The Meet My Street events provide an unusual opportunity to engage residents who may not normally consider it on a wide range of local and even global environmental issues. A common post event action is a party version of a clean up the street or local park.
However, Streets Alive is taking this further into targeted programmes:
- On your bike
While experiencing the traffic free delights of a street party, residents are often keen to get walking and cycling. Streets Alive ran a series of 15 street parties over the summer in Bristol as part of the city being the chosen National Cycling Demonstration City. The events were attended by cycling advisers providing targeted help and advice to newly recruited cyclists. Afterwards, all houses were surveyed and offered further support and information on cycling.
- Wacky Cycles
We work with Wacky Cycles to promote cycling in a fun way at all types of events and in streets. All ages can participate and trial unusual cycles. See more here
- Collaborative consumption
With environmental and financial resources increasingly short, there is growing interest in collaborative consumption - the sharing, gifting and exchange of resources and assets like food, space, skills and consumer goods. The emergence of book, clothes and goods swapping and renting sites in the US like TredUP, Swaptree and Zilock, and freecyle in the UK reflect this new interest. Streets Alive itself has promoted car-sharing between neighbours in partnership with Gumtree.com. And elsewhere a group of neighbours in West London have set up Street Bank, which is beginning to test how swapping, gifting and lending could work at the street level, radically reinventing the proverbial borrowing of a cup of sugar from next door.
- Garden share
Lots of people have gardens that are underused, or that go unmanaged due to a lack of time, interest, or physical mobility. At the same time there are many residents living in flats and rented accommodation who have no access to a garden, or others who would love more space to grow more. There are a number of initiatives across the country including Grofun, yours2share, the Incredible Edible movement and a number of the Transition Towns that have 'garden dating' projects underway. Streets Alive has a new project underway exploring how this can work between neighbours and the benefits of growing and sharing food together at street level.
Ideas in development:
- Keeping up with the Greens: Friendly competition between residents may be used to help encourage households to take pro-environmental action such as reducing carbon emissions, waste and water use.
- Street-led microgen renewable energy production & conservation: using the new guarantee for micro-gen renewables to feed surplus energy into the national grid (the Clean Energy Cashback), could help make street-based renewable energy projects more viable and eventually could turn a profit for a street to invest in other shared projects.
- 'Carrot-mobbing' is an emerging practice where people group together to get discounted environmental products, services and improvements. Streets Alive is keen to explore how this could work at street level with groups of neighbours teaming together to purchase, for example, energy efficiency home improvements as has been achieved in previous anecdotal cases of joint-buying and installation of energy conservation measures such as cavity wall insulation.