Transition Los Angeles city hub

Within the greater Los Angeles area (80+ municipalities with population of 11million+ ), Transition Los Angeles (TLA) was, from its very start in 2008, a city hub.

At one point there were as many as 8 local groups active across the area, each focused on some aspect of Rob Hopkins’ Transition concept: society transitioning to a future beyond oil. At TLA, we envisioned our structure like a fennel blossom, and explained it in Hopkins’ book, The Transition Companion (2011, page 108 and 135).

In those days, Joanne Poyourow, initiator of TLA, was an active participant in discussions on Hopkins’ blog, and she posted frequent articles at Transition US and Hopkins’ Transition concepts were core to the discussions at gatherings of the Environmental Change-Makers (the Westchester neighborhood’s local group, founded in 2005, which became the initiating group for TLA).

Transition Los Angeles hosted Training for Transition (T4T) and Transition Trainings. In 2013, we brought Rob Hopkins to Los Angeles, where he spoke at a series of events across the area.

What ever happened to Transition Los Angeles? From time to time people ask that question. The group was founded in 2008, which is a long time ago, particularly for an all-volunteer organization.

Over time, things change. Like kids, several of our projects “grew up and went out on their own.”

As for the city hub, people became more interested in participating in the hands-on projects taking place at the local sites, than in the conceptual overview and strategizing of a “city hub,” or the expanded vision in The Transition Companion. So in early 2014, we surrendered to that energy and allowed what has been called “the center of the doughnut” to go inactive. Soon after, we gave up the web address.

In spring 2019, Peter Rood, one of the core founders, left the L.A. area. In the time following his departure, the Environmental Change-Makers lost access to the free meeting space we had used since 2004. Yet the work continues …

Joanne Poyourow, TLA initiator, continues to write on this blog as well as in pieces distributed more widely. (publications. ecopoetry.)

As time marches on, and natural change-of-hands in leadership of the local groups takes place, not all of the current leaders would recognize the term “Transition.” Yet these groups continue — very much — to support and build possibilities for a post-carbon future. In the terms of Joanna Macy, they are “Creating new Structures.”

Meanwhile, as broader cultural consciousness changes (L.A. “going greener”) many of the ideas which were included in Hopkins’ concept of Transition, are being put in place by other activists from other grassroots organizations. Examples: local time banking, Repair Cafes, Permaculture garden design, etc.

Transition-related projects which continue:

  • Emerson Avenue Community Garden was started by the Environmental Change-Makers, the Westchester-area “local transition group.” The Garden now is its own 501(c)(3) organization, operating since 2011.
  • Westchester Community Oven, also started by the Environmental Change-Makers, faltered a bit while COVID closed down gatherings, but continues to host small baking events, and looks forward to expanding
  • Community Garden at Holy Nativity, the original meeting space of Transition Los Angeles, continues under different management. It is still growing food for the local needy, and is still a hub for consciousness-raising gatherings such as seed-saving.
  • Transition Mar Vista/Venice continues to meet and support inner transition. In recent years, the group has been active in rebuilding The Learning Garden at Venice High School after some major school district construction.
  • The Human Ecology class at Otis College of Art & Design, taught by Elektra Grant and Joanne Poyourow, continues to teach Hopkins’ Transition model. Semester after semester since 2013, this required course for the college’s Sustainability minor includes members of Transition Mar Vista in its guest speakers.
  • Subscribe to Joanne Poyourow’s Change-Making News
  • for an updated list of organizations which continue exciting and parallel work, see this list

this page last updated March 2023