Through an open call we have collected 33 initiatives and practices of transformative change from all over the world. These practices have been evaluated by a diverse group of practitioners and experts.
Three initiatives for each category (water, energy, housing and food systems) have been chosen, adding up to twelve stories in total. Next, the Transformative Cities initiative has commissioned local journalists to dig deep and pull out the people and practices behind these transformative practices. These stories will be published on different international media-outlets, reaching a global audience.
To select the awarded stories, the public will vote on the top twelve initiatives via our website, starting from 10 September and ending on 9 October 2018. The voting page will display all relevant information about the initiatives and provide links to media sources. Although the popular vote will technically identify a series of “winners,” our goal is not to create competition between different political practices, but rather to put a spotlight on diverse transformative practices and encourage their spread internationally.
The winning initiatives from the 4 different categories will be invited to an international conference in Amsterdam on the 4th of December. Stay tuned for more information about this conference that will be live-streamed.
This indigenous community defied municipal political authorities and developed its own system for treating wastewater and preventing contamination to its local river. San Pedro Magisterio on the outskirts of Cochabamba in Bolivia built their own water treatment plant, improved environmental awareness in schools and showed the power of participatory community planning in building public services and developing community confidence.
This water rights campaign in Africa’s largest city succeeded in stopping privatisation and when challenged by authorities developed an alternative roadmap for the city’s water systems. The Lagos campaign is the first major national campaign against privatisation in Nigeria campaign and has resulted in US$185 million in government funds allocated to ensuring clean water for Lagos’ people.
This Alpine city reversed water privatisation, pioneered new forms of public participation and inspired a wave of cities across France to bring water back under public control. The city has saved users €20 million between 2000 and 2008 and advanced the right to water by ensuring no households pay more than 2.5% of their annual income on water services.
This community mobilisation took over local government in an oil company town, extracting higher taxes from Chevron, raising the minimum wage, bringing in rent control measures and reducing local crime through community policing. The Richmond Progressive Alliance, the coalition of community groups that led the struggle have secured a super-majority on council and created a model for municipal action.
This coalition of citizen campaigners took over municipal government and initiated an energy revolution, based on 100% renewable energy, job creation and ending energy poverty. These activities are funded by profits derived from the largest private-public electric company in the country, and are informed by two public working groups bringing together specialists, environmental organisations, individuals, workers and coop members.
This campaign is not only challenging Mauritius’ privately owned, non-renewable energy sector but putting forward a solar-powered, cooperative alternative, through which struggling farmers could generate energy to produce food in greenhouses. Their actions have thwarted plans for a new coal plant, improved government transparency, and acquired land to produce solar power when they get the go-ahead.
This citizen’s platform emerged from movements that included those fighting house repossession. It won elections in 2014 and has advanced a progressive platform underpinned by a dynamic model of citizen engagement. On housing, it has limited licences for tourist apartments, fined owners of multiple properties who leave them empty and authorised municipal land in the city centre to be used by housing cooperatives.
Led by women beedi (cigarette) workers, this movement formed cooperative housing societies, purchased land, mobilised to win government funding and has so far built 11600 homes. It plans to build a further 30,000 more homes for beedi workers, textile workers and other unorganised sector workers which will include infrastructure and services such as schools, a college, hospital, market, places of worship, roads, water and electricity.
After 36,000 people lost their homes due to expansion of Tanzania’s Dar Es Salaam port, this community mobilised, securing 30 acres of land for resettlement and collecting about US$ 24,000 from its 300 members. The housing project has also improved access to water and sanitation and helped community members learn construction skills and participate in building their homes.