Simply deposit your time in an online database—one hour equals one credit—and withdraw it whenever you need help with something. It could be a simple skill swap, from a lesson in baking scones to help putting up a curtain rail. Or it might be a way to pool resources, by sharing a meal or the school run. In addition to being practical, time banks have the benefit of allowing neighbours to get to know each other through meaningful exchange.

This and more inspiring projects can be found in the print copy of A smart guide to Utopia or the ebook version.