We are a Portobello-based com­munity organ­isa­tion. Formed in 2005, we are a com­pany lim­ited by guar­an­tee. We are work­ing to cre­ate a vibrant, sus­tain­able Portobello which can help com­bat cli­mate change and reduce fossil fuel use through a pro­cess of re-localisation.

This means, for example: grow­ing more of our own food; gen­er­at­ing our own energy; cre­at­ing a wider range of jobs and leis­ure oppor­tun­it­ies close to home, find­ing ways to get to ‘zero waste’… By cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able loc­al eco­nomy, we’ll all get more out of liv­ing here – and help the plan­et at the same time.

Browse this web­site to find out what pro­jects you might want to become involved in, become a mem­ber, or come to our next meet­ing. There’s a lot going on – and there’ll be even more if you get involved!

PEDAL in depth

We believe that Portobello can and should re-loc­al­ise: grow­ing more of our food; gen­er­at­ing our own energy; cre­at­ing a wider range of jobs close to home, find­ing ways to get to ‘zero waste’… We’ll all get more out of liv­ing here — and help the plan­et at the same time. Rather than hop­ing that gov­ern­ments might act in time, we are work­ing now to re-loc­al­ise, and to help oth­er com­munit­ies do the same.

We believe that the huge wave of com­munit­ies becom­ing Transition Towns, going car­bon neut­ral, mak­ing com­munity buy outs, kick­ing out plastic bags or get­ting more loc­al food bought and sold, are show­ing that people have had enough of the way we’ve been doing things — and that there is anoth­er way — or lots of them! The huge chal­lenges of cli­mate change and peak oil have gal­van­ised people into action, and we have huge poten­tial to make a fun­da­ment­al dif­fer­ence to how we live in a way that gov­ern­ment so far has not man­aged, and indi­vidu­als on their own often feel is bey­ond them.

We star­ted the pro­cess of work­ing towards becom­ing a Transition Town in 2005, just as our com­munity was cel­eb­rat­ing its vic­tory in a long battle against the Superstore. Inspired by Rob Hopkins’ descrip­tion of the work done by his per­ma­cul­ture stu­dents in Kinsale, Ireland, we decided that we were ready to fol­low their example and in 2005 we began to devel­op our own Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) and to begin to take steps to imple­ment it. Many steps have been taken — by us and by oth­ers — which align with the plan. However since 2005 we have mostly focused on aware­ness-rais­ing and get­ting pro­jects off the ground. See our past plans here, and join us to help form ideas for the future.

We’ve gone some way towards this; learned a great deal; run many pub­lic events; and have a num­ber of ener­get­ic work­ing groups with pro­jects on the go up and run­ning. As the first such ini­ti­at­ive in Scotland we have also worked to inspire a range of sim­il­ar ini­ti­at­ives. Some of us have been involved in set­ting up an organ­isa­tion to sup­port oth­er com­munit­ies to make the trans­ition to sus­tain­able liv­ing (www.transition.scot) and also work­ing with oth­er com­munit­ies to encour­age the Scottish Government to devel­op a clear strategy that will enable all of Scotland to make the trans­ition (www.holyrood350.org). Clearly there’s plenty more to be done, but we feel that we’ve made a great start and have inspired oth­er com­munit­ies in our turn. You are wel­come to join us!