By SDRN on 17th April 2012

LOCATION: Portobello, Scotland

AIM: To create a vibrant, sustainable Portobello, which can help combat climate change and reduce fossil fuel use through a process of re-localisation.

BACKGROUND:  Pedal is a company limited by guarantee, inspired by the Transition Town movement. From 2005, the town began to develop and implement their own Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP – a key element of the transition approach). Much of the effort to-date has focused on awareness-raising, running public events and getting projects off the ground.

STATUS: Ongoing.

ACTIVITIES: Examples of projects underway include:

  • Community wind turbine; in partnership with neighbouring community, Greener Leith, Pedal is proposing to develop a commercial scale wind turbine on land at Seafield WasteWater Treatment Works, to generate electricity that could be sold to Scottish Water or exported to the National Grid. A feasibility study was completed in June 2011, which shows the site to be appropriate for this type of facility.
  • Portobello market; this market is held on the first Saturday of every month to provide a space for selling local and organic fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, baking and other organic and locally-produced craft items.
  • Community orchard; a community-run orchard is currently being developed, planted and worked by local people, with the fruit to be sold or donated locally. The aim is to meet a proportion of food needs through growing locally in a way that is enjoyable, social and environmentally friendly. The Orchard Group is involved in tree planting, installing furniture, site maintenance, as well as harvesting of the fruit. They have also installed bee hives and are considering a medicinal herb garden. Regular social and celebratory events are organised at the orchard throughout the year.
  • Sustainable transport; various initiatives have been introduced in an effort to make sustainable transport both attractive and viable in Portobello. These include:  car-free days and cycling to work schemes, together with proposals for a car-sharing pool and local bike pools.