We are a Portobello-based com­munity organ­isa­tion. Formed in 2005, we are a com­pany lim­ited by guar­an­tee. We are work­ing to cre­ate a vibrant, sus­tain­able Portobello which can help com­bat cli­mate change and reduce fossil fuel use through a pro­cess of re-localisation.

This means, for example: grow­ing more of our own food; gen­er­at­ing our own energy; cre­at­ing a wider range of jobs and leis­ure oppor­tun­it­ies close to home, find­ing ways to get to ‘zero waste’… By cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able local eco­nomy, we’ll all get more out of liv­ing here – and help the planet at the same time.

Browse this web­site to find out what pro­jects you might want to become involved in, become a mem­ber, or come to our next meet­ing. There’s a lot going on – and there’ll be even more if you get involved!

PEDAL in depth

We believe that Portobello can and should re-localise: growing more of our food; generating our own energy; creating a wider range of jobs close to home, finding ways to get to ‘zero waste’… We’ll all get more out of living here — and help the planet at the same time. Rather than hoping that governments might act in time, we are working now to re-localise, and to help other communities do the same.

We believe that the huge wave of communities becoming Transition Towns, going carbon neutral, making community buy outs, kicking out plastic bags or getting more local food bought and sold, are showing that people have had enough of the way we’ve been doing things — and that there is another way — or lots of them! The huge challenges of climate change and peak oil have galvanised people into action, and we have huge potential to make a fundamental difference to how we live in a way that government so far has not managed, and individuals on their own often feel is beyond them.

We started the process of working towards becoming a Transition Town in 2005, just as our community was celebrating its victory in a long battle against the Superstore. Inspired by Rob Hopkins’ description of the work done by his permaculture students in Kinsale, Ireland, we decided that we were ready to follow their example and in 2005 we began to develop our own Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) and to begin to take steps to implement it. Many steps have been taken – by us and by others – which align with the plan. However since 2005 we have mostly focused on awareness-raising and getting projects off the ground. See our past plans here, and join us to help form ideas for the future.

We’ve gone some way towards this; learned a great deal; run many public events; and have a number of energetic working groups with projects on the go up and running. As the first such initiative in Scotland we have also worked to inspire a range of similar initiatives. Some of us have been involved in setting up an organisation to support other communities to make the transition to sustainable living (www.transitionscotland.org) and also working with other communities to encourage the Scottish Government to develop a clear strategy that will enable all of Scotland to make the transition (www.holyrood350.org). Clearly there’s plenty more to be done, but we feel that we’ve made a great start and have inspired other communities in our turn. You are welcome to join us!