This website exists to support and promote the REGROWTH BLUEPRINT – a new model for reinvigorating and remaking our towns.
We need community growth, social growth, sustainable growth, green growth and – perhaps above all – food growth. Not all growth has to come from the purely new though. We need to see, to evaluate and to preserve what is already there, so that we can help it to flourish. Whether that means community gardens on disused land, vertical farms in disused industrial buildings or markets and social spaces in disused high streets; we need to use what we already have. We don’t just need growth. We need Regrowth.
We must aim to create towns which are economically successful, socially inclusive and environmentally regenerative. My book (available now!) sets out a model to achieve exactly that; a combination of community gardens and vertical farms to regrow our high streets and dilapidated communities. Two things came out of the writing of that book, which led directly to the creation of the campaign for regrowth and the building of this website.
The first was that we need to engage councils, to persuade them to make a statutory commitment to food growing in their communities. To that end Regrowth.org will be sending Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to every single council in the UK, asking them if they have such a commitment. Once we have established who has what, we will begin pushing for all councils to make that commitment. (see the Councils Project tab for more.) We will keep a database, freely accessible to all, of our progress in this regard.
The second was that, in the process of interviewing people for book research, several mentioned that there are lots of projects spring up all over the UK, working on these issues, but that no one is keeping a complete list of all those projects and the work they are doing. So we will be keeping another database, again freely accessible to all, keeping track of all those projects and what they are doing (see Re-directory tab for more).
As if that were not enough, we will also be running a blog space, on which we will report on various projects and on Regrowth organisational news.(see the blog for more info.)
As part of my work as Editor of PoliticsUK I read a lot of articles. I came across three separate articles: one on vertical farming, one advocating community gardening and one on the decline of high streets. Looking at the three together, I was struck by a bright idea of how they could all come together to help each other.
I started investigating and talking to people and, before I knew it, the book was born! Some of the specifics have changed since, but the principle ideas remain the same.