The idea for Community Lover's Guide to the Universe was conceived in Rotterdam in April 2011 by Tessy Britton and Maurice Specht. Following the fantastic response to the collaborative book Hand Made (40,000 online readers), which was published in Autumn 2010, the idea evolved that they might be able to start producing local versions of Hand Made.
Since announcing the project in June 2011 the team have 20 confirmed voluntary editors and another 10 or so in discussion. Their ambition is to publish about 50 editions in the next 12 months!
A few weeks ago Maurice Specht turned to me on the way to Schiphol airport and said ‘So when are we going to bring out a Hand Made for Rotterdam?’.
What a brilliant suggestion!
Since then the idea has really taken off with 12 community enthusiasts already volunteering to edit special local editions – collectively now called the Community Lover’s Guide To The Universe. Since we brought out Hand Made last August the number of people-led projects has continued to grow and we wanted to explore both the common themes, but also the unique cultural ideas and interpretations from all parts of the world.
We also wanted to start to show how places that are buzzing with community activity and projects are amazing places to live, increasingly more amazing than places with cool architecture or luxury shops. Community brings places alive, gives us new and interesting ways to contribute and connect … and there are signs already that people are finding places that have this creativity and excitement going on highly desirable.
Community can’t be mass produced and it can’t be ‘delivered’. But in rising numbers there are a lot of very excitable people just getting on and making and shaping their local communities for themselves. This series of books will create the opportunity for them to tell their stories, which in turn we hope will encourage other people to put aside any hesitations they might have and get more involved in their neighbourhoods.
So I have a brilliant excuse to get oot and aboot in Glasgae and meet all you community evangelists and capture your stories. Who should I talk to? Where should I go? Who do you think should be in the Community Lover's Guide to Glasgow?