Sustainable communities should be at the heart of our shift to a more sustainable future. The UK and Scottish Governments have indicated that they will transition to a low carbon economy based on equitable, resilient and vibrant economic systems. To transform the UK's infrastructure will require different investment sources and innovative financial mechanisms. Where projects are commercially viable, private financing is likely to be forthcoming. Large scale infrastructure projects may attract public spending support. These two sources of funding, however, will not be sufficient. There is also a need to look at how communities might resource their shift to sustainability and enhance their resilience.
This project aims to establish a network of academics, practitioners, community groups, national and local government representatives and policy makers who are focused on how a sustainable economy can be built. In particular, the role of community ownership of assets will be examined. The project draws upon national and international expertise and best practice case studies in the areas of community asset transfer, community based natural resource management and social enterprises.
These sessions will provide a participatory forum and will be run on an interactive discursive model using Open Space Technology. A final seminar will include a creative visioning exercise to provide models and scenarios for sustainable economic development. These scenarios will be recorded for an audio visual presentation which is aimed at a non academic audience.
From the seminars we aim to develop a toolkit and a DVD which will enable community groups to:
• identify critical issues regarding the acquisition and management of assets
• build a network of contacts for advice
• identify funding sources and models
• build knowledge and capacity to enable community asset management
• build capacity through community engagement
We will also develop a briefing paper to inform discussion at a strategic level.