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 2019. 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.
Eau de Paris (EDP) was created to improve the city’s municipal water service, which before 2010 was fragmented and expensive. Benefiting from strong political will, the city of Paris has made water management a major democratic issue, ensuring better managed and cheaper water supplies, as well as an unparalleled environmental strategy.
Since 2014, the ‘Our Water Our Rights’ Campaign has mobilised civil society, labour and grassroots groups to resist water privatisation across Lagos, and broadened citizen engagement in resolving the city’s water crisis. Against the odds, it has also increased government spending on water and sanitation in the city.
Jakarta citizens’ work to end privatization in Jakarta and enable a transition to good, publicly-run water services has resulted in the city government’s plan to re-municipalize Jakarta’s water supply.
For 22 years Earthworker Cooperative has brought the environment/climate movement together with the labour movement to build cooperative manufactories and other cooperatives to enable communities to find ways out of the climate emergency. Today it successfully runs manufacturing and other energy, water, transport, and land care cooperatives.
Since February 2018, Barcelona City Council’s public electricity distributor Barcelona Energia has managed the electricity market for all the energy generated by the city and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area – some 200 GWh/year. Barcelona Energia is one of the great triumphs of ‘Brave Barcelona’, which is standing up to corporate lobbies and achieving autonomy and power for its citizens.
For a decade, chronic electricity shortages in Gaza as a result of the Israeli occupation have undermined already fragile living conditions. In response, PENGON and its member organisations have implemented solar energy projects to bring immediate relief and clean, people-powered electricity to 650 households in the Jordan Valley and 270 in the Gaza Strip.
The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) is a community-led effort to build an equitable, sustainable and democratic local economy that creates wealth and ownership for low-income people of colour. One of the primary ways it does this is by building a network of local leaders committed economic democracy, and helping them shift their organisations and institutions to take forward-looking, coordinated action to build shared wealth.
In September 2017 the most powerful earthquake in Mexico’s history badly damaged the traditionally built homes of indigenous communities in Oaxaca. The municipal government moved in to demolish them – destroying the architectural heritage that the families depended on for their livelihoods and replacing it with modern and inadequate housing. But the intervention of local NGO Cooperación Comunitaria A.C. changed everything – galvanising the community to build homes not only able to withstand earthquakes, but also constructed using traditional techniques and tailored to the climate and culture.
Most people in Jackson, Mississippi live at or below the poverty line, and face chronic unemployment, poor health and an extreme wealth gap between black and white. Cooperation Jackson is helping transform the city into one that is ecologically and economically regenerative, rooted in equity, solidarity and mutual aid.
Established 21 years ago, the ColyFlor Solidarity Economic Circuit is made up of 200 agricultural producers in Medellín who grow agroecological food to sell at the Fair Trade Store Colyflor. In 2018, the work done by the Circuit to educate people about agroecological foods and to effectively market their high quality products meant that sales reached more than 1,225 million Colombian pesos (more than US $ 373,000).
A community in Kitale Town, Kenya, has come together to transform waste into valuable recycled products to sell – an activity designed to improve livelihoods, clean up local dwellings and the environment, and improve food and energy production.
Since 2015, Budapest-based Cargonomia has acted as a sustainable urban transport centre and local organic food distribution point through its cargo-bike messenger service, bicycle-building cooperative, family-scale organic vegetable farm, organic bakery, wine distributor and network of citizen volunteers.