Similarities can be seen across the world today – from the recent situation in Sri Lanka, where vegetable gardens have become a popular response to widespread famine, to farmers repossessing their land in Palestine.
St Werburgh’s City Farm is one of the communities striving to protect their green spaces. The story of the struggle to keep St Werburgh’s alive is told in Bristol Cable.
The spirit of activism is strong today in Bristol, and its alternative culture attracts new residents every year, compressing its already dire housing situation. Its art and music scenes provide a haven to explore new ways of living and connecting in urban sprawl.
Bristol is at the forefront of grassroots mobilization in the UK. Movements such as Shift Bristol, Growing Futures, Bristol Good Food Alliance, Grow Wilder and Bristol and Avon Wildlife Trust are very much alive.
Organizations such as St Werburgh’s City Farm and Lawrence Weston Community Farm are growing food that feeds local supply chains in what is perhaps one of the greatest revolutionary acts of our time.
Although Bristol has been classed as a ‘green capital’, it is far from sustainable. Its poorly designed streets are clogged with traffic, and in some parts the air is laden with pollution, from which its impoverished green spaces offer little refuge.
And while Bristol is at the forefront of environmental and humanitarian activism, its wealth is largely based on the slave trade, of which it was once one of the largest centers not only in Europe, but also worldwide. . Something important to recognize when celebrating a city that is not without a dark history.
Although there are many parallels with the past, today we face even greater complexities. At the time Small is Beautiful was published, global warming was not part of the mainstream conversation.
Since then, it has become a scientifically recognized reality that is making headlines around the world. And as temperatures rise every year and we dance on the brink of ecological collapse, politicians continue to act as if nothing has happened.
Shrinking our economies, taking back public ownership and challenging dominant narratives is not a romantic ideology, but a transformation that will ensure our future survival.
OUR SMALL IS THE FUTURE event in Bristol on Saturday June 17, 2023 will discuss some of the biggest questions of our time through the lens of regenerative economics, politics and systems theory.
Speakers include Dr. Ann Pettifor, author of The Case for a Green New Deal; Charlie Hertzog Young, contributor to The environmentalist; Professor Herbert Girardet, administrator of the Resurgence Trust, which publishes The Ecologist; Helen Browning of the Soil Association, Dr Gareth Dale, editor of Green growth and Dr. James Meadway, director of the Progressive Economic Forum.
We would like those at the forefront of Bristol’s grassroots movement to join the conversation. You can buy your tickets for the SMALL IS THE FUTURE event in Bristol on Saturday 17th June 2023 here.
Yasmin Dahnoun is the deputy editor of The Ecologist. She tweets as @dahnoun_