JOSEP LL. ESPLUGA. While the formal political system is paralyzed waiting for a hypothetical economic growth to re-implement the wheel of production and consumption, numerous initiatives attempt to move toward energy reduction and growth, constituting a silent revolution towards a more sustainable society, respectful and fair.
Before the watchful eyes of the other participants, A girl raises her hand to announce a meal made with leftovers provided by shops and supermarkets in the neighborhood. Clarifies that no need to register, but each guest must provide some type of nonperishable food that, al his torn, will deliver social services and neighborhood schools because no vehicular families in need. The goal, adds woman, is raising awareness of the huge problem of food waste, learn to cook 'envelopes’ very different and not -because?- passar-ho baby, out of casa, link-se. Like other people attending the meeting, it is part of an 'exchange network’ (Or cheap) objects and knowledge that is increasingly present in the neighborhood, constituted group of social economy within the PEP. The PEP? Is the acronym of 'Participatory Energy Plan', a citizen initiative based on the idea of descent energy locally that a large group of people and organizations in the neighborhoods of Barcelona Sant Martí de Provençals, The Verneda and peace are promoted for a couple of years.
Of nois, one with glasses and another with incipient danger, say at what point are the 'energy audits’ neighborhood, they, Engineers Training, are coordinating. The government requires periodic behaviors more sustainable and responsible citizens in the use of resources (lighting, HVAC, water, etc.), but observed that many public buildings sustainability still leaves much to be desired. So, formed a team of high school students with the idea of launching a process of audit’ energy of public buildings in the area (schools, Institute, primary care, libraries, gyms, etc.). The aim is twofold: firstly generates a collective knowledge about the resources they spend government located in the territory; on the other hand, intended to offer practical advice and ideas to move towards a more sustainable energy. Slowly but surely. No immediate requirements and based on what is possible.
These are just a few of the experiences that come up for debate in the assembly quarterly PEP, but there are many more. Per example, a group of people is promoting a community garden; negotiations with the city and with various individuals for the transfer of a plot are already well advanced. If food resort a few kilometers from its origin to its destination, energy consumption is much lower, may be fresher and higher quality, and cultivate them in a community garden is the perfect excuse to relate, learn permaculture, plan meals groups, generate food for people who need them, etc..
An association of cyclists and cyclists (Biciclot) contributed their expertise to generate electricity from bikes, leading the project 'Pepdalera'. So, the majority of events and festivals of PEP speakers, microphones, Lights, computers, etc.. fed this type of energy. Even concerts are organized with this technique!
In the whether the PEP, a group of architects (Public Reasons) has worked. worked in the participatory design of the playground Public Peace, a project that has involved students, teachers and family members in a joint made out of class hours , whereby, eg, or has relaunched the association of parents of students (after almost two decades inactive!), or has given visibility to the issue of a school with too few resources in a social environment with many needs. At the quarterly meeting of the PEP, Director of the School Peace appreciates the cooperation of many people in the neighborhood and takes to provide a space where you could also make a garden. As the meeting progresses, guess increasingly radiant faces among those present.
The PEP rainbow / Verneda-Peace is a citizen initiative that draws from different sources. First note the role of the members of Barcelona Transition, one of the many organizations involved in the international movement of Transition Towns. This is based on the assumption that the era of cheap energy is over (since the peak-oil took place 2005) And no choice but to learn to live in a society without fossil fuels, so it is necessary to design a 'transition’ which allows to maintain a decent quality of life as possible. Another key institution was Eco-Union, specializing in environmental education and an important role in the core group of PEP, providing theoretical concepts and organizing a monthly paper-Forum able to generate lively debates documentaries screened. From this initial group were added to this district and neighborhood organizations (Network Exchange, cyclists, members of Som Energia, etc.), as well as individuals (of all ages and sexes). In addition, the beginning of this journey coincided with the squares of cities full of tents and people angry, and M-15 in the assembly of Sant Martí was a commission of reflection on the energy issue, which allowed more people interested passed part of PEP.
But the case of PEP is also exemplary in terms of relations with the public, because it was the dynamics of the Agenda 21 the City Council which acted as a catalyst for the whole. From an ambitious participatory process of evaluation of the first ten years of existence of the A21, which ended in January 2010 the so-called “2Convention signatories to the Commitment to Sustainability”, were providing meeting spaces between some of the entities mentioned. The technical office of the A21 distance counseling, while facilitating contacts with other institutions potentially useful, as the Barcelona Energy Agency, IGOP the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the CIEMAT. Experts, but, remain in the background, establishing a connection side (non-hierarchical) with respect to the citizens mobilized.
Before the economic crisis of representation, and social policy in which we are engaged, our elites will usually respond that there is no alternative, we have to move to the path of growth at any price. However, experiences as PEP rainbow / Verneda La Paz show that there are other options and they are here. Initiatives' transition’ grow from the nearest (two neighbors that are launched), go from bottom to top, very little, from simple to complex. Do not ask, demand or claim, simply fan. The 'transition’ and Creativa, unpredictable and friendly with life and the planet. To paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron, the transition towards sustainability will not be televised. There will be a special event worthy of carrying the news, but come (long since reached) as a wave sigil.losa to impregnate our everyday experiences.