Community-Led Initiatives and SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Many ecovillages, co-housing projects and site-based permaculture projects were set up specifically in order to explore more sustainable ways of living, and in doing so innovated in ways that can inform wider transitions to sustainability. Such practices are increasingly seen more widely, particularly in the Transition movement, which applies ideas from permaculture, ecovillages and elsewhere within existing communities of place in more urban settings, in order to redesign them in line with local concerns for sustainability. Transition initiatives often build on earlier measures like Local Agenda 21, reinvigorating and updating them in line with current knowledge and circumstances. Transition has thus become part of an increasing proliferation of civil society initiatives whose work opens up new possibilities for sustainability transitions in urban settings.  
Specific approaches and examples include:
- Application of permaculture in the sustainable redesign of urban settlements, ranging from piecemeal interventions that connect as a 'distributed ecovillage' through coordinated retrofitting of homes and neighbourhoods to purposeful reconfiguration of the entire urban metabolism.
- Bristol in Southwest England, the world's first Transition city, has in this way become a patchwork of neighbourhood-scale projects in areas such as gardening, energy production, shared living, sustainability education, many now several decades old, linked by city-wide initiatives like the Bristol Pound, Bristol Energy Network and Bristol Food Policy Council
- Specific projects apparently focused on a specific issue often become gateways through which communities develop their capacity to respond to locally identiﬁed problems and to effect more widespread, sustainable change. In many cities and towns, urban food growing projects become creative and discursive spaces where community materialises, mobilises and grows, enabling collective reappropriation and reimagination of city life by diverse communities of city dwellers, including Vienna, various cities in the Netherlands,, Madrid  and Rome. The Transition Streets project in Totnes, home of the first Transition Initiative, brought neighbours together to discuss and install domestic renewable energy generation and energy saving measures. While residents all achieved substantial energy and financial savings, in an independent evaluation of the project most participants highlighted building community through stronger relationships with neighbours as the main benefit.
- Communities are increasingly created, or taking part in, innovative spaces for dialogue towards shared action with different urban stakeholders, especially local government, creating connections across barriers of perception, understanding, goals and capabilities and creating new shared agendas for transitions to sustainable cities. It is also important to seize the opportunities for innovative forms of transversal partnerships through a culturally sensitive local policy. In 2017 Transition Network and the international network of Transition Hubs initiated a new project, Municipalities in Transition, to identify, document and learn from successful collaborations between Transition groups and municipal authorities, and create a Community of Practice to extend and deepen this learning and apply it more widely.
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