A selection of resources produced by Transition Bristol

Bristol Peak Oil report by Simone Osborn

Peak oil is the time when the amount of oil produced worldwide in a year reaches its absolute maximum. From this point onward the amount of oil produced will drop. After that time, oil will come from more difficult sources, and become more scarce, which will increase prices.

Our current way of life relies on the availability of an abundant supply of cheap oil. Cheap oil has made possible many of the huge changes in the last 30 years in the way we communicate, travel, eat, work and play. The next 30 years will bring yet more changes to our daily lifestyles.

"Given the extraordinary energy that oil has made available to us, and also the dazzling diversity of materials we can make from it, future generations might very well look back at us with incredulity and say you burnt it?” Rob Hopkins – Founder of the Transition Movement and author of the Transition Handbook

A report about peak oil and Bristol has been written called ‘Building a positive future for Bristol after Peak Oil’. It was commissioned by the council and the Green Capital Momentum Group. You can download it by clicking here.


Who Feeds Bristol? report by Joy Carey
This report builds on findings in the Bristol Peak Oil report and explores the strengths and vulnerabilities in the current food system that serves Bristol and the city region in more detail. The report is primarily a descriptive baseline study of the main elements of the food system with an analysis of its resilience. It looks at the ‘positive powers’ cities may have in relation to their food systems and it makes suggestions for action. The work of researching and preparing the “Who Feeds Bristol” report was commissioned and funded by NHS Bristol and undertaken by Joy Carey, an independent food systems planner and researcher. The document was published in March 2011.

You can read the report here.



Transition Cities as Niches for Radical Change (dissertation by Tina Nyfors)
How to organise Transition work in cities

What can Malmö, Sweden, learn from Bristol, England? Two case studies on the Transition movement

We live in times of multiple sustainability challenges and rapid urbanisation with more than half of the global population living in cities. This makes urban sustainability an issue of concern. The Transition movement is a grass roots response to climate change, Peak oil and economic contraction. This thesis explores through two case studies, in England and Sweden, how Transition initiatives in cities can be better organised in terms of institutions. I draw on 1) Ostrom's framework on self governing common-pool resource management and 2) sustainability transitions. The main result is a model based on Transition work in Bristol. The Transition movement is young and still largely unresearched, the hope is that the findings can contribute to knowledge on how to do Transition in cities.

You can access the thesis here.


Transition Bristol movie featuring coreteam members Simone Osborn and Ciaran Mundy (video by Owen Davis)
Ciaran Mundy and Simone Osborn of Transition Bristol talk about how the initiative has developed since its beginnings and what the group is focusing on now in 2011.

Watch the movie on youtube here.


"Resilience and Community Action in Bristol" by Tom Henfrey of  Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems and Transition Bristol

Good Works Logo



From Henfrey, T. & G. Maschowski (eds.) 2015. Resilience, Community Action and Social Transformation, forthcoming from Good Works Publishing.

Bristol has a reputation, deservedly or not, as one of the world's greenest and most resilient cities. It was chosen as European Green Capital for 2015, and among the first 33 cities worldwide in the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities programme. These accolades in large measure build upon the achievements of the city's dynamic and vibrant movement for community-based action on sustainability. Impressive as these achievements are, genuine progress is minor relative to the continued scale and momentum of the fossil-fuel based economy. This chapter examines the recent history of grassroots environmentalism in Bristol through a resilience lens, focusing on the nature and consequences of cross-scale interactions involving and affecting community level action.

Access the complete pdf here.

Sign up for our occasional mailing list.