Across the world, there is a growing recognition that a new kind of economy is needed: more democratic, less exploitative, less destructive of society and the planet. Paint Your Town Red looks at how wealth can be generated and shared at a local level through the experience of one of the main advocates of the new Democratic Economy, Matthew Brown, the driving-force behind the world-recognized Preston Model. Using analysis, interviews and case studies to explain what Matthew and Preston City Council have done over the last decade in order to earn Preston the title of Most Improved City, the bookshows how the model can be adapted to fit different local circumstances, as well as demonstrating how Preston itself adapted economic and democratic experiments in 'community wealth-building' from elsewhere in the US and Europe.
Preston's success shows that the ideas of community wealth-building work in practice and have the capacity to achieve a meaningful transfer of wealth and power back to local communities. A lot of recent coverage and references have tended to oversimplify the Preston Model, which is not just about 'buying local' but a comprehensive project, which envisions local and regional discussions and collaboration adding up to a wholesale transformation of our currently failing economic systems.