prepare for such a possibility through a communal based positive gradual descent. The question posed and answered in this M.Sc. thesis is:
1) Is the Transition approach applicable in socially/culturally less favorable areas?
2) How can Bouzovsko again become sustainable?
3) How may the Transition concept best be applied in Bouzovsko?
Based upon an empirical comparison between localities in Norway, California, Oregon, New York and The Czech Republic, including two different future modeling techniques and aligned with methodologies aimed at analyzing potential for implementation of new technologies and policies, the conclusion is:
That it is unlikely to implement the Transition approach in socially/culturally less favorable areas; that the parameter which prevents this is the lack of a popular understanding (by the local population), that it there is no other way possible, and finally that the best way to ensure the application is to follow the model of the ‘Shock Doctrine’: Have a specialized plan ready for implementation when the time is right.
It's not the best or most academic thesis in the world(!), it's however raising the question if the transition 'package', really is applicable everywhere.
I should add that I've been living in this rural CZ area for the past 12 years, while managing Permalot, a NGO focused on rural sustainability through permaculture design. More here: www.PermaLot.org , www.jen-sen.cz
And none-the-least: Please note the following disclaimer:
The term: “socially/culturally less favorable area” is in no means an expression for lack of social or cultural life in Bouzovsko or other rural areas. It relates to the
potential of ‘Transitioning’, in other words: Less likely to adapt the methodology of the Transition Initiative due to difference in social/culture background, as compared to the areas which already has adapted the Transition Initiative.
Max Vittrup Jensen
PS: 5 more of my studies about the area available for download here