This tour explores the City of London from the perspective of migration and consequently build on the topics discussed during the conference.
Provisional tour program:
1.) Traditional Migration Neighborhoods
As a first site we will visit the neighborhoods Peckham and Brixton, two very diverse and multicultural neighborhoods with a long tradition of migration. There, questions such as ’how can migration have a positive effect on shaping a new society? How can this be spatially encouraged? What are the neighborhoods’ strategies to deal with diversity, migration and gentrification? will be discussed.
More specifically, we will take a closer look at Peckham Rye Lane, an intensely active retail strip in South London appropriated by successive waves of immigrants, and shared with established residents, in the context of Suzanne Hall’s research on ’Ordinary Streets’. Her research turns the commonplace logic of street to explore everyday transformations and how these are differentially represented through small independent shops, local interest groups, and local government organizations. Hall analyses the street in ways that have significance for policy and planning, as well as interests around immigration and the socio-spatial ‘scapes’ that spans local and global realities.
Tour Guide: tbc
- Brixton, UK
Secondly, we will take a closer look at the dynamics in Brixton, a neighborhood which is rapidly being gentrified (but) and still attracts migrants from all over the world. Relevant questions here are ’how does regeneration and redevelopment affect urban areas with migrating history and how are communities responding? Together with Anchor & Magnet, an artists project based in Brixton, started by artist/curator Barby Asante, artist/academic Katy Beinart and artist/creative producer Kate Theophilus we will try to find answers to these questions.
Tour Guide: Anchor & Magnet (tbc)
2.) Redeveloping a New Town – Migration & Diversity
- Thamesmead, UK (photo: Peabody Group)
As a second stop, we will visit Thamesmead, a New Town built from the 1960s onwards and today undergoing a massive physical transformation (demolition of existing housing stock) and a culture driven urban regeneration program.
Initially, Thamesmead was one of the most homogenous estates of its type in London, being predominately white and working class. However, already few years later, the ethnic make-up of Thamesmead has changed: in the late 1970s, a small group of Vietnamese refugees built a community in the area, and then, in the 90s a larger wave of migration from West Africa (predominately Nigeria and Ghana) began. The 2011 census revealed that 35.58% of residents in the Thamesmead Moorings are Black African, the highest percentage in both London and the UK, while Thamesmead East had the second highest at 34.88%.
Over the years, the lack of transport infrastructures and investments has undoubtedly threatened the ambitions of the London’s New Town. Unlocking the full potential of Thamesmead today means to improve the connections to the city centre, create better public transport and foster investment in infrastructure, urban regeneration and quality of public spaces, creating a balance between long-term plans for the future and investing in improvements now. Today home to over 45,000 people from all backgrounds and ages, Thamesmead can count on a vibrant community, whose main landowner - Peabody Group - is in charge of a massive operation of urban regeneration. Questions that will be addressed here are: ’what does this urban regeneration look like? How does the program account for migration?’
Tour Guide: Peabody Group
3.) A ’new Town’ center development within the city
As a last stop we want to visit Brent Cross Cricklewood and its shopping center. A new town center development is planned for Hendon and Cricklewood. Construction includes 7,500 homes, 370,000 m2 of offices, four parks, transport improvements and a 55,000 m2 extension of Brent Cross Shopping Centre. As the development is still in the planning phase, we will visit the shopping center and an exhibition on the masterplan. Questions asked include ’how does the masterplan account for migration, flexibility and inclusion? How dos the development account in the adjacent neighborhoods?’
Tour Guide: ARCADIS (tbc)