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Change by Design Collective imaginations for contested sites in Euston WORKSHOP REPORT (2014) Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, Naomi Shinkins Melissa Kinnear, Sophie Morley, Anthony Powis Architecture Sans Frontières UK 1


Change by Design Collective imaginations for contested sites in Euston WORKSHOP REPORT (2014/5) Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, Naomi Shinkins Melissa Kinnear, Sophie Morley, Anthony Powis Architecture Sans Frontières UK 1


Foreword

Camden Citizens was launched in 2011 at a large assembly of 700 people in Friends House, on the Euston Road. We are a part of Citizens UK, an alliance of civic organisations in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, and Nottingham. We bring together churches, mosques and synagogues; schools, colleges and universities; unions, think tanks, and housing associations; GP surgeries, charities and migrant groups to work together for the common good. We call this community organising. We develop the capacity of our members to build power locally so they can hold politicians and other decision makers to account. We work on a range of issues, from small local campaigns to large national campaigns such as the Living Wage. Community organising is based on the principle that when people work together they have the power to change their neighbourhoods, cities, and ultimately the country for the better. We work with people who want to transform the world, from what it is to what they believe it should be. To do this we listen to our members, asking them about their concerns and developing strategies to improve our communities. We ensure that civil society is at the negotiating table alongside the market and state, so that our communities are included in the decisions that affect them. So back in 2011, after an extensive six month listening exercise, the members of Camden Citizens voted to work together on a common agenda for social justice: on jobs, housing, safety, social care and the Living Wage. Our members also recognised the significance of High Speed Rail 2, the largest infrastructure project in Europe, and the impact it would have in Euston and the surrounding area if it were to go ahead. The project has the potential to cut across a number of our priority issues in particular jobs, housing, and safety. The workshops carried out by ASF-UK have brought great value and expertise to informing our work. At a meeting on 20th March 2014 held at Maria Fidelis School, the membership voted overwhelmingly to work together to ensure that HS2 – if it goes ahead – delivers the best possible deal for local communities. The members of Camden Citizens are developing 2


a Citizens Charter on HS2 based on our previous experience of working on a similarly disruptive and ‘one-off’ development: the 2012 Olympics. Thanks to all the staff at ASF-UK for producing this report. Stephanie Leonard Camden Citizens Associate Community Organiser Citizens UK

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Acknowledgements

This report documents the methodology and findings of a one-week participatory design workshop undertaken in September 2014 in the Euston area in London. The coordinators of Change by Design, Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, and Naomi Shinkins, with Melissa Kinnear, Sophie Morley, and Anthony Powis, would like to thank the following people and organisations for making this workshop such an enriching and rewarding experience. We are exceptionally grateful for the support that we have received throughout the workshop’s preparation and development from our partners Citizens UK, and in particular Rhys Moore and Stephanie Leonard. We are also indebted to Camden Citizens for their advice and active engagement with our work: especially Father Philip North, Team Rector of Parish of Old St Pancras, and Father Paschal Worton, Team Vicar at St Mary’s Church. The workshop’s success is founded on the contribution of many residents and institutions in the Euston area. These include Jo Hurford and Jeanette Westley; Sharon Gordon (West Euston Partnership), Romina Harris (Maria Fidelis School), Jeff Travers (Pan Camden HS2 Alliance). We are grateful to Camden Council, and particularly Euston Area Plan Project Manager Mary-Ann Lewis and Councilor Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration in Camden, who discussed the workshop with us and helped us to shape our argument. We extend our thanks to UCL Urban Laboratory for organising an insightful seminar on urban regeneration. Thank you to Laura Hirst for curating the event, and to Ben Campkin and Clare Melhuish for sharing their research on the subject. As well, we would like to thank Lucia Caistor from Social Life for contributing to the conversation. Of course this report would not have been possible without the ASF-UK participants who took time away from their studies and work to attend, but also contributed so much to the workshop, personally and professionally: Amelia Rule, Charles Palmer, Emily Wright, Francesca Giangrande, Frederick Van Amstel, Giulia Bravo, Gloria Gusmaroli, Katherine Wong, Michaela Usai, Mona An Shah, Rubbina Karruna, Stacey Lewis and Yousof Khan. In particular, we are grateful to Francesca Giangrande, Gloria Gusmaroli, and Katherine Wong who devoted time, resources 4


and effort to compile and illustrate this report and the workshop’s summary of findings. The success of the workshop is based on the contribution of a number of institutions. Firstly, we owe much to the team of asF-UK for all their input and logistical support in the process. We would also like to thank UCL Public Engagement Unit for their financial support; and the bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL, and the school of Architecture of the University of Sheffield, for their endorsement of this initiative and the wider collaboration around asF-UK’s Change by Design programme. Finally, we extend our warmest thanks to the residents and business-owners of the euston area, for hosting us in their neighbourhood and sharing their stories and thoughts. We hope that this report will offer a means to advocate successfully for the city they want.

Change by Design is a workshop promoted by architecture sans Frontières UK (asF-UK).

With the support of The bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London; UCL Urban Laboratory, and the School of Architecture of the University of Sheffield.

With the support of The bartlett Development Planning Unit (University College London), the School of Architecture of the University of Sheffield, and UCL Urban Laboratory.

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6


Index

Introduction Dwelling / Regents Park Estate

8 16

1 / Introduction 2 / Experiences 3 / Options 4 / Dwelling Principles Community / St James Gardens

38

1 / Introduction 2 / Experiences 3 / Options 4 / Community Principles City / Drummond Street

60

1 / Introduction 2 / Experiences 3 / Options 4 / City Principles Integrated Principles

80

Conclusions

84

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Introduction

infilitrating regeneration Camden Council’s Euston Area Plan outlines a vision for Euston in 2031 that attempts to bring together local needs with the aspiration of Euston station becoming a world-class transport interchange. Like many other plans for key localities in London designated by the London Plan as ‘opportunity areas’, a narrative emerges trying to address the tension between needs of low-income groups, and wider aspirations for London to become a world-class city. This tension has been shaping debates around top-down processes of change, as well as the growing practices of grassroots resistance and contestation. At the core of these debates on market vs. socially led urban development, the key question under discussion is not whether urban change is needed, but rather which type of change is being pursued, and to whose benefit. Market-led approaches to urban change are calling for largescale mega-projects as a means to position London and the UK as global agents. The ambition is to attract more Foreign Direct Investments and therefore increase the productivity of the city, as well as the country. In the London Plan, the concept of ‘opportunity areas’ precisely highlights potential areas in need of urban renewal, where there is a potential for market actors to invest and make a profit while at the same time improving the urban environment. However, in the past few years there has been a multiplication of the actors and networks contesting this view of change – while also producing alternative imaginaries for the ways in which urban change has been, is, and could be taking place in London. Various studies have highlighted how London’s ‘market enablement’ approach to urban change is gradually pushing low-income groups away from well-located sites in the city centre, encouraging social and spatial segregation across the city as well as the homogenization of population in central areas (1). Similarly, networks of community advocates, practitioners, and scholars are articulating alternative modes of bringing about 8

Opposite page/ Jo Hurford of save Drummond Street shows the group hoarding outside Euston Station during the tour on day one


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change to the capital, in manners that build on local potentialities and resources, draw on meaningful forms of community participation, and address urban inequalities (2). Therefore, London is experiencing a moment of intense contestations not only over space and sites, but also over the visions and imaginaries that should guide the process of change. At the heart of these debates, is the unstable concept of ‘urban regeneration’. As outlined by Campkin (3), experiences of urban regeneration in London have been widely criticised for not bringing about the promised benefits for deprived communities, nor involving them meaningfully in the processes of decision-making. This led many to argue and feel that ‘urban regeneration’ is necessarily a euphemism for gentrification. However, this report relates to a wider range of experiences that approach the idea of ‘regeneration’ as a site of contestation itself, and as an entry point to bring about change (4). Instead of leaving it to be populated merely by market-led values, this report attempts to contribute to infiltrating the concept of regeneration by populating it with alternative meanings and practices, associated to ideals of justice and equality (5). URBAN REGENERATION AND THE IMPACTS OF HS2 IN LONDON One of the many regeneration plans in London is the proposed redevelopment and expansion of Euston station in Camden to host the terminus of the High Speed 2 railway line, which will run between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – also known as HS2. If the current plans for the station’s redevelopment were to go ahead, local residents and business owners around Euston will experience severe social, environmental, and economic impact during the lengthy construction phase, and post completion. Key concerns articulated by local government and civil society include the possible demolition of existing council housing blocks; tunnelling works under residential areas; the use of Drummond Street as a route for construction traffic; the loss of several open and green spaces surrounding the station and throughout the neighbourhood; and large scale disruptions across the area. Local communities are also struggling to cope with the many unknowns presented by this situation. At the time of writing, it is still not known whether or not the HS2 project will actually go ahead, and which design options will be pursued despite many years in the pipe-line. Local communities are left in a state of uncertainty where properties, residential and commercial, are blighted, and residents and business owners do not know what the future holds for them. Many community groups as well as Camden Council have expressed their opposition to the HS2 proposals. It is in this context that Camden Citizens, as part of the Citizens UK network, has worked with its network of local institutions to formulate a Citizens Charter. The Charter aims to represent the aspirations of local residents and business owners, and enhance their bargaining power when advocating for benefits to the local community from development schemes in the area, which include the HS2 proposals.

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change by design london 2014 Change by Design is a programme led by non-profit organisation Architecture Sans Frontières -UK (ASF-UK), with the aim to reflect on and practice participatory design as a means to promote inclusive and equitable urban change. Since 2010, ASF-UK has worked with a number of partners and supporting institutions to generate field workshops and seminars focused on introducing a critical design perspective into participatory practices for informal settlement upgrading. Through engagement with collectives struggling for the rights of informal settlement dwellers in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), Nairobi (Kenya), and Quito (Ecuador), the Change by Design programme has explored the role of participatory design in the production of a more just city. Under this perspective, participatory design should question exploitative social relations and the unequal distribution of resources, as well as opening up spaces for new imaginaries about the city, citizenship and urban transformations (6). In this fifth instalment of the Change by Design workshops, ASFUK worked with London Citizens and local stakeholders to explore the impact of large-scale development and regeneration in London on local communities. Building on participatory design tools developed in previous Change by Design engagements, the workshop took place in September 2014 in London, with the aim of generating communityled principles that would reinforce the Citizens Charter being elaborated by Citizens UK and Camden Citizens specifically. These principles strive to advance positive outcomes of the proposed future development, focusing on the Euston Area Plan developed by the Camden Council and the proposed HS2 rail link in the Euston area. To understand the needs and aspirations of local stakeholders regarding future development, the seven-day workshop focused on three specific sites in the Euston area – the Regent’s Park Estate, St James’ Gardens next to Euston station, and Drummond Street. Based on research carried out by students of the MSc in Social Development Practice of The Bartlett Development Planning Unit of University College London (7), workshop participants worked directly with local communities in and around these sites to identify community-led principles for future re/development. The main aim of the workshop was to strengthen the negotiation capacity of community groups in bringing about positive change to local residents in the Euston area. This was achieved by supporting the work of Citizens UK using participatory design to explore residents’ spatial imaginaries for the three chosen sites. As well, the workshop aimed to investigate and represent local residents’ and business owners’ regeneration aspirations, as a tool to support ongoing negotiations with stakeholders involved in the HS2 proposal. Finally it focused on the development of an integrated approach using participatory design and planning methodologies, based on our experience in informal settlements upgrading, as a means to explore how regeneration initiatives can respond to needs and aspirations of residents affected by the process of change. We gathered the multiple skills and perspectives of workshop participants to build on participatory design tools developed in 11


previous Change by Design initiatives. The workshop also sought to set a precedent of making participatory design and planning methodologies integral to the practice of regeneration in the UK. This focus on design and planning practices hopes to enable a wider debate not only on the ways in which regeneration is conceptualised, but also on the means and processes through which it changes the city. STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT This report gathers from the work conducted by the Change by Design London coordinators and participants in order to document the methodology and findings of this workshop. ASF-UK Change by Design workshops are based on an evolving action-research methodology that addresses physical space and social dynamics at different scales (the home, the neighbourhood, the city) and through different forms of practice (architecture, urban design, urban and development planning). The aim is to promote integrated visions and interventions that respond not only to the material qualities of urban space, but also to its social, economic and political complexities – building bridges between local residents, practitioners, institutions and other types of communities involved in urban transformations. In London, workshop participants were divided into three group, each focusing on a particular scale of design as well as on a particular site: the Dwelling group, examining Regents Park Estate and the aspirations of its residents; the Community group, focussing on St. James Gardens and other open and collective spaces in the area; and the City group, addressing Drummond Street businesses and their livelihood networks in London and beyond. Cross-scale policy and planning issues, which normally form an explicit component of the ASF-UK Change by Design methodology, were not included in this workshop’s structure – as the team could benefit from the policy research conducted in 2013/2014 by staff and students of the MSc Social Development Practice at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit. The report reflects the structure of the workshop itself, and is also articulated into three sections: Dwelling, Community, and City. Each section explores specific research questions, working methodologies, and issues. At the end of each section, a text and a visual summarise the key design principles that emerged from participatory activities carried out within that particular scale/site. These principles are then brought together at the end of the report in an integrated representation that links together the findings of the three groups. A conclusion summarises these points and explores ways forward in supporting citizen-led pathways to urban regeneration in London, with possible lessons for cities elsewhere. NOTES (1) Urban regeneration processes in London have been critically examined by Rob Imrie, Loretta Lees, and Mark Raco (eds) in Regenerating London: Governance, Sustainability and Community in a Global City (London: Routledge, 2009). More recently, Imrie and Lees have also curated the volume Sustainable London? The Future of a Global City (Bristol: Policy Press, 2014). Further reflections on the logics and consequences and Lonodon’s

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Opposite page/ participatory activities used by dwelling group with residents from the Regents Park Estate.


market-led regeneration have been proposed among others by Michael Edwards, “London for Sale: Towards the Radical Marketization of Urban Space” in Matthew Gandy (ed), Urban Constellations (Berlin: Jovis, 2011) and by Paul Watt in his reflection on the impacts of 2012 Olympics: ‘‘It’s Not For Us’: Regeneration, the 2012 Olympics and the Gentrification of East London”, City vol.17, no.1, p. 99–118. (2) To name but a few, see the work of the Just Space network, Social Life, This is Not a Gate Way, R-Urban Wick, and London Action and Research on Regeneration Group. (3) Ben Campkin expands on this subject in the introduction to Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture (London: IB Tauris, 2013). (4) See the UCL Urban Laboratory Urban Pamphleteer #2 - London: Regeneration Realities, edited by Ben Campkin, David Roberts and Rebecca Ross (London: UCL Urban Laboratory, 2013). For a wider overview of debates on market-led regeneration and its intended and unintended social consequences, see the collection Whose Urban Renaissance? edited by Libby Porter and Kate Shaw (London: Routledge, 2009). (5) We have argued this point elsewhere, in reference to the processes of inner city regeneration in São Paulo, Brazil. See Beatrice De Carli, Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Roberto Barbosa, Francisco Comaru and Ricardo Moretti, “Regeneration through the ‘Pedagogy of Confrontation’: Exploring Critical Spatial Practices of Social Movements in São Paulo Inner City as Avenues for Urban Renewal” in Dearq 16 (forthcoming). (6) The methodology and findings of previous Change by Design workshops have been documented in Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Matthew French and Isis Nunez Ferrera, Change by Design. Building Communities through Participatory Design (New Zealand: Urban Culture Press, 2011); and Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Beatrice De Carli, Isis Nunez Ferrera and Naomi Shinkins, Change by Design. New Spatial Imaginations for Los Pinos (Oxford: Architecture Sans Frontières UK, 2014). (7) This work is documented in Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Stephanie Butcher and Laura Hirst (eds) Regeneration Aspirations for Euston: Local Perspectives on the High Speed Two Rail Link. MSc Social Development Practice Student Report (London: The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, 2014).

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REGENTS PARK ESTATE //DWELLING ST JAMES’S GARDENS //COMMUNITY DRUMMOND STREET //CITY

14


// Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts to Local Communities Removal of graves

Loss of heritage

Loss of trees and green space

Pollution from construction site

For SALE

here ! shop

shop

Unfair compensation and market transactions Loss of visability

Breaking the unique typological diversity of shops

Noise from construction site

Loss of public space and playgrounds

Loss of jobs

Loss of social housing

Loss of local business

Loss of commmunitiy ties

School disruption

ÂŁ

Loss of income

Displacement of families

Unsafe routes during construction

Proposed Station Footprint (at time of writing)

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Dwelling

The Dwelling scale is concerned with the micro everyday realities of residents, as associated to their dwelling experiences. The starting point for this scale is that ‘dwelling’ goes beyond the physical structures of the house: rather, dwelling is associated to the various activities, needs, and aspirations of home-making. Therefore, dwelling is approached as a ‘system of settings’. Our participatory design methodology interrogates various spaces associated to dwelling practices, including private, semi-private, as well as public places which form part of the dwelling environment. We explore the diverse relations shaping dwelling conditions and aspirations, as well as the ways in which urban trends, policy, and planning affect people’s dwelling opportunities. The methodology applies design tools to elicit a conversation about dreams and aspirations through a discussion on the built environment. As an output, participatory activities generate dwelling principles, as well as guidelines that aim to inform the generation of a portfolio of options that can potentially address and concretely articulate these dwelling principles.

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17


“The boundaries of the estate are the walls of my home”

“ This is the forgotten part of Camden ”

REGENTS PARK ESTATE //DWELLING

18


// Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts to Local Communities “ I work during the night. How will I be able to sleep in the day with the construction happening next door? ”

Loss of heritage

Loss of trees and green space

Pollution from construction site

For SALE

here ! shop

shop

Unfair compensation and market transactions Loss of visability

Breaking the unique typological diversity of shops

Noise from construction site

Loss of public space and playgrounds

Loss of jobs

Loss of social housing

Loss of local business

Loss of commmunitiy ties

School disruption

£

Loss of income

Displacement of families

Unsafe routes during construction

“ I am going to miss this place very much. I live on the sixth floor and I have a wonderful view from my flat”

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1 / Introduction

Regent’s Park estate is a large post war housing development, which sits between Regents Park to the west and Euston station to the east. It was built in the 1950s to provide Council housing for Londoners in an area destroyed in the blitz, and is made up of a variety of low, medium and high rise blocks set in a series of streets and green spaces. If the current scheme proposed by HS2 is approved, it will have a profound impact on this community, as a minimum of 168 homes could be lost from Regent’s Park estate as a result of the required track widening and larger station building. The blocks due to be demolished are Eskdale, Ainsdale & Silverdale, situated at the northern edge of the estate. An additional 153 homes in Langdale, Coniston & Cartmel could also be at risk as Camden Council are concerned about the proximity of the construction work and the general impact of development. Camden Council have identified that 20% of their tenanted households effected are over 65 years of age, as highlighted in the documentary by local artist Jane Gull; there is also a high proportion of Bangladeshi tenants (16%) in these blocks, which reflects the diversity of the estate. Residents fall under three different categories – homeowner, private rent, and the largest group social tenants. The impact of HS2 on residents’ situations depend on this status: social tenants have been told that they will be rehoused in the area, homeowners may have to accept CPO (compulsory purchase orders) at low rates, private tenants have little say. Camden Council, although opposed to HS2, have recently released their Euston Area Plan, 20

which incorporates the current HS2 boundary line. They have proposed new housing to be built on some of the ‘underused’ green spaces in the estate to accommodate the tenants that will be displaced by HS2. Camden Council have organised online consultations, a popup exhibition, and a petition against HS2; however the reaction on the ground suggested that this has only reached some residents. The changes being proposed for the new Euston station are already generating a sense of insecurity among residents of Regents Park Estate, who are not certain of how such initiative will affect their housing situation. The Dwelling group focused on particular dwelling experiences and practices of residents in the Regents Park Estate with the objective to: (1) Investigate how they relate to the potential options of relocation being proposed by HS2 and Camden Council; and (2) generate a debate on dwelling principles that can be used to elaborate proposals and deliberations on future dwelling alternatives for the residents of Regents’ Park Estate. The dwelling group engaged residents across the estate using a number of participatory tools to understand the context. An analysis of the key secondary sources such as HS2 proposals, government policy and the Euston area plan as well as reports and media coverage contributed to understanding the dynamics of the situation. The group used this research to develop a set of principles that could contribute to the Citizens Charter and form guidance based on the dwelling experiences of this London community.


Below/ Regent’s Park Estate sign and map

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Clockwise from above/ posters on consultations on infill housing, ground floor flat Ainsdale, ‘under used’ green space on Euston Road and proposed site for infill housing .

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2 / Experiences

KEY QUESTIONS / The Dwelling group focused on the key questions below to understand the dwelling experiences of the residents: What are the dwelling aspirations of residents of Regents Park Estate? How are residents pursuing their dwelling aspirations and how are they conditioned by the changes taking place in Euston area? Drawing on these dwelling aspirations, practices and conditions, what are the key dwelling principles of residents of Regents Park Estate? DESCRIPTION / Through desk based research and undertaking transect walks through the estate, the Dwelling group developed contextual knowledge of the area. A number of community groups and facilities within the Estate were identified. The Regents Park residents association is particularly active, as is the Surma Centre that caters to the need of the Bangladeshi community. These groups have been key actors in disseminating information to the residents of the estate regarding the proposed changes. However, residents outside these networks have expressed feelings of confusion and disempowerment with the situation. During the symposium on the first day of the workshop, there was a strong sense that it could be difficult to engage people in a conversation and there was ‘consultation fatigue’. “I have received many letters but I didn’t 24

open them. There was a petition, but I do not really understand what this means” Methods of participatory engagement were examined to understand how to capture residents’ dwelling aspirations. The notion of engaging in an informal way as opposed to the more formal Camden consultations led the group to the idea of creating a popup ‘living room’. Using some tape, sticks and cable reels found in a UCL skip, the group proceeded to set up a space in the park offering ‘tea and chat’. The intervention was located next to a playground and on a busy route from Euston road into the estate. The theme of this initial tool was exploring: ‘What is home for you?’ The group invited people into the makeshift ‘home’, primarily asking which block they lived in and recording this on an easily understandable hand drawn map. This led to a wider discussion expanding on their living circumstances, social networks, and thoughts about the Regent’s Park estate. Simultaneously some members of the team carried out a photography exercise, asking people to take pictures of their most and least favourite places, an important object in their flat, and the view from their window. In depth interviews were also conducted with two different residents in their homes to collect their stories. Throughout these conversations and exercises, a number of key issues began to emerge. It was decided to capture these in a set of 27 icons representing the positive and negative attributes of the estate that the residents had identified, which included the impact of HS2. To develop this conversation further, the group constructed an interactive


Below top/ sign erected as part of tea and chat exercise; tea and chat activity with residents.

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board with the map at the centre and the icons around the edges, so that residents could pick the icons that were most important to them and locate them on the map. The ‘home’ was set up in the same position and the team again invited residents for ‘tea and chat’ and implemented the new activity. Residents were asked to choose a number of icons and then elaborate on the reason of their choice, splitting these into ‘things to keep’ and ‘things to change’. A second exercise with a blank plan of a flat was then used, switching the focus to their own house to understand the dwelling aspirations on a household scale. During the Tea & Chat exercise the team engaged with about 30 residents from 10 different countries, aged between 11 and 81. Ranging from people that had spent their entire life in the estate and are very worried about the future, a son happy at the idea of their parents leaving the estate and council tenants that are happy to move out if the new flats look like those that have just been completed nearby.

FINDINGS / The residents of the Regents Park estate are a diverse demographic with a complex set of aspirations. The 27 icons used in the second exercise were grouped into emerging themes outlined below which allowed the team to build up a picture of this urban reality. Livelihoods/Connectivity The central London position of the estate with very good transport links was a very positive factor for the social mobility of many residents. The Bangladeshi community’s proximity to Drummond Street is crucial to the livelihood activities of this group. Most of the residents engaged worked in the local area; however some younger members expressed frustration with their current economic opportunities. Services/Amenities “Being close to my GP is really important to me” The local library has recently closed; this was a talking point for a number of residents, as the library was a place where people could access the Internet if they did not have it at home. There are a number of schools in close proximity, and families felt that this was a very positive attribute. The access to health services is generally very good and seen as important to older people and those with physical impairments. There are a number of organisations operating services for young people including sport and advice, which was important to local families. There is access to green space and playgrounds within the area, many residents

26


commented on this and the fact that it gave them a nice outlook from their homes. The general building fabric in the estate was seen as poor with many lifts broken, problems with rubbish and large numbers of rats. Residents put the blame on Camden Council and there was a sense that the estate was being neglected.

expressed that their flats were too small for their families, with children sharing rooms, the introduction of the bedroom tax has made the situation worse. During the engagement it was indicated that social and private tenants have also been known to sublet or share creating an even higher density and overcrowding within the estate.

Social Fabric/Safety

There are a number of community organisations in the estate; the Surma centre and residents association have a strong presence, however some residents felt that communication between different groups in the estate could be improved.

“If we want this Estate to work, we need to focus on our similarities not our differences” “The boundaries of the Estate are the walls of my home” Many residents expressed that a positive factor on their living circumstances was the strong social networks with family, friends and neighbours. One resident described how the local community had come together to fundraise a playground in the park. The diversity of the area was seen as an asset to some, however there were a few people who felt that the community was divided and this was also reflected in the intake of local schools. Mixed comments about safety were collected with some feeling that crime was getting worse, as there was a problem with drugs and they would not go out after dark. Others expressed that they did feel safe because they knew a lot of people within the community and were not really effected by crime.

HS2 Impact “It’s awful, it’s going to rip this community apart” The impact of the plans proposed by HS2 was an underlying element in almost all of the conversations with residents. Concerns ranged from understanding plans and which blocks were to be lost to confusion in how the changes would affect them. Many were worried about the noise and upheaval for a long period of time and were insecure about their living arrangements. There was an overarching view that residents did not feel empowered to engage in the process of regeneration and that many could not see how they fitted within this new vision for Euston.

Communication/Density Although the urban layout of the estate gives the area a feeling of openness there is a problem with overcrowding within the flats themselves. A number of residents 27


Below/ outcomes of participatory exercises with symbols. Opposite/ extract from dwelling boards representing residents reactions .

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LIVELIHOODS Above are the 8

SERVICES

AMENITIES

COMMUNITY

SAFETY

The plans proposed by HS2 will potentially The Dwelling group focuse displace residents from three housing blocks on dwelling experiences and prac the Regents Park Estate and affect the quality of Regents Park Estate with SOCIAL COMMUNICATION of life forFABRIC the neighbourhood specially duringDENSITY 1) investigate how they relate the estimated 15 years construction period. threat of relocation being prop Local residents are uncertain of how such Camden Council; and 2) to gen initiative will effect their housing conditions. dwelling principles that can be

CONNECTIVITY

Themes raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used for further dialogue

This isworried a map of where the Regent’s Park Estate showing the location of residents that participated in the study HS2? I am really about I am going to live. I came to the UK 25 years ago, escaping the war in my own country. This was the first place I came to and the one I know well. I am a tenant in one of The library was a place for the blocks that will be knocked down and I children to meet and study. If we want this estate to am not sure what will happen to me and my For us to find information and work, we need to focus on family. For me, it is really important to stay feel connected our similarities close to the nursery and school where not our differences my children go. I walk them there everyday, but I have a severe physical impairment that makes it difficult for me to walk far. Also, being close to the surgery is really important, as I often have pains and I need This is the forgotten are for themy medicine. I raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used further dialogue to getAbove prescriptions part offor Camden received many documents about the I work during the night. How will I proposed changes, but I cannot be able to sleep in the day with understand what they mean. Do you have the construction happening next any further information for me? door?

LIVELIHOODS

AMENITIES

SERVICES

The boundaries of the estate are the walls of my home

I’m 80 years old and I have learnt to use photoshop on a local course

COMMUNITY

SAFETY

CONNECTIVITY

8 Themes

We are so well connected to buses, trains and the tube

DWELLING

SOCIAL FAB

My neighbours are from Serbia, Italy, England... It’s so nice, we always have tea together

There are drug dealers outside my block

HS2? I am really worried about where I am going to live. I came to the UK 25 years I’m close to good shops ago, escaping the war in my own country. Rats, Rats, Rats!! We all put money and my friends live in I couldn’t understand the towards the park for the nearby blocks This was the first place I came to and the letter I received from the children one I know well. I am a tenant in onecouncil of about HS2 The library was a place for the blocks that will be knocked down and I children to meet and study. If we want this estate to am not sure what will happen to me and my For us to find information and work, we need to focus on family. For me, it is really important to stay feel connected our similarities close to the nursery and school where not our differences my children go. I walk them there everyday, but I have a severe physical impairment that makes it difficult for me to walk far. Also, close towith the is the really Over the course of thebeing week we have engaged 30 surgery residents from Regent’s Park Estate, from 10 countries with ages ranging from 11 to 81. particular proposals and deliberations on future dwelling important, as I often have pains and I need The plans proposed by HS2 will potentially The Dwelling group focused Thison is the forgotten displace residents from three housing blocks on dwelling experiences and practices of residents improvements and alternatives for the residents to get prescriptions for my medicine. I part of Camden the Regents Park Estate and affect the quality of Regents Park Estate with the objective to of Regenets Park Estate. received many documents about the I work during the night. during How will1)I investigate how they relate to the potential This poster illustrates the concerns raised by of life for the neighbourhood specially proposed changes, but I cannot be years able toconstruction sleep in the day withthreat of relocation being proposed by HS2 and local residents the estimated 15 represented through 27 icons, EDUCATION AND period. HEALTH CARE SCHOOLS SECURITY SYSTEM VIEWS LIBRARY understand what they CHOICE mean. Do you have TRAINING GREEN SPACES YOUTH CLUBS TRANSPORT RODENTS RELOCATION COLLABORATION OF HOUSING Local residentstheare uncertain of how such construction happening nextCamden Council; and 2) to generate a debate on and aggregated into 8 themes, which inform the any further information for me? initiative will effect their housing conditions. dwelling principles that can be used to elaborate development of 4 principles for future changes. door?

The are

Regent’s Park Estate

COMMUNITY

SAFETY

There is five of us in the flat and just one toilet. It’s not enough especially since I have a son with special needs

With my mobility issues, I need to live on the first floor especially as the lift is often broken

CONNECTIVITY thin

I love to cook but my kitchen is too small

Over the course of the week we have engaged with 30

There are drug dealers outside my block HERITAGE PEACEFUL

HOUSING DENSITY

RELOCATION

COMMUNICATION Rats, Rats, Rats!!

COLLABORATION

CHOICE OF HOUSING

I’m 80 years old and I have learnt to use photoshop on a local course

YOUTH CLUBS

TRANSPORT

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

SECURITY SYSTEM

I’m close to good shops and my friends live in nearby blocks

LOCAL SHOPS DIVERSITY RUBBISH DRUG PROBLEMS MAINTENANCE Providing housing choices that OVERCROWDINGCultivatingLIGHTING Creating spaces for meaningful and strengthening keep the current standards of citizen participation that engages social networks and bonds by access to health services, with multiple groups through supporting community-organized Above are the key issues raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used for further dialogue transportation and green spaces appropriate techniques, activities as well as safe and while improving the standards for comprehensible language and inclusive amenities. livability and accessibility that multiple strands of respond to the diverse needs of communication. residents. k we have engaged with 30 residents from the Regent’s Park Estate, from 10 countries with ages ranging from 11 to 81. This flat is too small and the walls are too There is five of us in the flat and thin just one toilet. It’s not enough

RELOCATION

CHOICE OF HOUSING

COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION

OVERCROWDING

COLLABORATION

With my mobility issues, I need YOUTH CLUBS TRANSPORT to live on the first floor especially as the lift is often broken

COLLABORATION

LIGHTING

MAINTENANCE

COLLABORATION

DRUG PROBLEMS

SCHOOLS

especially since I have a son with special needs EDUCATION AND TRAINING

CHOICE OF HOUSING

RUBBISH

GREEN SPACES

TRANSPORT

RODENTS

VIEWS

SECURITY SYSTEM

HEALTH CARE

HOUSING DENSITY

LIBRARY

RUBBISH

MAINTENANCE

OVERCROWDING

LIGHTING

DRUG PROBLEMS

QUIET DAYTIME

SECURITY SYSTEM

GREEN SPACES

VIEWS

RELOCATION

COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION

We all put money towards the park for the children

PEACEFUL

QUIET DAYTIME

HERITAGE AND CULTURE

FUTURE CONSTRUCTION

LOCAL SHOPS

HEALTH CARE

FUTURE CONSTRUCTION

LIVING WAGE

ACCESS

I can see Hampstead Heath and Highgate hill from my window, it’s a wonderful view

xperiences in the Regent’s Park estate

Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engages with multiple groups through

ACCESS

Illustrating dwelling experiences in the Regent’s Park estate

INTERIORS

VIEWS

I love to cook but my kitchen is too small

I look out of my window and can keep an eye on my kids as they play

INTERIORS

y issues, I need floor especially often broken

This flat is too small and the walls are too thin

HERITAGE AND CULTURE

PEACEFUL

es raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used for further dialogue

There is five of us in the flat and just one toilet. It’s not enough especially since I have a son with special needs

VIEWS

GREEN SPACES

I look out of my window and can keep an eye on my kids as they play

I can see Hampstead Heath and Highgate hill from my window, it’s a wonderful view HERITAGE AND CULTURE

PEACEFUL

SCHOOLS

LIBRARY

HOUSING DENSITY QUIET DAYTIME Equitable development based on fair market transactions, recognising local economic systems and nurturing values of dignity, peaceful coexistence and solidarity.

LIVING WAGE

I love to cook but my kitchen is too small HOUSING DENSITY

LIBRARY

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

YOUTH CLUBS

PRINCIPLES FOR THE REGENERATION OF THE REGENT’S PARK ESTATE LOCAL SHOPS

My neighbours are from Serbia, Italy, England... It’s so nice, we always have tea together

We are so well connected to buses, trains and the tube

Rats, Rats, Rats!!

I couldn’t understand the letter I received from the council about HS2

FUTURE CONSTRUCTION

DENSITY

The boundaries of the estate are the walls of my home

This is the forgotten part of Camden

Illustrating dwelling experiences in the Regent’s Park estate

DIVERSITY

LIVING WAGE

residents from the Regent’s Park Estate, from 10 countries with ages ranging from 11 to 81.

There are drug dealers outside my block

RODENTS

FUTURE CONSTRUCTION

COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION

I look out of my window and can keep an eye on my kids as they play

I work during the night. How will I be able to sleep in the day with the construction happening next door?

AND CULTURE

SOCIAL FABRIC

I can see Hampstead Heath and Highgate hill from my window, it’s a wonderful view

The library was a place for children to meet and study. For us to find information and feel connected

If we want this estate to work, we need to focus on our similarities not our differences

QUIET DAYTIME

I couldn’t understand the letter I received from the This flat is too small council about and the walls are too HS2

es raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used for further dialogue

ed about where I am to the UK 25 years r in my own country. ce I came to and the m a tenant in one of knocked down and I happen to me and my ally important to stay y and school where them there everyday, physical impairment for me to walk far. he surgery is really ave pains and I need for my medicine. I uments about the es, but I cannot y mean. Do you have mation for me?

DRUG PROBLEMS

LIGHTING

issues raised by the residents interpreted into icons that were used for further dialogue

AMENITIES

SERVICES

OVERCROWDING

MAINTENANCE

ACCESS

Above are the key

RUBBISH

INTERIORS

ODS

LOCAL SHOPS

VIEWS

DIVERSITY

VIEWS

gent’s Park Estate showing the location of residents that participated in the study

Providing housing choices that keep the current standards of access to health services,

29 Cultivating and strengthening social networks and bonds by supporting community-organized


Clockwise from above/ Outcomes of participatory photography exercises, views, open space and kitchen size were particularly important to residents.

Micro-story: do you have any information?

Micro-story: ageing in Regents Park Estate

“HS2? I am really worried about where I am going to live. I came to the UK 25 years ago, escaping the war in my own country. This was the first place I came to and the one I know well. I am a tenant in one of the blocks that will be knocked down and I am not sure what will happen to me and my family. For me, it is really important to stay close to the nursery and school where my children go. I walk them there every day, but I have a severe physical impairment that makes it difficult for me to walk far. Also, being close to the surgery is really important, as I often have pains and I need to get prescriptions for my medicine. I received many documents about the proposed changes, but I cannot understand what they mean. Do you have any further information for me?”

“I am going to miss this place very much. I live on the sixth floor and I have a wonderful view from my flat. I can see Highgate Hill – it’s beautiful, I like the sound of the trains and watching them, I am like a big kid with trains – I even remember when there were steam trains coming into Euston station. I am getting old and have trouble walking, and the lift is always breaking down so I really need a first floor flat – I don’t want to be on the ground floor because of the rats. I can tell you many stories about this place over the years I have lived in the area since I was a kid. You can be quite lonely here if you are by yourself, people don’t care like they used to, I am lucky to have a lot of friends here but everyone is worried about what is happening at Euston”. Micro-story 03

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Micro-story: living together “I am a Council tenant in Ainsdale, one of the blocks that HS2 want to demolish. I have been in this flat for 7 years with my daughter, but I grew up in Islington. I like the community feel of the estate – people greet you, there are many characters around and there’s always something that makes you laugh. It is also a very good location, not far from Central London, Camden Town and my daughter’s school in Great Portland Street. The estate is safe enough but can be a bit rough after dark. My daughter likes it and there are also kids and youth clubs that organise many activities and events for the young residents. I think that the estate itself is not very attractive because it’s all flats, nothing else. I would like more lighting, more care of the external spaces, and a solution to the rat problem! I like this flat, there is a good amount of space and it is at the ground floor with access to the garden and my daughter has her own bedroom. Camden Council installed new kitchens in 2013 because of the introduction

of new EU standards. It is nice but a bit of a waste of money, I also think it gives residents mixed messages about the plans for the area. I am not against HS2 and the regeneration plans, it could be helpful for the area, it has been good for Kings Cross. I am most worried about the construction period it’s going to be really disruptive I work nights and sleep in the day so if it’s noisy I won’t get any rest. I don’t mind moving - ideally within the estate - but I don’t think its right that Camden Council’s is building some of the replacement homes right by the construction site; I would like an option that suits my needs. I think that if the displaced residents had to bid again for the replacement homes this would put more pressure on the community and create conflicts. I am actually happy that I don’t own the house, if the plans will go ahead free holders probably won’t be able to afford living in the area anymore”.

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3 / Options

KEY QUESTIONS / What are the dwelling options being proposed by HS2 and Camden Council for residents affected by the changes in Euston Area? How are residents responding to the proposed plans and what are their strategies for reacting to them?

CURRENT PROPOSALS/SCENARIOS / “Camden faces a loose, loose situation from HS2 and it is appalling” (Sarah Hayward, Camden Council Leader) Although detailed impact assessments for the environmental conditions generated by HS2 construction have been undertaken, no meaningful studies into the social impact to the local community have been conducted by HS2 Ltd. In fact, the information provided by HS2 has been purposefully limited which has contributed to the uncertainty faced by residents. Camden Council’s Euston Area Plan has taken on board the current proposal by HS2, and have suggested alternatives in how the proposal can be integrated into a wider urban plan promoting connectivity, providing extra affordable housing and retaining green space. In their EAP Camden have committed to “securing long term benefits from station redevelopment for existing neighbouring communities and helping to mitigate the shorter term impacts of HS2”. To this end, Camden Council launched a competition to design the housing on the infill sites on the estate; the finalists had already been selected at the time of the workshop, and an event to 32

present the schemes to the residents was being organised. Camden Council have taken the decision that the construction of these blocks will happen even if HS2 doesn’t go ahead, with a waiting list of 25,000 people they cannot afford to lose these homes without replacements. These new blocks will further increase the building density in the estate and replace green areas, a positive attribute to the neighbourhood. During their workshop, many residents placed the view from their homes and access to outdoor areas as central features in residents’ dwelling aspirations. Camden Council has urged HS2 to take on board their proposals, but there is currently no sign that these will be considered. The compensation on the table for the effected communities is also in limbo, as currently only social residents whose homes will be destroyed are likely to receive an option for relocation in the area. Most recently, the Council has pproposed a compensation charter with the fair deal for London alliance focusing on fairer mechanisms for homeowners and businesses in the affected areas.

Opposite / Extract from Camden Council’s Euston Area Plan, showing infill housing sites.


h Hig en md Ca

t ee S tr

New public open space on deck above railway tracks

Mornington Crescent

Par

Residential developments on deck above railway tracks

ill k V ag

New station entrance on Hampstead Road with taxi pick-up and drop-off

e Ea

ers

d

a Ro

n

ho

go

lt

ly Po

Hampstead

t

Road

ree

St

King’s Cross ix en

o

Ph

ion

Varndell St.

n sto

t Sta

ad Ro Active retail frontages along Eversholt Street

ay cW

ri

Do

Relocated school facilities and/or mixed uses New public square to mark station entrance

Eu

Robert Street Clarence Garden

Commercial uses with active ground floor retail uses onto Euston Square Gardens and surrounding streets/ public realm

are

Potential location for re-provision of lost St. James’s Gardens

KEY EAST-WEST LINKS FROM EUSTON STATION TO REGENTS PARK

KEY EAST-WEST LINKS FROM EUSTON STATION TO KINGS CROSS/ ST. PANCRAS

Station entrance from Eversholt Street Ev

st Cumberland Market

St. Pancras International

Residential led mixed-use developments to the north of Euston station

um

Dr

n sto

St

oa nR

sto Eu

Active frontages and public realm improvements along Cobourg Street

Euston Square

New and improved crossings across Euston Road Extended and enhanced Drummond Street retaining its existing special character

BLOOMSBURY

ur t Co ad Ro

Great Portland Street

d

am enh Tott

Warren Street

Euston Square Gardens improvement including landscaping and enhanced connectivity

.

Eu

Munster Square

Longford Str e et

qu nS s sto den Eu Gar

t.

dS

n mo

Key east-west and north-south links

Station entrances

Indicative development blocks

Potential taxi drop-off/pick up locations

Main retail frontages

New / improved pedestrain / cycle crossings

Commercial / other active frontages

Replacement housing infill sites

Figure 3.1 : Overall spatial concept illustration

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REACTIONS/COUNTER-PROPOSALS / “This is the forgotten part of Camden� The outcome of the engagement activities indicated that residents were not opposed to change. There were many common issues that people wanted to improve in the estate that would advance their current conditions. The reaction to HS2 proposals were mixed but there was an acknowledgement that the new station and facilities could have a positive effect bringing more jobs and development to the area. The main concern was where the existing community fitted into these proposals. There was a general need for more transparency in the information presented and to allow residents to fully understand the options available to them. The charter proposed by London Citizens hopes to capture the voices of the effected communities and push towards a fairer model of regeneration that recognises the value of the current social fabric and capital. There are currently different groups representing the Regent’s Park estate and greater engagement and capacity building within these networks will allow the residents to have more of a voice in the process.

Opposite above/ Collating information from participatory exercises. Opposite below/ New housing development adjacent to Regents Park.

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4 / Principles

Based on the diagnosis of dwelling experiences and options, what alternative scenarios can be produced to stimulate the elaboration of dwelling alternatives in a manner that responds to the needs and aspirations of local residents? The group used the data gathered to develop a set of principles that best represented the aspirations of the residents. The principles recognise that some form of change is going to affect the Regent’s Park estate, and provide guidance on how change should be implemented.

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// dwelling

1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engages with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language and multiple strands of communication.

2/ Providing housing choices that keep the current standards of access to health services, transportation and green spaces while improving the standards for livability and accessibility that respond to the diverse needs of residents.

3/ Cultivating and strengthening social networks and bonds by supporting community-organized activities as well as safe and inclusive amenities. 4/ Equitable development based on fair market transactions, recognising local economic systems and nurturing values of dignity, peaceful coexistence and solidarity.

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Community

The Community scale is concerned with the neighbourhood scale, focusing on community dynamics in relation to neighbourhood spaces (streets, community spaces and surrounding areas) and infrastructure (transport, water, sanitation, energy, information). This scale interrogates the current conditions of these features, as well as the needs and aspirations that the residents attach to each of them. Subsequently, and drawing from this analysis, the group assesse the limitations and opportunities of the existing situation to assist in designing scenarios to inform future development plans. One of the objectives of this approach is to bridge societal processes with the morphological characteristics of space; hence the community group seeks to map the physical conditions of the area, while unpacking the values and perceptions the residents attach to it. Moreover, this scale aims to generate a clearer understanding of how socio-spatial processes are shaped by everyday life activities, and vice-versa. Equally important for this scale is to explore the meaning of community, and explore the multiplicity and heterogeneity within and among communities.

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39


“ There is enough personal space away from smoking, concrete, cafes and the buildings are obscured by trees so I feel less like I’m in a city ”

“ Last week we had a BBQ here with friends, it’s a nice place to meet new people. I asked a girl out when I was down here last... ”

ST JAMES’S GARDENS //COMMUNITY

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// Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts to Local Communities Removal of graves

For SALE

Unfair compensation and market transactions Pollution from construction site

Noise from construction site “ I work in Euston station and like having lunch here. It’s the closest green space to the station; it’s quiet and relaxing... ”

Loss of public space and playgrounds Loss of heritage

Loss of trees and green space

School disruption

Unsafe routes during construction

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1 / Introduction

St. James’ Gardens is tucked away off Cardington Street, to the west of Euston station, and is a former burial ground which opened in 1788. It became a public garden in 1887 and is now run by Camden Council. Current HS2 proposals will result in the loss of two thirds of the park. Using St. James’ Gardens as a case study, the community group aimed to understand how open space is utilised by local communities and what the limitations and opportunities in relation to this are. Through the case study of St. James’ Gardens, the Community group addressed collective dynamics in relation to the garden and other open spaces in the Euston area. The group focused on how the HS2 development is going to impact on open space and community amenities in the area by looking at existing circumstances and the impact of future development. The aim was to generate principles that address challenges and opportunities identified in both instances. The group first focused on understanding community experiences and using a number of participatory tools. These tools included walk and talks, semi-structured interviews, space observations and listening to personal stories, and sought to find answers to the following questions: What are the values and aspirations that local communities attach to St. James’ Gardens? How is St. James’ Gardens currently used as a community amenity and is it used to its full potential? How does St. James’ Gardens currently connect to other open spaces/community 42

amenities in the area? How are other open spaces used in the area? As mentioned, HS2 proposals, at the time of the workshop, would result in the permanent loss of two thirds of St. Jamess’ Gardens open space, but also half of the Hampstead Road open space. The whole of St. James’ Gardens, Hampstead Road open space, and Euston Square Gardens will be temporarily lost as they are likely to be required to construct the new railway lines and therefore will not be useable for approximately 10 years during the HS2 construction period. The group looked at the proposed open space options from HS2 and the Council, and sought to understand the following questions through open space mapping, participatory mapping, and research. What are the available options being considered by HS2 and Camden Council to replace open space and community amenities lost due to the station expansion? How are local communities responding to the proposed plans? Finally, the group then devised a set of principles based on the findings of their participatory engagement throughout the week, in particular dreaming activities that sought to explore alternatives for open space. Principles would be used to inform and shape future developments to create successful open space and community amenities in the local area.


Below, from top/ Entrance to St James Gardens with Euston Station behind; group mapping of green spaces.

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Clockwise from above/ Scenes from St James’ Garden showing public use and surrounding buildings, ASF-UK Workshop team, day 01 tour.

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2 / Experiences

DESCRIPTION / Through various activities and the use of a number of participatory tools of engagement the community group attempted to reveal narratives, relationships, and flows associated with how local communities value and use open space in their area. The process followed a trajectory of diagnosis, dreaming, defining through to refining, building on each stage of the process from information collected in the previous phase and analysis of the findings to inform the next steps. Diagnosis embraced initial insights gleaned on the first day of the workshop where an understanding of the importance of St. James’ Gardens was conveyed both by local residents and representatives of the Camden Council. The group spent a considerable portion of the next day observing users of the park, trying to gain a quantitative perspective for themselves. Initial perceptions of the gardens were that it was somewhat dark and gloomy, but these soon changed as the group spent more time in the park. Throughout the day the group observed a variety of users. Use included: short term, such as joggers and commuters; medium term, including dog walkers from the local area and people having their breakfast/ lunch, through to longer term use by a constantly changing group in one corner of the park and a number of people hanging out together for large portions of the day. Some of the group walked from St. James’ Gardens to Regents Park and other key open spaces in the neighbourhood to understand connectivity and the types of spaces available within walking distance for the majority of 46

residents. These included: local allotments and Cumberland Market; Muncaster Square and Clarence Gardens. Later in the day between 15h00 and 16h00 the same members of the team walked down Roberts’ Street, witnessing large numbers of school children walking home from the Netley School, talking, playing, walking alone, or accompanied by an adult. They all appeared to be local residents and were filtering back into housing in the Regents Park Estate. The road has an avenue of trees running down one side and forms a ‘green’ artery in the area, hosting local shops and cafés that cater for the community. Two members of the team spent a short while in the forecourt of Euston Station observing usage, before spending a bit of time on the eastern edge of the station trying to understand open space and occupation. The next stage of our diagnosis included rapid profiling and interviews. Members of the group asked people three questions: Where are you going and where did you come from? What route did you take? Are you a resident or in the area for work? If people had a bit more time then the questions moved onto finding out what people like and dislike about St. James’ Gardens, and what they would improve. Throughout the remainder of the day different members of the group engaged in semistructured interviews with various users of the park, to understand what value they hold to the space and how important the space was for them. Through the interviews and rapid profiling exercises, we established that quite a small


Above/ Euston Square Gardens, public use

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Micro-story: takeaway lunch

Micro-story: between shifts

A man sitting on one of the few benches eating his lunch on his own has been coming to St. James’ Gardens for six years. He says that he goes to all the parks in the area depending on how he’s feeling that day. He uses St. James’ Gardens particularly when he has bought something hot from the takeaway places locally as it’s the closest park. He also goes to St. Pancras Gardens, Tavistock Gardens, Brunswick Gardens, and St. George’s Gardens. He likes St. James’ Gardens and thinks it works well at the moment, although he thinks there should be more benches so more people could use it. Melissa Kinnear

A young woman sitting on her own early in the morning was eating her breakfast on one of the benches closest to the ball courts. She said that she works at the train station doing 7-hour shifts and comes here for most of her breaks. She drives to work from Essex and has free parking. She likes the park but feels that there should be more benches. She is a little bit worried about the guys hanging around drinking, but as they rarely speak to anybody except themselves, she is not overly bothered by them. Melissa Kinnear

Micro-story: clearing one’s head

A woman walking through the park first thing in the morning works nearby to St James’ Gardens at a primary school. She walks both ways every day from behind the Town Hall in Kings Cross. She is scared of dogs when they are off the lead and was terrified to walk through half the park on her own, as there was a dog off the lead at the time of the interview. She adamantly refuses to bring the children from the primary school to this park because of the dogs off the lead, even though it is the closest park to the school. Melissa Kinnear

A woman sitting on one of the benches frequently uses St. James’ Gardens and works in the local area and has done so for seven years. She enjoys St. James’ Gardens because it is a very simple park with trees, grass, dogs off leads, a basketball court, and open space. ‘It’s not particularly beautiful’ but it is a ‘green space’ with a few ‘sunny patches’ when the sun is out. However, she does not feel particularly comfortable in the space but she uses the park, primarily to escape her ‘cold office’ and the ‘screens’. She said the park is a nice place to ‘sit and chill’, ‘a place to hide’, ‘my little space near to where I work’ and to ‘clear my head’. She feels like it’s a small sanctuary away from the density of Euston and all the buildings and people smoking. Charles Palmer

Opposite/ St. James Garden view of trees

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Micro-story: beware of dog

Micro-story: a space of encounters One of a group of males who sit in the corner of the park spoke about the tension in the 80s that used to separate communities based on their ethnic background. He feels that St. James’ Gardens is a great space to meet new people and just have a simple chat with them. He believes that when someone enters into the park, any perceived boundaries attached to their background are diminished and no matter who you are, an office worker or student, the space invites you to possibly have a chance encounter and open dialogue which crosses social/economic barriers. He feels like St. James’ Gardens is his community park but he feels like it has been neglected, unlike other parks, which seem to be better maintained. Kathering Wong


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percentage of local people seemed to use the park during the week, other than as a shortcut. We also noted that quite a few people mentioned that St. James’ Gardens was only one of the open spaces they use in the area to have their lunch. This lead to further investigation of the variety of spaces to the east of Euston Square, adding to the mapping done to the west of the park previously executed. As part of the regeneration of the King’s Cross Station there has been substantial investment in a number of open spaces to meet a variety of users’ needs in the area. St. Pancras Gardens, a similar type of space to St James’ Gardens including many trees and grassy areas, is much larger in area and includes important landmarks: the Hardy Tree and the Tomb of Sir John Soane. Granary Square, recently completed, is more of a contemporary urban square and is similar in character to many of the regenerated squares across London. It includes hard landscaping, well-positioned trees, water fountains, benches, and a tiered seating area down to the canal. It hosts a

50

street food collective which has a rotating set of traders who set up daily and a number of restaurants and tea rooms adjacent to the square. It caters to a very particular section of London’s citizens including students, people who work in the area during the week and local residents on the weekend. In order to move from diagnosis to dreaming, the group managed to secure a spot at the local wellbeing festival, which was to be held in Cumberland Market on the Saturday all day. This community space is well used and has an adjacent community centre where multiple activities are organised. The intention for the day was to engage with as many children and parents as possible, aiming to understand the kinds of spaces they use and how they use them, where they live in relation to Cumberland Market and what their aspirations were for open space. To gather this information the stand included a few maps with key landmarks noted, stickers, post-it notes, sharpie marker pens, a dream ‘wall’ which had a number of questions and drawings included to encourage divergent thinking, and a variety of precedent


images of aspirational open spaces attached to balloons for further inspiration. The questions on the dream wall included: If you could have anything in an outdoor community space what would it be? How can we make the existing spaces better? How can we connect existing spaces and new spaces?What does a safe space mean for you? What is the best open space you’ve been to? Children and their parents visited the stand all day giving their thoughts and responses to the questions. It was a successful day as the group managed to speak with a wide variety of children from within the neighbourhood and gained useful insights into the kinds of activities and uses of the various open spaces. Moving into ‘defining’, the group assessed all of the information and findings from the first three days of the workshop. Through the ‘diagnosis’ and ‘dreaming’ stages of the research, it became clear that open spaces are critical to the wellbeing of a dense and diverse urban population. The group concluded that a variety of scales and types of space cater for

Above/ Example of new public space in Kings Cross. Below/ Wellbeing Festival in Cumberland Market.

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multiple users’ needs and that removing St. James’ Gardens would create a considerable vacuum within this community. St. James’ Gardens allows for a certain intensity of use, which has specific qualities that are hard to replicate in larger spaces or smaller spaces for defined activities.

FINDINGS: OPEN SPACE SCALES /

rose gardens. Through the personal stories collected by the Community group, it was obvious that each user attached different values to each scale of space. The value a parent held for the domestic scale type of open space was very different, but no less important, to that a young person held for the community scale type of open space.

From the activities described and the research undertaken a number of scales were identified in relation to open space provision, all of which are critical to holistically addressing the multiple and diverse needs of people within a neighbourhood. These scales include: The ‘domestic scale’: spaces such as Cumberland Market were identified as ‘domestic scale spaces’ where the space is a residential amenity space, used by mostly local residents on a daily basis for children playing, sport, hanging out with friends and weekend events. The ‘community scale’: spaces such as St James’ Gardens, a public open space used by the wider community including local residents, commuters and people working in the local area. This kind of space also performs as a local ‘green lung’ for the neighbourhood and a vital viewing aspect for people in adjacent buildings like the hotel and the offices facing out onto the gardens. The ‘metropolitan scale’: spaces such as Regents Park, which is used by the wider community of the city on a much larger scale, but also for local residents to use for special occasions like feeding the ducks with grandparents on the weekend, or visiting the 52

Opposite/ outcomes of participatory engagement activities at the Wellbeing Festival in Cumberland Gardens


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3 / Options

CURRENT PROPOSALS/SCENARIOS / While the main focus of the Community group was the use of existing open space and future aspirations for open space in the area, during the workshop the options available to, and in some cases, produced by local community groups to shape the future of community open space in the local area were also identified. Potential options have been proposed for the replacement St James’ Gardens by HS2, Camden Council, and the Pan Camden HS2 Alliance and include: HS2 options: As mentioned, the HS2 proposals will result in the permanent loss of two thirds of St James’ Gardens and half of the Hampstead Road open space. Proposed plans to replace St James’ Gardens at the time of the workshop involved pockets of smaller open space in the area, including an existing third of St James’ Gardens, located at what will be a busy station entrance. The Community group were not aware of proposals to provide temporary open space to replace that which would be lost during the approximate 10-year construction period. Camden Council options: As part of the Euston Area Plan (EAP), Camden Council have considered where St James’ Gardens could be re-provided should HS2 proposals go ahead. The EAP proposes the Maria Fidelis Lower School, currently located beside St James’ Gardens on North Gower Street, is relocated to its ‘upper school’ on Phoenix Road. This will then allow for St James’ Gardens to be reprovided on the lower school site. The EAP also proposes new railway cuttings are covered over and additional open space can be provided to the north of Euston. 54

Pan Camden HS2 Alliance: The Pan Camden Alliance is a non party-political volunteer group, formed in May 2010. The group’s aim is to comprehensively examine the underlying environmental, practical and business arguments put forward by HS2 Ltd for its choice of route and its justifications for its proposals. The Pan Camden Alliance has proposed a ‘Double-Deck Down’ solution, which is a multilevel station that will keep within the footprint of the existing station. As part of this proposal St James’ Gardens would be extended to the east, bringing it into the station forecourt in an attempt to address some current issues in the park and reinstate the park to its original size.

Opposite above/ 3D Visual produced by HS2 of the proposed station development. Below/ Extract from Camden Council’s Euston Area Plan showing public space strategy.


View of Euston station entrance from the north-west, adjacent Hampstead Road

Figure Number

LV-14-004

HS2 Ltd accept no responsibility for any circumstances, which arise from the reproduction of this map after alteration, amendment or abbreviation or if it is issued in part or issued incomplete in anyway.

Figure Name

Illustration of Euston Station: view from the north-west Community Forum Area CFA1: Euston - Station and Approach

Registered in England. Registration number 06791686. Registered office: Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU.

Š Crown copyright and database rights 2012 Ordnance Survey Licence Number 100049190

Doc Number:

C220-ARP-EV-SKE-01A-000006

Date: 01/11/13

Figure 3.13 Open space network illustration

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REACTIONS/COUNTER PROPOSALS / While most of our work related to existing open space provision and aspirations for future open space in the Euston area, some participants voiced their concerns regarding the current HS2 proposals for St. James’ Gardens. All felt the loss of the open space would have a significant negative impact on the area. It was felt the space, despite appearing to be underused, was a much-needed space and its historical importance would be a tragedy to lose. The main issue with proposed options, in particular the HS2 option, was the reduced amount of open space to be provided in future scenarios. It was not considered acceptable to replace the area lost with pockets of open space dotted throughout the local area. In addition to this, it was difficult for us to establish exactly how these would be implemented as a large number of ‘left over’ spaces adjacent to current housing blocks in the neighbourhood are the focus of possible replacement housing due to be lost as a consequence of the HS2 development.

Opposite/ Mapping public space and activities.

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4 / Principles

Principles were elaborated for the Dwelling, Community and City scales that could inform the creation of scenarios that respond to residents’ diverse aspirations and experiences. For the Community group the various scales of open space identified and the values users attach to these particular types of open space informed the elaboration of five principles for future changes and improvements. These principles are shown opposite. The first principle applies to all scales of the workshop: Dwelling, Community and City; and it aims to promote meaningful and appropriate engagement for all stakeholders. The remaining four principles refer to the Community scale, in particular open space provision. The overarching aim of the Community principles is to ensure a wide array of open space options is available and accessible to the local community to meet the open space needs and aspirations of a variety of stakeholders and to encourage social interaction. By preserving and enhancing the range of open space scales identified this will ensure the needs and aspirations of a diverse range of stakeholders can be met. Values attached to existing spaces can be kept, and enhanced where possible, by preserving these scales. However, not only do a variety of scales need to be provided but access to these open spaces needs to be ensured. Physical and social barriers should be removed in existing circumstances and avoided in future situations. Access can be encouraged through the promotion of connectivity where open spaces, existing and future, are connected through physical and safe networks promoting and encouraging the use of open spaces. 58

Finally, open space should not only meet individual needs and aspirations, but also provide a platform for social interaction creating true community spaces where groups and individuals can come together. By applying the principles to designs for future open space options there is the potential to inform the process based on current needs and aspirations of local communities and measure the success of these options.


// community 1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engage with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language and multiple strands of communication. 2/ Preserving and enhancing the availability of different scales of open spaces to accommodate diverse and multiple experiences and activities.

3/ Assuring the conditions for citizens to access open spaces and fulfill their diverse physical, social, cultural and generational needs. 4/ Promoting the connectivity between different open spaces to encourage prolonged and safe experiences of well-being. 5/ Encouraging social interaction in open spaces through events and spatial design to strengthen cross-community bonds and networks.

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City

The City scale focuses on citywide dynamics, and on the relations between individual sites or local areas, and their urban context – including infrastructural networks and ecosystems, as well as flows of people and goods. The scale aims to map the current state of these relations, and the values and aspirations that residents of specific localities attach to them. Based on this understanding, the City scale assesses how these relations can enable or limit various forms of local change, and how localised interventions can adapt to, challenge, or resist existing conditions and future projects for the city’s transformation. One of the key objectives of this approach is to unpack existing interdependencies between large-scale urban pressures and dynamics, and socio-spatial inequalities manifested at the micro scale – while exploring the potential of discrete actions in specific areas to respond to questions that can be considered relevant for the city. Moreover, this scale aims to generate understanding of long-term spatial trends, broad urban visions, and projectsin-the pipeline. These support the discussion of a set of citywide principles, seeking to inform precedent-setting interventions that may strategically illustrate more socially just forms of urbanism.

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“ I am worried about the construction phase. Small businesses will not be able to survive. The effects of HS2 are already being felt, with the press saying Drummond Street will be lost, people are not coming anymore of if they do they are surprised when they find us and our business still here. ” _shop owner “ I am worried about the cultural diversity in Drummond Street. How it will survive during the HS2 construction? We are a strong community! ” _employee

DRUMMOND STREET //CITY

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“ Drummond Street is famous to people for vegetarian Indian food because of Diwana and for Curry, so my dream is for people to close their eyes and be sure that coming to DS they will find a taste of India. ” _manager


// Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts to Local Communities Loss of heritage

Pollution from construction site

Noise from construction site

Loss of commmunitiy ties

For SALE

here ! shop

shop

Unfair compensation and market transactions Loss of visability

Breaking the unique typological diversity of shops Loss of jobs

“ We are team of 8 staff, all of Bengali origin, supporting 40+ people. If we lose our jobs we lose our livelihoods. ” _shop owner

Loss of local business

£

Loss of income

Displacement of families

“ The Drummond Street Ambala was the beginning of a business which now employs hundreds in shops and factories all over the UK. I am working here since 25 years ago. I live locally, my parent’s flat is under threat form HS2 ” _manager

Unsafe routes during construction

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1 / Introduction

Foreseen regeneration processes in the Euston area are expected to severely impact the livelihoods of local and family-run businesses located in Drummond Street, which is expected to be used as a transport corridor during the foreseen 10 to 20-year construction phase. While the implications of construction works have been pointed out by many, very little consultation has been carried out with Drummond Street traders to explore feasible alternatives to the current plan. At the same time, due to little communication, some traders have indicated a fear that Drummond Street is shutting down, and as such have already sought alternate premises for relocation . The City group focussed on this set of concerns, explicitly addressing the ways in which the proposed HS2 works may affect the system of livelihoods produced by the connections linking Drummond Street trades with the wider Somers Town and Regents Park wards, with Camden, and with London. The aim was to investigate such system of connections, to explore existing options for the future of Drummond Street, and to contribute to generating scenarios that address alternatives for this livelihood system in two time-scales: the meanwhile – the HS2 construction period, and the longer-term future – once the new HS2 station is operational. The group attempted to examine the impacts of the HS2 expansion project on Drummond Street’ livelihood system by addressing the following questions: What are the key connections and flows linking Drummond Street businesses to the street, the neighbourhood, and the city (economic 64

exchange, mutual aid, political action, etc.)? What are the values and aspirations that business-owners and workers attach to the existing connections between Drummond Street, its immediate context, and the city? In which ways are these connections going to be affected both during and after the project’s completion? Subsequently, and drawing from this analysis, the group looked at the proposed livelihood options from HS2 Ltd and Camden Council, and sought to understand the following questions through mapping and participatory mapping exercises, further interviews, and policy analysis: What are the available options being proposed by HS2, Camden Council, and other key stakeholders to sustain the system of livelihoods centred in Drummond Street? How aree the traders of Drummond Street responding to the proposed plans and what are their strategies for reacting to them? This work finally informed a set of design principles aimed at guiding alternative strategies and interventions that would preserve or nurture the system of livelihoods currently centred in Drummond Street, both during and after the project’s completion. In the course of seven days, workshop participants undertook an analysis of secondary sources, policies, and government documents relating to the impacts of HS2 on Drummond Street businesses, as well as fieldwork research. This consisted of keyinformant interviews with representatives from the Drummond Street Traders and Tenants &


Residents Associations, semi structured and in-depth interviews with 18 Drummond Street traders and workers, and flash-surveys and mapping and visioning activities with 80 users and passers-by. Throughout the workshop, the City group collated their information by mapping, as a means to spatialize and overlay the diverse sets of information gathered in the field and through the analysis of policy documents. As a working tool, different types of maps were generated in the process: a street profile highlighting all the existing shops and their owners; topological diagrams and topographical maps illustrating the connections between individual businesses/ business-owners; visualisations of clients’ flows and the destinations of passers-by. This work was particularly important as it allowed to

connect the findings of one-to-one interviews/ conversations, and offer them for discussion within the group, with the whole workshop team, as well as with the street’s traders and residents.

Below/ Mapping businesses in Drummond Street.

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1 / Introduction; Focus and Methodology

Clockwise from above/ View from Drummond Street towards Euston Station; examples of local businesses; Euston Mosque; street scenes.

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2 / Experiences

“We worked so hard to build up a community over the years” The activities run by the City group revealed that livelihood systems in Drummond Street operate on at least three different scales. The day-to-day exchanges between traders have nurtured a social support and mutual aid network that is particularly manifest among the owners and managers of the street’s oldest businesses. Over the past 30 years, these relations have gradually contributed to generating an interconnected system, which has been pivotal in supporting the longterm Bengali Muslim community living in the surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as in building the community’s relations with other groups in Euston. Finally, while performing a key role in promoting local development, this network of relationships has also articulated bonds at the wider urban, national, and international scales, generating flows of people and resources across London as well as the country and beyond. Street Interviews revealed strong examples of mutual aid taking place between the street’s traders. These included business-related exchanges as well as different forms of personal support. One of the street’s shop owners explained: “Among us traders we really work together – in the sense that we help each other, but through a kind of indirect help: for instance neighbours will recommend my shop”. Mutual aid dynamics are also at the origin of the Traders Association, which has now been active for over twenty years and has been playing an important part in mobilising traders around 68

the Stop-HS2 campaign. Apart from defending the interests of local businesses vis-à-vis the ongoing challenges presented by the HS2 plans, the network also consolidates around collective initiatives and plans for the future. One trader commented: “We were thinking of doing a food festival this year, but we haven’t had the time to organize it. We are planning it for next summer now”. Neighbourhood Such links among traders have been pivotal in crafting the role that Drummond Street holds within the wider Euston area. One of the traders who owns the most established businesses in the street described these relations as grounded in their common bonds to the local area: “We have such a strong sense of belonging because we grew up in the neighbourhood”. As emerged in the interviews, and documented by many the Euston area has seen youth gangs fighting in the streets since the late 1980s, with conflicts exacerbating in the 1990s between Bengali and English groups living in Regents Park Estate and Somers Town, and later extending to other local minority groups. As one of the key informants underlined, residents of West Euston in particular could not be considered a ‘community’ until very recently, and the now peaceful relations among different ethnic and age groups have been built through the shared efforts of residents and public authorities. Within this context, what is now formalised as the Drummond Street Traders Association played with others an important role. During a long interview at his restaurant, one of the business owners explained how Bengali


Above/ Mapping exercises Below: Participatory engagement activity

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traders came together for the first time to organise a local Football League. This was deliberately aimed at keeping children and youth off the streets, and later expanded into a wider sport network involving several groups north and south of Euston Road. Among the related episodes we were told during the workshop, was the organisation of the Regents Park Estate’s Bengali football team’s tour of Bangladesh, also financed and organised by Drummond Street traders as a means to expose British-Bangladeshi boys living in Euston to their families’ places and culture of origin. Similarly, Drummond Street traders played a part in re-employing local youth who worked at the Turkish Baths in Euston Road, when these closed and left a dozen people unemployed. Finally, several contributors to the Association also emphasised the financial support they provide to the local Mosque, and their active engagement with the Bengali Workers’ Association (BWA) as well as the Surma Community Centre where the BWA is based. Interviews thus revealed not only the importance of community networks in helping to secure the traders’ livelihoods, but also the direct and indirect impact of local businesses on community life, based on cultural heritage as well as existing bonds and relationships. City and beyond Such role of the Traders Association and Drummond Street economy in general has greatly benefitted from the street’s location next to Euston Station, as well as to largescale workplaces such as University College London’s facilities. All the interviewed traders identified passers-by to/from Euston among 70

their main clients, together with students and staff from UCL and the neighbouring Regent’s Place offices. During the workshop, participants conducted a series of activities aimed at identifying key users of the area. Flash-interviews and mapping exercises with passers-by reinforced the understanding that the users of Drummond Street restaurants and shops come not only from the neighbourhood, but also from other areas of the city, country, and further afield. Among others, one of the ladies who was interviewed during the week highlighted that although she has relocated from London to Cambridge, she stills buys her spices in Drummond Street and takes a chance to visit the neighbourhood’s shops every time she is in town. Another passer-by, living in Mumbai and doing business in the City, also highlighted that he regularly eats in Drummond Street whilst in London. Finally several users showed us their tourist guides, describing some of the street’s restaurants among the top choices for central London. As discussed by founder Jo Hurford in her introduction to the workshop, this strong identity of Drummond Street as a citywide, international destination was used by the Save Drummond Street group on Facebook as a means to draw attention to the overall area – starting by raising awareness among the many clients of Drummond Street’s spice shops and curry restaurants.At the same time, however, interviews with non-Bengali shop owners in the street also revealed that the traders who do not share the same background or history run the risk of being under-represented in conversations with HS2 Ltd and the Council. Hence some of the business-owners highlighted the importance of keeping working


Below/ mapping activity flows on Drummond Street.

on the existing as well as possible forms of representation in the processes of negotiation. Finally, although this was not the focus of the investigation, the City group found that several other organisations are taking part IN debates around the future of Drummond Street. Among

those, the most prominent is the Drummond Street Traders and Residents Association. Although these groups are familiar with each other’s existence, it is important to notice that the institutional relations among them are very weak.

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This page and opposite/ Micro stories from Drummond Street traders

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3 / Options

“To date, HS2 Ltd has treated us with complete disdain. Their consultation process has been a sham. Blight is already apparent. We are reluctant to invest in our businesses given the uncertainties that we face” Both the Traders Association and the Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) are members of the HS2 Action Group, established in 2014 as a successor to the Community Forum previously established by HS2 Ltd in 2012. Following the dissolution of the Community Forum by HS2 Ltd in 2013 and no further announcements on a replacement form of public engagement, the Action Group has stated that, “the members of the Forum found the consultation process to be extremely frustrating. They were unable to identify any effective outcomes” (from the Petition presented by the HS2 Action Group against the High Speed Rail Bill). The prevailing sense that traders had not been involved in the development or appraisal of any feasible alternative scenarios to the proposed HS2 project meant that both the Traders’ Association and TRA were easily cast into a firm ‘anti-HS2’ role in public debates. During the workshop, the City group found that this polarisation of their position was in fact contrary to the views of many traders, who acknowledge considerable potential benefit from increased pedestrian traffic as a result of the new station development, but are also particularly concerned about the impact of the construction period on the Street and their businesses.

CURRENT PROPOSALS/SCENARIOS / “I can only access information about HS2 from the Drummond Street Traders Association. It’s difficult to understand the proposal as it keeps changing” According to current HS2 proposals, throughout the construction period, residents in Cobourg Street will look directly out onto a high separation wall that will be constructed down the centre of their street. This will cut off the Drummond Street traders from passengers in Euston station, a major source of their custom. The plans for Euston station initially released by HS2 Ltd in April 2013, and reflected in the Environmental Statement and Hybrid Bill submitted to parliament in November 2013, are based on the expansion of the station to the west, in the direction of Drummond Street. According to these plans, Drummond Street buildings to the East of Cobourg Street, containing a hotel and camera shop on the Street itself, as well as a pub, residences, and offices to the South, will be demolished and new entrances to the station created along Cobourg Street. Proposals for the construction of the new terminus include the erection of boundary hoardings along Corburg Street, effectively cutting Drummond Street off from the station, and the use of the street as an access corridor for construction traffic approaching the works site. Additionally, though the Environmental Statement was premised on works being executed between 2015 and 2026. HS2 Ltd has since suggested that with ‘HS2 Plus’, work is likely to continue until 2034, with the implication of 18 years of severe disruption. Traders’ fears over the impact of the HS2

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Below/ View of Drummond Street and Regent’s Place development.

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project are compounded by uncertainty. One attempt to control the process of development has been Camden Council’s Euston Area Plan (EAP) published in draft in January 2014 and adopted in January 2015. Consultation on the EAP revealed that its lack of specific policies for protecting existing businesses and limited agency with respect to the actual HS2 development meant that it provided little reassurance. The plan also failed to address the key concern of Drummond Street traders by acknowledging but offering no strategy to mitigate the impact of construction works. The plan states that, “Camden Council is working with HS2 to identify appropriate measures to mitigate any potential impacts in order to secure the long term commercial viability of the street”. This fails to take into account the fragility of the networked system, focussing instead on ‘long term viability’. Camden Council also submitted a Mitigation Request List to HS2 Ltd in April 2014, which contained proposals to address the level of uncertainty, as well as presumed loss of business during the construction period and disruption from construction traffic. These included improved communications with traders to allow for better business planning and investment, marketing and promotion of businesses to maintain footfall, and physical improvements to buildings to mitigate impacts of construction traffic. A number of proposals are focussed on using HS2 as expert advisors to build the capacity of the Traders Association to support businesses.

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REACTIONS/COUNTER PROPOSALS / “Some of the Drummond Street traders do not fully engage with the process or realise its full impact. We have received support from the Council but not in specific terms, what we really need is rent or rates relief to offset the loss of business” Some traders have reacted to the Council’s response to HS2 by suggesting that they are lower priority after social tenants and other residents. During the workshop, several interviewees explained that a number of businesses on Drummond Street lease premises from the Council, and feel that they should receive a compensation offer such as rent discount, or flexibility in lease arrangements. Others suggested that they should be awarded a reduction in business rates for the duration of the project, in order to offset the loss in business revenue. In particular, it was noted by several shopowners that the current arrangements sought by Camden Council are likely to be insufficient to protect the scale of business typical in Drummond Street. Whilst outlets of now larger companies such as Ambala could be expected to see through the difficult period and reap benefits afterwards, most businesses expect that the immediacy of losses would force them to move, indeed some traders had already left, and others have reported a drop in business as a result of publicity of the loss of the street. It emerged during conversations that the traders’ requests of HS2 are more focussed on direct financial support from HS2, such as by establishing a community benefit fund to provide the support required by the network of interdependent small businesses.


In reaction to the lack of engagement and diminished sense of agency in the face of HS2 proposals, several traders spoke of the possibility of legal challenges as “the only way to make them listen� but also noted that they have limited resources for this and despite the support of the Council, are presently depending on legal aid funding. In the course of fieldwork, the City group met twice with representatives of the Tenants and Residents Association. The TRA is generally in support of the Double Deck Down proposal promoted by the Pan-Camden HS2 Alliance, as this would allow the boundary of the station to remain in its current location instead of being relocated westwards to Cobourg Street. It also asks for compensation arrangements sufficient to allow residents to relocate for the duration of the works.

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4 / Principles

Principles were elaborated for the Dwelling, Community, and City scales that could inform the creation of scenarios that respond to residents’ diverse aspirations and experiences. For the City group, the connection among traders and workers, their relations to the neighbourhood and the city, and the values that they attach to these bonds, informed the elaboration of five principles for future transformation of the area. These principles are shown opposite. The first principle applies to all scales of the workshop: Dwelling, Community and City; it aims to promote meaningful and appropriate engagement for all stakeholders. The remaining four principles refer to the City scale, with a strong emphasis on the livelihood systems of Drummond Street. The underlying idea of the City principles is that existing social and economic relations in the street are vital to its capacity to flourish, and are intertwined with the history as well as present needs and aspirations of a much wider set of individuals and groups living in the Euston area. Preserving and enhancing the role of this network of relations should thus be considered as something strategic that concerns everyone in the area. In order to preserve this network, it is paramount that future projects create the conditions for small and medium-scale enterprise to stay in such an increasingly central location. This implies that the longterm affordability of business space should be taken into consideration, as well the visibility of businesses (e.g. during the construction of the HS2 terminus), the protection of smallscale shops from sound and air pollution (for instance, deriving from construction 78

activities), and the provision of infrastructure such as public space and parking facilities. These conditions should be met in particular consideration of the businesses that are already present in the area, and their existing bonds to the neighbourhood. Finally, it is important to acknowledge that large-scale regeneration projects such as the one proposed by HS2 can have different impacts at different times, and special attention should be given to ensuring that small-scale businesses can survive the longterm transformation processes and benefit from them. It is important that such massive interventions are observed as processes, within a short-term and medium-term time framework, rather than just debated in their distant long-term effects. By applying the principles to designs for future livelihood options there is the potential to inform the process based on current needs and aspirations of local communities and measure the success of these options.


// CITY 1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engage with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language, and multiple strands of communication. 2/ Preserving and nurturing livelihood networks that recognise existing bonds locally, across the city and internationally. 3/ Assuring the conditions for small and medium enterprises to run viable and profitable business by guaranteeing affordable spaces, amenable environment, street-level visibility, and accessibility. 4/ Recognising the intangible heritage of Drummond Street businesses to safeguard existing networks, and harness the social and economic potentials of the unique local identity. 5/ Tailoring processes of urban change to the scale and pace of local livelihood systems, by considering both the shortand long-term limitations and opportunities created by development interventions.

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// CITY

80


// community

// dwelling

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Integrated Principles

// dwelling

1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engages with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language and multiple strands of communication. 2/ Providing housing choices that keep the current standards of access to health services, transportation and green spaces while improving the standards for livability and accessibility that respond to the diverse needs of residents. 3/ Cultivating and strengthening social networks and bonds by supporting community-organized activities as well as safe and inclusive amenities.

4/ Equitable development based on fair market transactions, recognising local economic systems and nurturing values of dignity, peaceful coexistence and solidarity.

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// community

// CITY

1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engage with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language and multiple strands of communication.

1/ Creating spaces for meaningful citizen participation that engage with multiple groups through appropriate techniques, comprehensible language, and multiple strands of communication.

2/ Preserving and enhancing the availability of different scales of open spaces to accommodate diverse and multiple experiences and activities.

2/ Preserving and nurturing livelihood networks that recognise existing bonds locally, across the city and internationally.

3/ Assuring the conditions for citizens to access open spaces and fulfill their diverse physical, social, cultural and generational needs.

3/ Assuring the conditions for small and medium enterprises to run viable and profitable business by guaranteeing affordable spaces, amenable environment, street-level visibility, and accessibility.

4/ Promoting the connectivity between different open spaces to encourage prolonged and safe experiences of wellbeing.

4/ Recognising the intangible heritage of Drummond Street businesses to safeguard existing networks, and harness the social and economic potentials of the unique local identity.

5/ Encouraging social interaction in open spaces through events and spatial design to strengthen cross-community bonds and networks.

5/ Tailoring processes of urban change to the scale and pace of local livelihood systems, by considering both the short- and long-term limitations and opportunities created by development interventions. 83


Conclusions

This report has explored the process and findings of a participatory design workshop held in London in September 2014. Building on ongoing work by the Citizens UK network, and Camden Citizens in particular, the workshop sought to use participatory design and planning methodologies as a means to investigate and explicitly articulate the aspirations of local residents and business-owners with regards to future large-scale interventions in the Euston area. The process of engagement revealed that there is strong opposition to the ways in which the redevelopment of the Euston station and its surroundings have been articulated throughout the HS2 debates and by HS2 Ltd specifically. At the same time it revealed that the many communities living and working in the proximity of the station have the interest and capacity to engage in a productive debate around possible alternatives to and for the implementation of the new HS2 terminus in Euston, and the transformation of their neighbourhood more in general. This leads to the first key theme emerging from the workshop, which concerns the need to depolarise the debate over the impacts of HS2, and explore what are the existing and desired options for local residents and businesses that might be affected by the project. The need to think about the future of the area was voiced in different forms during the time of our involvement. For instance, as a desire to improve the overall provision and existing conditions of affordable housing in Camden; as a wish to enhance the quality and diversity of green spaces; as a demand to improve the support available to small businesses, so that they can maintain their activities despite the pressure of large-scale competitors. The outcomes of the workshop question the direction of change being advanced by the current HS2 project, rather than the need for change itself. What emerges is the pressing need to critically explore if and how the HS2 redevelopment could actually do good to local communities, beyond the mainstream narrative emphasizing the economic benefits of any capital-intensive mega-project. The workshop put into focus an existing demand for meaningful participatory processes exploring a multiplicity of options for the ways in which the HS2 project will relate to local communities – where the diverse aspirations of residents and business-owners can be included in large-scale envisioning processes, and large-scale actors can be 84

Opposite and in the following pages/ St Mary’s Church, presentation of the workshop’s preliminary findings to stakeholders and community.


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held accountable to respond to such multiplicity of expectations. This leads in turn to a second theme that was key to this workshop, which is the production of long-term urban visions for the Euston area beyond the HS2 redevelopment, and the processes of dialogue and negotiation that need to take place around those visions. The workshop and this report have used ongoing proposals and contestations around HS2 as a way to trigger collective thinking about the future, and to unleash alternative visions for the area in general. The report thus strongly highlights that the focus of conversations needs to shift to understanding the Euston area’s current situation and future potential. A third theme emerged through the workshop concerns the meaning and practice of urban regeneration, and the report ultimately articulates a variety of ways to reconfigure the practice of regeneration in a way that will offer more inclusive processes and equitable outcomes. The aim of this work is to support Citizens UK and the residents of the Euston area in articulating their own alternative imaginaries, and forwarding different visions of change for their city that show additional ways of going about the regeneration of inner city sites. This is in tune with the ongoing work of Camden Citizens, aiming to elaborate a Charter of principles that should guide the process of renewal in the area. As detailed by the design principles within each section of the report, this understanding of regeneration prioritizes existing actors, places, and activities, their present needs and potentialities, and their trajectories towards the future. This attempts to create a vision of urban regeneration processes not as an object that can be designed at once, but rather as a space of negotiation that needs to be discussed from the diverse perspectives of local residents and other communities connected to the area, and that needs to set in motion many further conversations, networks, and interactions. This approach leads us to also highlight what are the limitations of our work and this report. Although carefully design and constructed in its themes, supporting networks, and activities, the Change by Design workshop presented here consisted of a one-week engagement, which cannot be taken as an example of how urban regeneration processes can be conducted otherwise. Moving within the restricted timeframe of the project, many voices were not heard and many controversies were not intersected or articulated as they could. However at the same 86


time, we hope that this workshop can be understood as a precedent, demonstrating other ways of approaching urban regeneration, and other ways of mediating between the large-scale projects and local aspirations – generating new spaces of negotiation across the many sites and communities involved. At the same time the workshop firmly sits within the ongoing activities of Citizens UK, and of the Bartlett Development Planning Unit supporting them, and hopes to contribute to finding new ways for our partners to articulate their visions for Euston. Finally, within the trajectory of the ASF-UK Change by Design programme itself, the workshop opens a new strand focussing on the processes of inner city regeneration – learning from our previous work on informal settlements upgrading, while simultaneously building a complementary entry point into the attempt to operationalize the right to the city and the principles of equitable and sustainable urban change. The next workshop to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, will learn from this experience and hopefully advance these reflections.

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This page / St Mary’s Church hall, presentation of workshop outcomes to stakeholders and community, panel debate with representative from Citizens UK.

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This page / St Mary’s Church hall, panel discussion with representative from ASFUK, Citizens UK, Regents Park residents, and Camden Council.

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Change by Design Collective imaginations for contested sites in Euston WORKSHOP REPORT (2014)

authors

edited by collaborators

graphic design Š

Published by

ISBN

90

Alexandre Apsan Frediani Beatrice De Carli Naomi Shinkins Melissa Kinnear Sophie Morley Anthony Powis Sophie Morley Mona An Shah Giulia Bravo Francesca Giangrande Gloria Gusmaroli Rubbina Karruna Yousof Khan Stacey Lewis Charles Palmer Amelia Rule Michaela Usai Frederick Van Amstel Katherine Wong Emily Wright Sophie Morley and Beatrice De Carli The Authors, 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrival system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the Authors. Architecture Sans Frontières UK The Old Music Hall 106-108 Cowley Road Oxford OX4 1JE 978-0-9928093-4-8


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, This report outlines the findings of a seven day participatory design workshop undertaken by Architecture Sans FrontièresUK (ASF-UK) from September 10 to 16, 2014 in London. In this fifth installment of the Change by Design workshops, ASF-UK worked with London Citizens and local stakeholders to explore the impact of large-scale development and regeneration in London on local communities in the context of the large scale HS2 (High Speed Rail) development proposals for Euston Station. Building on participatory design tools developed in previous Change by Design engagements, the workshop aimed to strengthen the negotiation capacity of community groups in bringing about positive change to local residents in the Euston area and to generate community-led principles that would reinforce the Citizens Charter being elaborated by Citizens UK and Camden Citizens specifically. These principles strive to advance positive outcomes of the proposed future development, focusing on the Euston Area Plan developed by the Camden Council and the proposed HS2 rail link in the Euston area.

Change by Design, Collective imaginations for contested sites in Euston  
Change by Design, Collective imaginations for contested sites in Euston  
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