The Coming of Age of the Green Community
My Neighbourhood, My Planet
By Erik Bichard
To Be Published September 12th 2013 by Routledge – 176 pages
People organising to protect their environment is not a new phenomenon, but the groups that have been pushing for environmental change since the 1970’s have not convinced sufficient numbers make sustainable decisions or to lead sustainable lives. Governments have serially failed to do the job at the international level. Now, climate change, resource depletion and widening social aspirations threaten to destabilise human society unless sustainable change can be influenced from another direction. This book explores the activities of a new generation of community-led initiatives that may herald the beginnings of the next wave of activism. Erik Bichard combines the testimonies of dozens of group activists with historic evidence and the views of a range of commentators from a variety of disciplines to put forward reasons why some green community groups succeed while others fail. He concludes with a valuable prescription for both existing and emerging groups on how to be sustainable, both over time and in their actions. This book address one of the key questions of the 21st century; has the local perspective on this universal concern finally come of age?
1. What’s My Motivation?: Why People have co-operated on Protecting the Environment 2. Diggers Stand Up for Glory: Localism and the Environment 3. Is it Really that Hard Being Green?: Perspectives on Running Modern Green Communities 4. It’s not about the Money: Funding and its Role in the Perpetuation of Local Green Groups 5. What has the Council Ever Done for us?: The role of the State in supporting Green Communities 6. I’m Bored: The Battle to keep Memberships Interested in the Cause 7. The Next Big Thing or the Only Thing?: Strategies to Perpetuate the Current Wave of Green Community Organisations in the Future
Erik Bichard is Professor of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at the University of Salford, UK.