Ipswich and Transition


Ipswich is reasonably well suited to post peak-oil life in many ways. Like much of the Old World, the design of the Suffolk human landscape was set in a time before oil-powered transportation, with its market towns and villages separated by modest distances of 10 to 20 miles. Ipswich itself is still compact enough to walk from one end of town to the other in less than a day, the planning regulations have kept development in check.

The population of England was just over 30 million in 1901 [1] (source: ONS) which was before the Oil Age, rising to about 50 million in 2001. In 1901 Suffolk had a population of 384,000 [2] and in 2001 it was 668,553 [3].

In 1901 the population of Ipswich was 66,630 [4] and in 2010 it stands at around 130,000 [5]. The population, post-peak oil is approximately twice what it was over a hundred years ago, before the Oil Age. Bearing in mind that we have a hundred years of scientific advances since then, it seems that it should be possible to feed this increased population from an area that previously fed about half the number using sustainable methods of agriculture.

There are, of course, significant differences – the modern diet is very different to that of 100 years ago.

  1. ONS http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_compendia/fom2005/01_fopm_population.pdf
  2. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Suffolk
  3. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pyramids/pages/42.asp
  4. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Ipswich
  5. http://www.ipswich.gov.uk/downloads/oneipswichCommunityStrategyAppendix1FactsFigures.pdf

One Response to Ipswich and Transition

  1. Henry Crone says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam

    The BRE National Solar Centre team is offering support to groups who want to apply to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) and the Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF). The RCEF and UCEF are £15m and £10m funding initiatives, to support community groups and parish councils in developing low-carbon and renewable energy projects.

    The funding provides a grant of up to £20,000 for investigating the feasibility of a renewable energy or low carbon project and as much as a £130,000 loan to support planning applications or develop a business case. The funds are administered by different bodies, more information regarding eligibility can be found via the fund managers websites.

    The BRE National Solar Centre could help by assisting with the grant application and delivering the feasibility study and development work for your projects.

    The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has been providing expert, impartial research, knowledge and advice on energy for communities since 1921. The BRE National Solar Centre has a track record of working with community groups to deliver valuable renewable energy projects to communities.

    We have been assisting groups with all elements of project delivery ranging from; initial project feasibility, to design, planning and contractor selection.
    If you are keen to discuss how we could help please feel free to get in contact with the National Solar Centre team based at the Eden Project.

    Kind regards,
    Henry Crone

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