Transition Neighborhoods

Transition Neighborhoods invites Transitioners to think things through as they inaugurate initiatives. The Transition Neighborhoods inventory mapping and planning process provides grounding context that anchors the vision of local resilience and keeps Transitioners’ eyes on the overall long range prize. Neighbors gain a panoramic understanding of the landscape that they propose to “transition.”

      Together participants determine how resilient their community currently is, vision and investigate how resilient it could potentially be, and consider their role in enhancing its sustainability. The Transition Neighborhoods Field Guide encourages strategic forethought as a prelude and framework for action. The Field Guide is designed with densely populated and vastly diverse metropolitan areas in mind.

      The Mid-Atlantic region has witnessed time and time again that a "cohesion factor," and a collectively shared vision before diving into passion projects” are essential to Transition initiative endurance. Lacking that framework, even the best projects, disconnected from astrategic plan and a supporting vision, loose momentum.

     Reasons Cited for Transition Town Initiative Attrition

  1. Initiating Group internal dynamics and relationship-building challenges.
  2. Isolation and loneliness due to lack of positive feedback from surrounding society.
  3. Prolonged volunteerism. Lack of financial compensation.
  4. Absence of contextual forethought and charting of the local territory and planning prior to starting Transition projects; resulting in:
  5. Boost the rate, and support Transitioning in the Mid-Atlantic metropolitan corridor as well as in North American and European sister cities which share demographic or topographical characteristics with the US Atlantic seaboard.
  6. Contribute to the long term resilience of transition initiatives.

..Disconnected, siloed passion projects,

  … stuck-states due to lack of articulated shared vision and trajectory,

    …….Transitioner burn-out,

       ……..members falling away and initiative disappearance.

     Transition Neighborhoods brings small groups of neighbors together to establish an appreciative sense of place and deepen their understanding of neighborhood culture on the path toward long range resilience-building. An important goal is to ensure the longevity of robust Transition initiatives as groups move through various stages of self-organizing around the work at hand.

     The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) and Transition friends are therefore creating a tool that will help prevent, or mitigate the fraying, sputtering and burn out of Transition initiatives. Transitioners in the six-state Mid-Atlantic megacity corridor, Canadian, and European colleagues are helping to write the Transition Neighborhoods Field Guide. All who care deeply about long term resilience are invited to join the conversation.


  1. Boost the rate, and support Transitioning in the Mid-Atlantic metropolitan corridor as well as in North American and European sister cities which share demographic or topographical characteristics with the US Atlantic seaboard.
  2. Contribute to the long term resilience of transition initiatives.


  1. Create a supplement to the current transitioning process that factors in the hyper-population density, cultural/ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity that characterizes the Mid-Atlantic metropolitan corridor.
  2. Provide guidelines for a Neighborhood Resilience Assets Inventory and Gap Analysis process that can facilitate strategic Transition planning prior to “transitioning” an area (or simultaneously).
Contributors to new Beta Test Chapters currently in development:
  • Money and Consumption - Brett Barndt, affiliation, Money, Finance & Banking Scholar, Envirosell, MATH Steward
  • Recycling, Compost, and Zero Waste​ - MJ Wilson, affiliation - MATH Steward, Clearwater Festival Recycling & Composting Coordinator.
  • Resilient Response - Thaddeus Pawlawski, affiliation - Loeb Fellow, Harvard School of Design, Urban Planner, NYC Department of City Planning, Disaster and Storm Recovery 
  • Transportation -  Paul Nick, affiliation - Transition Montclair, New Jersey and Staycie Franciso, affiliation - Transition Baltimore, incoming MATH Steward, Baltimore Department of Transportation
  • Water - Mary McNamara, affiliation - Hudson RiverKeeper, Esopus Creek Conservancy
International Transition Neighborhoods Working Group
  • Kathy Aiken, Convener, Transition Notre Dame de Grace (NDG), Montreal, Canada
  • Pamela Boyce Simms: Certified Transition Trainer, Convener, Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), US  
  • Erik Curren, Transition Voices, Convener, Transition Staunton Augusta, VA, US
  • ​Maureen LeFrenier, Convener, ​
    Transition Notre Dame de Grace (NDG), Montreal, Canada
  • Dan Miner, Convener, New York City Transition Hub, NY, US
  • Ann Morrow, Transition Notre Dame de Grace (NDG), Montreal, Canada
  • Bjarne Gantzel Pedersen, Certified Transition Trainer, Transition Denmark
  • Jack Sol-Church, Transitioner, Regensdorf, Switzerland
  • Rotana Ty, Transition Paris, MATH Liaison, France


About MATH

Vision: The Mid-Atlantic Regional Transition Hub (HUB) envisions an environmentally sustainable, integrated, and resilient Mid-Atlantic region comprised of six states along the US Eastern seaboard; a corridor characterized by a chain of closely adjacent major metropolitan areas.

Geographic Scope: The Hub serves Transition initiatives in the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, USA.

Mission: The Mid-Atlantic Regional Transition Hub (HUB) supports, promotes and fosters the interconnectedness of emergent Transition initiatives in all stages of development in the US Mid-Atlantic region.

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