Project:A pattern language for community-led action on sustainability and climate change

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Much content on this wiki is organised as a pattern language for community-led action on sustainability and climate change. This page describes the design and structure of the pattern language, and how the organisation of content on the wiki reflects this.


Design of this pattern language builds on the use of pattern languages in relevant fields elsewhere, including Christopher Alexander's original pattern language for settlement and building design, the Ingredients of Transition, the Groupworks pattern language for facilitators, and the Transition Research Pattern Language. Its scope is community-led initiatives on sustainability and climate change, which is also the overarching pattern in the pattern language.

The pattern language is designed to be a medium for documenting, co-creating, reporting, sharing, applying, evaluating and updating knowledge of community-led action on climate change and sustainability, from diverse sources and contributors. Its scope and structure are based on existing bodies of practitioner and academic knowledge, which it gathers, synthesises and makes available in a format that can be applied in different practical contexts and updated based on new information and experiences.


Patterns are here structured at four levels of increasing abstraction and breadth of scope:

Specific methods and techniques employed by community-led initiatives
Processes (Pathways, Approaches)
Sets of practices combined simultaneously and/or sequentially in a deliberately structured set of relationships in time, space and social configuration, as a form of strategic action towards defined goals
The integrating concepts, frameworks, strategies and perspectives through which action is organised, undertaken, framed and understood
The orienting norms and ethics that guide community-led action on sustainability and climate change among initiatives, networks and organisations involved in the Communities for Future programme

The relationships among patterns of different scope are heterarchical, in that lower level patterns might be contained within multiple higher order patterns. A particular practice, for example, may simultaneously form part of several pathways, and each of these practices and pathways may reflect multiple principles and values. Groupings of patterns are thus overlapping and cross-cutting. These relationships among patterns are also contextual, and may vary in different settings and change over time.

Content organisation

Category tags are used to identify patterns and indicate their level of abstraction.

Some middle order patterns (Principles and Pathways) may themselves form categories into which practices/pathways fall.

When creating a pattern page, it should include the [[Category:Patterns]] category tag, plus exactly one tag that identifies it as a value, principle, process or pathway.