Transformative Cities Atlas of Utopia


Transformative Cities Team, via Marilyn Langlois – TRANSCEND Media Service

26 Mar 2018 – Sol, Nick, Evan, Angela, Bea and the rest of the Transformative Cities team have just released a report on success stories of peacebuilding from the ground up.

After months of work we are excited to share with you Transformative Cities Atlas of Utopias – ( a global gallery that we launch today of inspiring community-led transformation in water, energy and housing .

The atlas features 32 communities from 19 countries who responded to TNI’s Transformative Cities initiative which seeks to learn from cities working on radical solutions to our world’s systemic economic, social and ecological crises.

We are grateful of all your support so far submitting your stories and providing us with inspiring pictures. Without you this initiative would not exist. Thank you!

What is the purpose of this Atlas?

The project is by no means a comprehensive mapping of transformative practices worldwide. Transformation in one area such as water management does not necessarily mean transformative practice elsewhere in the city. Nevertheless, the atlas showcases inspiring stories of communities challenging entrenched power and boldly developing alternatives. These range from small villages in Bolivia to international cities like Paris that have confronted multinational corporations and hostile national governments and delivered democratic, people-powered solutions on water, energy and housing.

The cases show how public solutions based on principles of cooperation and solidarity rather than competition and private profit have been more successful in meeting people’s basic needs – and perhaps just as importantly in creating a spirit of confidence and empowerment that strengthen communities for many other challenges. These initiatives demonstrate in practice that another world is possible, and is already happening.

In the coming weeks, Transformative Cities will be exploring nine case in more depth and then inviting the public to vote their favorites. Our goal long-term is to learn from and with the communities on what delivers radical transformation at local level in terms of power relations and social and ecological justice.

Please take a look at the Atlas and share it with your networks via email, social media or word of mouth. Of course if you notice something that needs to be changed of have suggestions for improvement we look forward to receive them. For a more in-depth analysis of the atlas, check out the analysis of Sol Trumbo and Nick Buxton on the website of Open Democracy. ttps://

“Utopia lies at the horizon. When I draw nearer by two steps, it retreats two steps. If I proceed ten steps forward, it swiftly slips ten steps ahead. No matter how far I go, I can never reach it. What, then, is the purpose of utopia? It is to cause us to advance.
— Eduardo Galeano


Marilyn Langlois is a member of TRANSCEND USA West Coast. She is a volunteer community organizer and international solidarity activist based in Richmond, California.  A co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, member of Haiti Action Committee and Board member of Task Force on the Americas, she is retired from previous employment as a teacher, secretary, administrator, mediator and community advocate.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 Apr 2018.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Transformative Cities Atlas of Utopia, is included. Thank you.

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