'Visualising a future Camden'

Imagined street scene of Camden in 2030

Imagined street scene of Camden in 2030 - Credit: Anna Woodeson and Oscar Williamson

In order to create the future Camden we want…we have to visualize it first...

I would like to invite you all on a short journey. Get yourself comfortable, make yourself an herbal tea… or better still, pour a glass of English bubbly…During this journey, there are no limitations on what you can imagine: 

 It is 2032, 10 years from now. It's a Camden in which we have made significant progress towards a sustainable and socially just future. Global climate change, the ecological crisis and climate injustice are pretty much a thing of the past.  

You wake up in the morning, in your Camden home, powered by the solar panels on your roof and heating from CHP.  You hear birdsong. You look out of the window at the shared community garden in your street, enjoying the space and greenery now private car ownership is a thing of the past.

This is the London of the National Wellbeing service; a city where most of Camden’s fresh veg are grown in the ring of market gardens dotted around the M25. 

Debbie Bourne will be giving away trees on Saturday.

Debbie Bourne has been imagining a Camden of the future - Credit: Debbie Bourne

Who are you with? What’s for brekkie? 

What are you up to today? If it’s work, what’s your passion? If you are looking after the kids, or you are a carer, what’s the morning plan? If it’s a shopping day, where are you going? Or perhaps this is the morning you do voluntary work, who is it for? 

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You walk down your local high street. Look around you at the shop fronts and buildings, what has changed? What business do you see? How are people using the street? How does the air smell? You hear kids laugh as they walk to school; a taxi bike trundles by. The only large vehicles on the street are electric buses, electric delivery vehicles finished all their work earlier this morning.  

If you are going to work, what’s your work space like? What’s your first task of the day? If you are somewhere else, where are you…?  

It’s now lunchtime, who are you sharing it with? What are you eating? 

After lunch you’ve promised to pop to your old school and give the kids an inspiring lecture about your life/career. What does your school look like now? How has it changed? 

You’ve now got a couple of hours free. How are you going to spend the time?  

At the end of the day, you meet a friend for a quick drink. You’ve haven’t seen each other for ages. You laugh as you cast your mind back to that issue of the Ham&High you read 10 years ago, with that strange visioning article! You remember at the time wondering if the ideas you came up with after reading it would ever amount to anything transformative. 

 What would you say to your former self, those 10 years ago? 

I hope this little eco-worrier piece has given you some ideas. Here’s four suggestions that can help make an immediate difference to our wonderful borough: 

If you have a bit of spare time: Help Refugee Community Kitchen for a few hours a week in Gospel Oak. Every week amazing volunteers help Refugee Community Kitchen cook up hundreds of surplus food meals to hand out to those in need. Last week, one evening 120 meals were served in Camden High Street alone: refugeecommunitykitchen.secure.force.com/outreachvolunteer/ 

If you don’t have time, but have a bit of spare cash, back the Camden Climate Investment launched by Camden Council. Invest from as little as £5 to help directly fund local climate projects and earn a guaranteed 1.75% return on your investment: abundanceinvestment.com/invest-now/camden-climate-investment-2027 

If you want to get involved in great fun climate and social action projects: thinkanddocamden.org.uk  

If it’s eating sustainably and locally that you are interested in sign up to vegbox.org.uk

Did you know we have a veg box scheme in Camden? 

Debbie Bourne is from Think and Do Camden and also designs wild gardens: ofbutterfliesandbees.co.uk