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Burnaby – Lets not lose momentum pt. 2

November 19, 2011

Yesterdays post was about not losing momentum on the political side of things.  Today’s post is all about moving forward with positive change in the city – outside of the influence of politics.  This is really important to me, and I hope that some of the readers who have been looking at this blog will join me in making some real positive change in this city.

There are three things that I would really like to see happen in this city – things that have really brought positive change to other cities I have lived in.  What I would love is for a group of residents to come together in any way possible to talk about how to make our city better, share ideas, and then work towards some common goals.  Please let me know if this interests you! So here are my ideas, in no particular order:1. Transition Town – The Transition Network at its core is about transitioning communities away from their dependance on fossil fuels. Transition Towns organize on a community scale to deal with the issues that face them on a day-to-day basis.  They act on the knowledge that:

•    if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late
•    if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little
•    but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.

Village Vancouver is a great example of a really effective transition network.  These committed citizens organize around skill sharing and community building in small villages throughout Vancouver.  I would encourage you to join their effort, then help me create Village Burnaby – a transition network in our city!

2. Local Currency – When I lived in Calgary, the Calgary Dollar was one of the most unique community building ideas I had ever seen.  What they call a complimentary currency allowed for a structured trading of skills among community members and businesses.  Calgary Dollars were exchanged when goods and services changed hands, and then they could be spent at local businesses, or through other Calgary Dollar supporters.  Because the currency is not interest bearing, there is an incentive to spend and keep the dollars flowing within the community.

They also have an awesome Take Action Grant program, that gave Calgary Dollars to great not-for-profit groups to use to build their programs!  Of all the ideas to build community I have come across I like this one best!

3. Urban Farming – I am learning to become a farmer.  This past summer I leased land in Surrey and farmed there.  It was a really reat learning experience, but it was soured by the fact I lived in Burnaby.  Not only did this mean I had to drive back and forth to the farm, but it was really hard to forge a connection with the land.

I want to create an urban farm in my neighbourhood.  It could be in backyards of neighbours, or empty spaces in my community (boulevards, large industrial ‘lawns’, etc.).  I then want to sell the produce to my neighbours.  I feel like if I am growing food and not feeding my neighbours then I am not creating a sustainable system.

I am enamored with other urban farmers like Ward Teulon of City Farm Boy, or vacant lot farmers SoleFood.  I think Urban Farming is the way forward for me.

I know there are other AMAZING ideas out there, and I really want to hear them.  Lets come together as residents, lets make some change in Burnaby.  Lets build this cities creative capital – lets make this feel like a community, cause to me right now it doesn’t feel that way.  Please, send me an email, join in, this starts now!

Matthew

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