Recode Alley Links

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RECODE ALLEY LINKS



ALLEY LINKS This report has been compiled by CLEAR VILLAGE for the Friends of Down Lane Park and the CABE Team at the Design Council in collaboration with

supported by

Report date: April 2013


“there is real aspiration to see the area improved in terms of its attractiveness and through creative design.” © Design Council / Ashley Bingham

Friends of down lane park bid for DEsign your neighbourhood grant

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EXEC RECODE SUMM

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. INTRODUCTION

2. STREET SURVEY

Alley Links is an ambitious community-led project to transform 6 run-down alleys in Tottenham and contribute to wider regeneration efforts through participatory design. The project was conceived by the Friends of Down Lane Park (FDLP) in summer 2012. It was the only London-based project selected for inclusion in the Design Council’s ‘Design Your Neighbourhood’ (DYN) programme, which provided grant funding and also connected FDLP to Clear Village as a local design partner. This document reports on project activities within the DYN Grant Agreement.

The street survey5 was carried out in December 2012. The aim was to identify what local people think of the alleys and what sort of improvements they would like to see, as well as to compare this information with quantitative footfall data on how the alleys are currently used. In total, 98 local residents, shop owners and visitors to the area were interviewed.

Alley Links aims to contribute to some of the key goals of Haringey Council’s social, economic and spatial policies such as the Sustainable Community Strategy1, the Local Plan2, the “Smarter Travel” initiative3 and the “40:20” initiative4.

© clear-village.org 2013

The 6 alleys addressed by the project currently face a variety of challenges. The streetscape- including pavements, lighting and public furniture- is poor. And in addition the area suffers from high rates of criminal and antisocial behaviour, such as public drinking, drug dealing and abuse, and theft and robberies.

The survey led to a number of clear conclusions. Firstly, the alleys are at present primarily used as a transit route and only Holcombe Road market is viewed as a destination in its own right. Secondly, the alleys lack a cohesive identity and are at best perceived as rather featureless routes that are ‘convenient’ and ‘all right’. And thirdly, negative perceptions about the alleys far outweigh the positive, with particularly strong concerns about safety. The potential improvements that people suggested during the survey strongly mirrored their safety concerns, with common improvement suggestions focusing on matters such as better lighting, more CCTV cameras, and greater police presence.

Clear Village and FDLP collaboratively worked on the project from December 2012 to March 2013. The work consisted of three distinct steps: a street survey, a series of participatory design labs, and strategic scenario planning based on the survey and lab findings. The work was carried out in close collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group, Haringey Council, the GLA and above all the local community. 1

Sustainable Community Strategy 2007-2016, on www.haringey.gov.uk/sustainable-community-strategy

2

The Local Plan: Strategic Policies (approved 18 March 2013) on www.haringey.gov.uk/index/housing_and_ planning/planning-mainpage/policy_and_projects/local_development_framework/local_plan_adoption.htm

3

Haringey Smarter Travel Initiative on http://www.haringey.gov.uk/smartertravel

4

Haringey 40:20 initiative on http://www.haringey4020.org.uk/ 6


EXEC SUMM

3. LAB SERIES The Alley Links lab series6 took place at the end of January and the beginning of February 2013. Held under the transition brand “Our Alleys”, the labs offered a range of facilitated exercises to build excitement about the project and gather ideas for improvement by tapping into the spontaneous creativity of the local community. In total, more than 150 people participated in the labs, including the Mayor of Haringey, David Browne, and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Alan Strickland.

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RECODE

The labs resulted in a wealth of ideas on how to improve the alleys. In line with the findings from the street survey, there was a strong desire for design interventions that address safety concerns in the alleys. Better lighting was generally viewed as the most desirable and effective intervention in this respect. On the other hand, the labs also showed a widespread desire to turn the alleys into a more inviting and usable space, with ideas ranging from greening, to paving, to multiple forms of (street) art, to providing community facilities which could also help to address some of the community’s broader needs and aspirations.

www.clear-village.org/our-work/projects/alleylinks/survey-results www.clear-village.org/our-work/projects/alleylinks/labs

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4. DESIGN SCENARIOS Building on the findings from the survey and the labs, 4 design scenarios were developed. Each of these scenarios integrates community input from a different conceptual angle and places it into an overall strategic framework which combines shortterm and long-term components to score quick wins and achieve durable change. + Scenario 1 -Eclectic alleys is based on the idea that the alleys currently lack a sense of identity. To address this, the scenario proposes to create a distinct identity or brand for each of the alleys, which builds on the specific characteristics of the alleys and incorporates a variety of suggestions sourced during the labs. + Scenario 2 -Decorative lighting as a changemaker aims to introduce a common identity for the alleys by means of decorative lighting. It would thus be a direct response to the widespread demand for increased safety and take the most frequently mentioned idea during the survey and labs, i.e. lighting, as its leading theme.

+ Scenario 4 -Cultural alleys proposes to improve lighting throughout the alleys, whilst also opening up Brook Street and Holcombe Road market as a large community space and carrying out a number of smaller interventions in the other alleys. This scenario incorporates elements from the other scenarios, but avoids some of their risks by not only focusing on one type of intervention. As such, it is the Clear Village-recommended option.

“The alleys should be made more colourful and light.” “There should be more events happening. Music events would be nice because it brings people together. There should also BE more events for kids”

© clear-village.org 2013

“Lights are a mood changer“ + Scenario 3 -Alleys as a community space proposes to turn the alleys into a lively community space, with Holcombe Road market and Brook Street at its centre. By creating high-profile community facilities in a new central area, the scenario aims to create a ripple effect of community-driven change in the other alleys.

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“We could grow plants in pots on the Stoneleigh Road parking and spread them around the alleys.” Ideas from lab participants for the alleys


5. ROADMAP The proposed interventions in Scenario 4- Cultural alleys- consist of two major interventions and a number of smaller ones. The major interventions are: + improved lighting throughout the alleys and + creating a new public space for community use by linking Holcombe Road market with Brook Street. The smaller interventions for each of the alleys fall into two distinct categories: “safe and clean” interventions which address concerns about the alleys being unsafe and dirty, and “community layer” interventions which aim to establish the alleys as a community destination.

Lighting would be substantially improved in all the alleys, partly to increase safety and partly as an artistic/cultural element. For this purpose, an overhead grid would be installed in the alleys, consisting of galvanised or stainless steel cables suspended over the alleys and fixed to the alley walls. The grid would accommodate different artistic/cultural light projects and make for a striking feature which is repeated in all the alleys and thus helps to brand and promote the alleys as a single public space.

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Summer 2013

Autumn 2013

ALBERT PLACE

HOLCOMBE ROAD BROOK STREET

FACTORY LANE STONELEIGH COURT STONELEIGH ROAD (south)

Š clear-village.org 2013

Smaller interventions proposed by the scenario include: enhancing the feeling of intimacy in Stoneleigh Court, upgrading Factory Lane and Stoneleigh Road as attractive transit routes, and establishing Albert Place as a community art space by opening up the Beehive Garden and setting up false walls that serve as an open-air exhibition space.

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ING HT

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PED

PED

Brook Street and Holcombe Road would be opened up as a single community space. The main interventions would be to remove the fences between Brook Street and Holcombe Road market and to bring into public use the parking area of the Law Centre and the area behind Bet Fred and the post office. These measures would create a large public space which would be enhanced with smaller initiatives such as putting up planters, new public furniture, and a memorial sign for the former burial ground in Brook Street.

LIG

LIG

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IVITIES

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Spring 2013

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In view of the recent allocation of a 200k budget for improvements in the alleys by the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group, a roadmap has been developed by the project partners to deliver all the proposed interventions in this scenario by the end of 2013. Taken together, they form a holistic plan to improve the alleys based on the ideas and suggestions provided by the local community in the course of this highly collaborative project.


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Š clear-village.org 2013


CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 2: SURVEY RESULTS INTERMEZZO: INSPIRATION CASES CHAPTER 3: OUR ALLEYS LABS CHAPTER 4: SCENARIO DESIGN CHAPTER 5: DETAILED INTERVENTIONS AND ROADMAP

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Š Design Council / Ashley Bingham

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INTRO

RECODE

INTRODUCTION Alley Links is an ambitious community-led project to transform 6 run-down alleys in post-riot Tottenham through participatory design. It aims to contribute to wider efforts to improve Tottenham’s image by creating ripple effects of change which can alter the general perception of the area and build momentum for further regeneration efforts. Conceived by the Friends of Down Lane Park (FDLP) in summer 2012, Alley Links was the only Londonbased project selected by the CABE team at the Design Council for inclusion in the prestigious Design Your Neighbourhood (DYN) programme. As well as providing grant funding, the programme linked FDLP to Clear Village as a local design partner who could provide the necessary (participatory) design expertise to help FDLP vision their ambitions together with the community. Explaining its support of Alley Links, the CABE team pointed out that

“this is an area with a poor public realm where better design could make a huge difference to improving people’s lives. The local authority is very supportive and there is funding available to turn the community’s design aspirations into real action.”

From December 2012 to March 2013 Clear Village and FDLP collaboratively worked on the project activities set out in the DYN grant agreement. The activities fell into three distinct steps: + a street survey to assess challenges and opportunities in the alleys + a series of participatory design labs to engage the local community and source ideas for improvements + and strategic scenario planning based on the survey and lab results to develop an optimal roadmap to transform the alleys in line with broader community needs and aspirations. This RECODE report provides a detailed account of the project activities within the DYN grant agreement. As such, it is intended to serve as a foundation and guide for the next project phase, which will see real change being implemented in the alleys hand in hand with the local community, the members of the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group, Haringey Council and the GLA. Additionally, the report aims to offer a replicable process model that can be applied in other places where public realm is neglected and local communities suffer from multiple deprivations. At a time when many places are suffering from resource constraints on the one hand and increasing social, economic and environmental challenges on the other, it is all the more important to tap into one of the most underused assets of all: the willingness and capacity of local communities to rally around positive action and reclaim authority over how their surroundings should look and how they should be managed. The Alley Links project aims to serve as a powerful illustration of how this may be achieved.

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THE ALLEYS IN TOTTENHAM The 6 alleys addressed in the Alley Links project are located in one of the most dynamic areas of Tottenham. At present, they are viewed by many as a commuter route and by others as a market place.

Š clear-village.org 2013

Bruce Grove Station is close by and provides a direct train connection to London Liverpool Street station. The alleys connect Stoneleigh Road and the residential area to the east in Tottenham Hale ward to Tottenham High Road, which is a major transit route towards Dalston, Shoreditch and further into central London.

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The alleys are very different in character, varying strongly in width, appearance and function. Albert Place is a pedestrian space which is hardly 2 metres wide and enclosed by surrounding buildings. Holcombe Road has a clear economic and social role, with two popular market stalls and the Haringey Law Centre which gives free legal advice and training to locals. Brook Street has its historic Brook Street Chapel with a small playground across the road from the Chapel. Stoneleigh Court is a privately owned but publicly accessible courtyard which is mainly used as a disorganised parking area but also has a bar/restaurant. Factory Lane is largely defined by the many delivery vans of the adjoining Iceland supermarket and the blue boarding of the redevelopment site of the former post office. And finally Stoneleigh Road is a long road with substantial traffic, narrow pavements, and a long wooden fence on the eastern side. All in all, then, the alleys make for a varied landscape which currently seems to lack any form of common identity.


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Bruce Grove area in 19th century

www.bing.com

FDLP conceptualised the Alley Links project to provide a comprehensive solution to the problems in the alleys and build on previous campaigning efforts. The alleys currently suffer from high rates of criminal and antisocial behaviour, such as public drinking, drug dealing and abuse, and theft and robberies. The physical elements of the streetscape- such as pavements, lighting and public furniture- are also extremely poor and in need of improvement. Needless to say, addressing these immediate issues is a major goal of the Alley Links project. Yet the project ambitions do not stop there. The aim is to strive for a ripple effect, for positive outcomes that go beyond the immediate area and timeframe of interventions. Thus, improvements to the alleys are also intended to help address some of the broader challenges facing the area.

www.visionofbritain.org.uk/

www.tottenham-summerhillroad.com Š clear-village.org 2013

Tottenham urban district 1920

Ordnance survey map 2013


DOWSETT RD FORMER POST OFFICE

BR

FACTORY LN

STONELEIGH CRT MCDONALDS

BRUCE

BURBRIDGE WAY

GROVE

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THE JOHN LOUGHBOROUGH 7TH DAY ADVENTIST SCHOOL

LADYSMITH RD

POST OFFICE

REED RD

BROOK ST

STONELEIGH RD

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HIGH RD

HOLCOMBE RD HOLCOMBE RD DEVON CLOSE PRE-SCHOOL

RD STONELEIGH RD WILLIAM HILL

DAWLISH RD

HSBC

ST LOY ’S

DEVON CLOSE

ALBERT PL

CIRCULAR RD

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UC ICELAND

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THE WIDER CONTEXT Tottenham is a vibrant area of London that enjoys great cultural diversity and a rich heritage. Yet these positive assets tend to be overshadowed by the area’s negative reputation, which was greatly exacerbated when Tottenham became the epicentre of the London riots in 2011.

© clear-village.org 2013

Tottenham has approximately 100,000 residents from a diverse range of backgrounds, with more than 300 languages spoken in south Tottenham. The population in the area is relatively young, with 27.4% aged under 20. Levels of crime, unemployment and socio-economic deprivation are all higher than the London averages. Indeed, 88% of Tottenham’s residents live in areas that rank among the top 20% most deprived areas nationally. The picture in the neighbourhoods directly adjacent to the alleys is in line with these overall indicators; they also suffer from a high turnover of residents and residential overcrowding. To a certain degree the macro situation and the situation in the alleys undoubtedly influence each other; unattractive space invites undesirable activities and undesirable activities lead to a degradation of space. The project aims to contribute to some of the core objectives of Haringey Council’s economic, social and spatial policies; eg Haringey’s Sustainable Community Strategy1 which emphasises putting “people at the heart of change” and “providing a better, cleaner public realm”. Similarly, the new Local Plan2, which was adopted by the Full Council in March 2013, sets out further council objectives which are directly relevant to Alley Links, such as:

The Local Plan: Strategic Policies (approved 18 March 2013) on www.haringey.gov.uk/index/housing_and_ planning/planning-mainpage/policy_and_projects/local_development_framework/local_plan_adoption.htm

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Furthermore, as a reaction to the 2011 riots, a number of initiatives has been launched to complement the statutory economic, social and spatial policies. One of these is ‘A Plan for Tottenham’, which nominates the Bruce Grove area as a place for substantial public space improvements and allocates a budget of 850k. A stakeholder group, with members ranging from the local to the city level, was subsequently established to decide on these improvements. Of particular interest to the Alley Links project are the interventions proposed by Adams Sutherland architects for Holcombe Road market, which is one of the six alleys of the project. In developing a plan of interventions in the alleys, an important aim of Alley Links has been to identify ways both to profit and to multiply the positive impact that the Adams Sutherland proposals are set to have.

Sustainable Community Strategy 2007-2016, on www.haringey.gov.uk/sustainable-community-strategy

1

+ Addressing accessibility (both in terms of location and physical access) for all members of the community to jobs, health, housing, education, shops, leisure and community facilities. + Reinforcing a sense of place - building stronger communities and improving community safety by actively promoting community cohesion and working with local residents to help shape the places in which they live. + Focusing on safety and “designing out crime”.


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Š Design Council / Ashley Bingham


PROJECT PARTNERS The “Design Your Neighbourhood” programme is a partnership programme and aims to showcase the value of taking a highly collaborative approach to tackling local issues. Throughout the DYN activities for the Alley Links project, Friends of Down Lane Park and Clear Village worked together hand in hand to execute each of the project steps and engage the local community and other key stakeholders, with each partner contributing in accordance with their own unique strengths and capabilities. FRIENDS OF DOWN LANE PARK (FDLP)

© clear-village.org 2013

Friends of Down Lane Park is a committed group of local people who have been campaigning since 2007 for renovations and improvements to the park facilities; better services including better security in the park; community and sports development staff to train, run leagues and involve local young people; and a Green Flag award for the park. FDLP conceptualised the Alley Links project as as a way of realising their ambitons for a radical transformation of the area. As well as preparing the successful bid for the ‘Design Your Neighbourhood’ programme, FDLP played an instrumental role in reaching out to the local community and decision makers, helping secure premises for the Labs and assisting with facilitation, and serving as ‘super users’ with a wealth of ideas on how to improve the alleys and contribute to the wider regeneration of the area.

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CABE TEAM AT THE DESIGN COUNCIL The CABE Team at the Design Council works to raise the quality of the built environment. Firmly believing that architecture and design help to create sustainable communities where people want and can afford to live, the CABE team focuses on ensuring that places and communities are sustainable, adaptable and resilient. The CABE team established the DYN programme and provided financial and administrative support. In addition, a CABE-commissioned photographer provided many of the photos included in this report. CLEAR VILLAGE Clear Village is a design-driven regeneration charity which supports communities faced with multiple challenges. With a focus on alternative placemaking, Clear Village creates community development tools, designs change processes and ignites resilience to help communities identify their needs and build capacities to meet them. As the project’s design partner, Clear Village designed the overall Alley Links process and developed the process tools needed for a successful implementation. Clear Village tailored and carried out the street survey, designed and facilitated the labs, engaged in extensive community outreach together with FDLP, and led the development of design scenarios based on the survey and lab findings and FDLP input.


Š Design Council / Ashley Bingham

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Š clear-village.org 2013


CHAPTER 2 STREET SURVEY

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RECODE survey

ABOUT THE SURVEY The street survey1 was based on Clear Village’s Well-Being Analysis (WBA), which is a process to aggregate quantitative and qualitative data on a community and provide a snapshot of community well-being. The WBA is supported by research, yet it is above all about reaching out to community members, collating their feedback and views, and developing a holistic understanding of local challenges and opportunities.

Š clear-village.org 2013

The street survey was tailored to identify what local people think of the alleys and what sort of improvements they would like to see, as well as to compare this information with quantitative footfall data on how the alleys are currently used. The street survey was not intended as a stand-alone exercise but designed to be part of a larger process, providing a host of ideas and suggestions to feed into and support the community Labs, which in turn fed into and supported the scenario planning process. The street survey was carried out in December 2012. On 6 occasions between 7 and 20 December, the Clear Village team surveyed the six alleys between Tottenham High Road and Stoneleigh Road: i.e. Factory Lane, Stoneleigh Court, Brook Street, Holcombe Road, Albert Place and Stoneleigh Road. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with local residents, visitors and shop owners/assistants. The interviews were built around a grid of questions, yet left the possibility for interviewees to speak their mind and bring up other subjects at any point. The short version of the interview, intended for those who did not have much time to spare, comprised the following questions:

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AGE OF RESPONDENTS 6%

51 - 65

15%

36 - 50 36%

35%

21- 35 <20

1. Which of the alleys do you use most? 2. How often do you use it? 3. Where do you usually come from and go to? 4. What do you like about the alleys? 5. What do you dislike about the alleys? 6. Which part of the alleys should be improved first? 7. How would you like it to be improved? The longer version of the interviews expanded on these questions and also included topics such as safety, public space, community and participation, in line with the WBA approach of collecting information on key themes that impact community well-being.

http://www.clear-village.org/our-work/projects/alleylinks/survey-results

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>65 8%


survey RECODE

GENDER OF RESPONDENTS

LOCATION OF INTERVIEW 6% 5%

High Road

Female

Website

Male 12%

39%

23%

Stoneleigh Court 4%

61%

28%

1% 20%

Stoneleigh Rd Brook Street Albert Place Factory Lane Holcombe Rd. Market

In addition, footfall data was collected in order to build a picture of how the alleys are currently used. This was achieved with a team of four people standing at both ends of each alley for five-minute periods at one-hour intervals from 8:00am to 8pm. Finally, to ensure a wide range of feedback options, an online survey was made available on the Alley Links webpage (http://www.clear-village.org/ourwork/projects/alleylinks)

�We should talk to each other. When we leave things bad things happen to all of us!� A respondent to the survey

Participation in the street survey was extremely satisfactory, with 98 residents, visitors and shop owners/assistants taking part in the interviews. The majority of interviewees were aged between 21 and 50, with 35% in the 21-35 age group and 35% in the 36-50 age group. In total, 61% were male and 39% were female. Not surprisingly given the current use of alleys discussed in the next section, the greatest number of interviews was conducted at Holcombe Road Market, followed by Stoneleigh Road and Factory Lane.

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how the alleys are used FREQUENCY OF USE OF NON-LOCAL RESIDENTS

FREQUENCY OF USE OF LOCAL RESIDENTS (POSTCODE N17) 1

every day 4

every day

4-6 days a week 9

14

1-3 days a week

4-6 days a week 1-3 days a week

less than once a week 5

8

36

less than once a week

© clear-village.org 2013

1

The footfall data on people counted in each alley (see facing page) at five-minute periods clearly indicates that Holcombe Road, Stoneleigh Road and Factory Lane are the most used alleys, while Albert Place, Brook Street and Stoneleigh Court are used much less frequently, with Albert Place the least used overall. This finding is illustrated even more vividly when considering the total number of people that was counted in each alley during the survey.

“I always use Stoneleigh Road. I’ve been here for 18 years and I’ve used the other alleys maybe twice.”

As well as assessing overall use, frequency of use was gauged by asking interviewees how often they used their most-used alley. While some interviewees claimed never to use the alleys (“I wouldn’t go down them”), the majority reported using their most-used alley every day. The alleys are clearly an important part of people’s routes, both for local residents and for non-locals. Also worth pointing out is the fact that interviewees tended to prefer using one alley over the others. As one interviewee put it:

+ ASDA

21%

+ Transport (bus & train)

19%

+ High Road shops

12%

+ Iceland

9%

+ Post office

9%

+ Holcombe Road market

8%

+ Bank

5%

+ McDonalds

5%

Finally, interviewees were also asked about their routes through the alleys, i.e. where they usually came from and went to. The most popular destinations mentioned in the course of the survey were as follows:

Thus with the exception of Holcombe Road market, the alleys tend to be used as a transit route to destinations rather than as destinations in their own right.

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FOOTFALL 8:30 - 12:00

FOOTFALL 12:30 - 16:00

FOOTFALL 16:30 - 20:00

FOOTFALL 8:30 - 12:00

FOOTFALL 12:30 - 16:00

FOOTFALL 16:30 - 20:00

FOOTFALL & FLOW

Counting for a duration of 5 minutes per Alley. Each alley at hourly intevals. The Flow Maps show line weights corresponding directly to the count (1 person = 1pt.). The data was counted simultaneously from either entrance onto standardised best fit paths.

these maps show the counted flow of pedestrians through the alleys within three time periods between 8am and 8pm in. The upper three maps show the flow from the high road to the neighbourhood to the east. the lower maps show the flow in the opposite direction.

Walking

25 5 1 29

ALLEY 1

FACTORY LN

ALLEY 2

STONELEIGH CRT


© clear-village.org 2013

“Holcombe Market is a pillar of the community” A resident about the alleys

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WHAT PEOPLE LIKE ABOUT THE ALLEYS LIKES: NUMBERS

DO YOU SOMETIMES GO SHOPPING AT HOLCOMBE ROAD MARKET?

20 18 16

no

14

yes

12

31%

10 8 6 4

69%

2 0

Fac

tor y

Sto Bro Ho Alb Sto lco ne ne ok ert mb leig leig Str Pla eR ee hC hR c e t oa oa ou d d rt

La ne

When asked what they like about the alleys, most people replied with general comments about the alleys. A small number of interviewees mentioned positive aspects specifically related to Holcombe Road, Factory Lane, Stoneleigh Court and Brook Street. No positive comments were made about Albert Place and Stoneleigh Road.

However, in the longer version of the interviews people were also asked about their use of the market. Given that 69% of interviewees reported that they sometimes go shopping at the market, the percentage of people who specifically mentioned the market as something they like about the alleys (9%) seems disproportionately low.

The interview data gave a clear picture of what people currently like about the alleys, with their convenience and the fact that they are ‘all right’ being mentioned by far the most often. The most common responses, as a percentage of all positive mentions, were as follows:

As for the other positive mentions, good lighting was the subject of 6% of the comments, with particular reference to Factory Lane, Stoneleigh Court and Holcombe Road. 6% of comments also referred to improvements that have been made. According to interviewees,

+ Convenience

42%

+ OK/all right/not bad

22%

“there have been less incidents in Stoneleigh Court after the riots.”

+ Holcombe Road market

9%

+ Lighting

6%

+ Improvements

6%

+ Quietness

3%

Concerning Holcombe Road market, several interviewees were extremely positive and one described the market as “a pillar of the community”. Holcombe Road was also the alley with the most positive comments ascribed to it.

“Holcombe Road has improved; it used to be worse lit, used to have more rubbish, and there were more people hanging around.” “there used to be problems with gangs, but not anymore.” Finally, 3% of comments cited the quietness of the alleys as a positive feature.

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WHAT PEOPLE DISLIKE ABOUT THE ALLEYS Negative comments about the alleys far outweighed the positive, with 137 versus 65. Once again most comments were general and referred to all the alleys, though there were also a number of alleyspecific comments. Brook Street proved to be the most disliked alley, with 9% of negative comments directed at it specifically. This negative impression was shared by the Clear Village team, who observed during the survey that Brook Street is often populated by people loitering and in some cases drinking alcohol. The most common aspects that people dislike about the alleys, as a percentage of all negative mentions, are as follows: + Unsafe

26%

+ Dark/bad lighting

13%

+ Drinking/drugs

13%

+ Dirty/messy

12%

+ Intimidating people

7%

+ Closed in/narrow

4%

+ Dangerous traffic

4%

+ Used as a toilet

3%

Š clear-village.org 2013

Other aspects that were mentioned included: not enough police, insufficient green space, no CCTV, too many people, not enough people, noise, and the playground in Brook Street being badly used.

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DISLIKES: NUMBERS 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

Fac tor y

Sto Bro Ho Alb Sto lco ne ne ok ert mb leig leig Str Pla eR ee hC hR c e t oa oa ou d d rt

La ne


Š Design Council / Ashley Bingham

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SAFETY Clearly, safety in the alleys is a paramount concern for people. This is not only underlined by the specific comments about the alleys being ‘unsafe’, but also by the mentions of bad lighting, drinking and drugs, intimidating people, and other aspects that directly touch on the topic of safety. During the longer version of the interviews, additional questions were asked about perceptions of safety in the alleys as well as in the wider neighbourhood. Two findings are worth highlighting. Firstly, while men generally feel safer in the alleys than women, it is noticeable that a similar percentage of men and women feel unsafe in the alleys at night. Secondly, people clearly feel less safe in the alleys than in the wider neighbourhood. Interviewees provided a host of anecdotal accounts to support their perception of the alleys being unsafe:

“If you bump into people they are more likely to be aggressive in the alleys.”

© clear-village.org 2013

“Ladies don’t walk through the alleys alone. People wait for them and mug them and then disappear through Holcombe Road onto the estate.”

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“I won’t use the alleys after 5 or 6 o’clock. I miss out on things I want to do because of safety. I like to go singing and dancing in the city, but I can only attend matinees. I wouldn’t walk through the alleys alone. I’ve witnessed muggings and a friend of mine had her arm broken.” Interestingly, some interviewees commented that while safety in the area was still a concern, it had improved since the riots in August 2011. As one interviewee mentioned: “trouble has diminished about 50 to 60% after the riots.” However, this before-and-after picture does not appear to be supported by police data on incidences in the area.


DO YOU FEEL SAFE IN THE ALLEYS?

50% 48%

50% 38% 31%

31%

29%

25%

25%

24%

day 0%

night

0%

safe

unsafe

INCIDENTS REPORTED IN TOTAL AREA 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Dec

2010

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

2012

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

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Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

2012

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HOW TO IMPROVE THE ALLEYS When asked which part of the alleys should be improved first, 41% of interviewees mentioned Holcombe Road, followed by 20% for Brook Street. Albert Place was favoured by 10%, Stoneleigh Road by 10%, and Factory Lane by 7%, while 5% mentioned that all the alleys should be improved.

© clear-village.org 2013

When asked what improvements should be made, the most common suggestions were as follows:

IMPROVEMENTS: NUMBERS 20 18 16 14 12 10 8

+ Better lighting

26%

+ More CCTV cameras

14%

4

+ Clean up

12%

0

+ More police

10%

+ Greater/wider space

6%

+ Improved parking situation

6%

+ Safety

5%

+ Green elements

5%

+ Brook Street playground

3%

Other suggestions included: more benches/seating, dealing with alcohol and drugs, better signage, changes to the market, better pavements, and making the alleys more attractive and colourful. Not surprisingly, overall improvement suggestions strongly reflect people’s dislikes of the alleys and especially their concerns about safety as described in the previous section. However, there were also indications that people would welcome aesthetic changes and spatial interventions, with suggestions ranging from putting up flower containers to painting the walls around the market in bright colours.

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6 2

Fac

tor y

Sto Bro Ho Alb Sto lco ne ne ok ert m l leig e S P igh La be tre lac hR ne et Ro e Co oa ad urt d

“They should put up flower containers and green the area” “The alleys should be made more colourful and light.” “There should be improvements for children - Tottenham has never had many facilities for children to play.” Survey respondents about what they would like to see improved


COMMUNITY To enhance the overall picture, the longer version of the interviews also inquired into people’s broader aspirations for the neighbourhood. What people like about the neighbourhood is similar in some respects to what they like about the alleys: interviewees also cited convenience and mentioned that the area has improved. What they dislike about the neighbourhood also bears some similarities, with interviewees mentioning crime, antisocial behaviour, and the dirtiness and messiness of the area. Yet one additional aspect came out very strongly in the longer interviews: the topic of community, which is clearly an important factor in people’s experience of the neighbourhood. As one interviewee mentioned:

“99% of people here are nice” while another commented that

“we look out for one another more than in any place I’ve been.” At the same time, it was reported that there are insufficient opportunities for community interaction and that there is a need for more community events and spaces, whether it be an official centre, benches or cafés.

Most MEntioned improvements per alley

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survey conclusions Based on the findings from the street survey, there are four key challenges to be addressed in order to bring long-term change to the alleys:

+ Establishing the alleys as a destination The alleys are at present primarily a transit route. They are an important part of people’s everyday routes- especially Holcombe Road, Stoneleigh Road and Factory Lane- yet with the exception of Holcombe Road market they are not viewed as destinations in their own right.

+ Building an identity for the alleys

© clear-village.org 2013

The alleys lack a cohesive identity. Indeed, during the street survey, a large proportion of interviewees did not understand what was meant by the term ‘the alleys’ and the Clear Village team often had to point to the map to explain. At present, the alleys are at best perceived as rather featureless routes with the generic virtues of being ‘convenient’ and ‘all right’.

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+ Tackling negative perceptions Negative perceptions about the alleys far outweigh the positive, with particularly strong concerns about safety. Not surprisingly, the improvements that people would like to see in the alleys directly reflect this concern, with common improvement suggestions focusing on matters such as better lighting, more CCTV cameras, and greater police presence.

+ Creating an opportunity landscape The alleys are currently not viewed as an opportunity landscape, as a place where change can be brought about that does not only address the issues at hand but also contributes to wider aims. To build such an opportunity landscape and achieve a fundamental shift in perceptions of the alleys, it is essential that the improvement process does not only focus on the direct challenges, but also addresses wider community needs and aspirations such as the desire for more community spaces and activities.


Biosfera e ricreazione

Biosfera e ricreazione

In generale la biosfera e le opportunità ricreative in Atina sono considerate di buon livello; nonostante i rioni, all’interno del tessuto urbano, non siano considerati particolarmente verdi, i residenti beneficiano della vicinanza di parchi pubblici come per esempio la Collina di Santo Stefano. Uno dei punti interessanti emersi da una delle interviste individuali è stata la progressiva perdita della tradizionale abitudine di camminare con il suo impatto negativo sul benessere generale. Questo punto è stato tuttavia criticato alla presentazione della bozza del report il 26 novembre 2011 e sarebbe opportuno analizzarlo ulteriormente.

In generale la biosfera e le opportunità ricreative in Atina sono considerate di buon livello; nonostante i rioni, all’interno del tessuto urbano, non siano considerati particolarmente verdi, i residenti beneficiano della vicinanza di parchi pubblici come per esempio la Collina di Santo Stefano. Uno dei punti interessanti emersi da una delle interviste individuali è stata la progressiva perdita della tradizionale abitudine di camminare con il suo impatto negativo sul benessere generale. Questo punto è stato tuttavia criticato alla presentazione della bozza del report il 26 novembre 2011 e sarebbe opportuno analizzarlo ulteriormente.

Clima

Clima

ione e, in generale, sulla bellezza naturale della città.

Le condizioni climataturale della città.

Energia

Energia

L’energia è il tallone di Achille di questa categoria. Sebbene le persone sembrino prestare attenzione al consumo individuale di energia non hanno molte possibilità di influenzarlo. Da una parte l’elettricità può essere acquistata solo dalla griglia nazionale e non è possibile scegliere operatori differenti (che magari producono energia da fonti rinnovabili); dall’altra il volume delle case richiede un alto consumo di energia per scaldare gli ambienti. Inoltre, dato che molti immobili non sono ancora collegati alla rete del gas metano, molti residenti devono acquistare il diesel, meno sostenibile sia in termini economici che naturali.

L’energia è il tallone di Achille di questa categoria. Sebbene le persone sembrino prestare attenzione al consumo individuale di energia non hanno molte possibilità di influenzarlo. Da una parte l’elettricità può essere acquistata solo dalla griglia nazionale e non è possibile scegliere operatori differenti (che magari producono energia da fonti rinnovabili); dall’altra il volume delle case richiede un alto consumo di energia per scaldare gli ambienti. Inoltre, dato che molti immobili non sono ancora collegati alla rete del gas metano, molti residenti devono acquistare il diesel, meno sostenibile sia in termini economici che naturali.

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case RECODE studies

INSPIRATION CASES

Š clear-village.org 2013

All over the world people transform the places where they live, work and spend their leisure time. These inspiration cases show some of the best examples of people-centred transformations of public space. Together they tell a compelling story about the many ways in which derelict, underused spaces can be transformed into vibrant public spaces that local communities can feel proud of. The inspiration cases were presented to the Tottenham community in the Alley Links Labs.

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case studies RECODE

New Road, Brighton Good redesign of public spaces can greatly transform how they are used. An excellent example of this is New Road in Brighton. New Road used to be an ordinary residential road, divided up into separate spaces for pedestrians, motorists and parking. Jan Gehl urban designers reorganised the road into a space that is shared by motorists and pedestrians. Reacting to the fact that people liked to sit on a low fence in the street, they also added a street-long wooden bench overlooking this central area of activity. The interventions radically changed the use of New Road; pedestrian traffic increased by 62%, motorised traffic declined by 93%, cycling activity increased by 22% and 6 times as many people now use the space as a place to stay.

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case RECODE studies

Bonnington Square Gardens, London The story of Bonnington Square Gardens in Vauxhall shows how a local initiative can take ownership of a derelict space and turn it into an urban paradise for the whole community.

Š clear-village.org 2013

In the 1990s, local residents around Bonnington Square founded an association and successfully negotiated with the council to reclaim a neglected space in danger of being sold for development. In collaboration with an architectural firm, they designed and planted what is now the heart of the neighbourhood and widely recognised as one of the finest community gardens in London. The garden needed council and government funding to get started, but is now supported by local fundraising and maintained entirely by volunteering residents. With the garden complete, the initiative has now spread to the surrounding area and every available space is being used for planting, transforming the whole neighbourhood into an urban oasis.

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case studies RECODE

Seattle Alley Network Project The Seattle Alley Network Project is a community-led initiative that organises a wide variety of events and transformations, both temporary and permanent, in the alleys around Pioneer Square. Activities range from open-air acrobatic, dance and theatre performances to exhibitions, Tour de France viewings and an adoptable cats fair- showing how much can be done in narrow spaces. The projects in the alleys are organised and designed together with all kinds of stakeholderslocal residents, businesses, university students and others- thanks to which the alleys have been transformed into truly public (and popular) spaces.

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case RECODE studies

Wolf Lane, Perth

Š clear-village.org 2013

Wolf Lane in Perth used to be a back alley defaced by parking and rubbish bins. However, it did have major commercial potential thanks to its favourable location. The city authorities decided to give the alley a revamp. They repaved the area, closed it to traffic, put up trees in planters, and organised permanent and temporary art installations. The refurbishments had a positive economic impact and a number of new businesses have opened in the previously neglected alley.

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case studies RECODE

à gueda, Portugal Artistic interventions can have a huge effect on spaces, as illustrated by the example from Agueda. Brightly coloured umbrellas were suspended over a street as part of an art festival. The umbrellas didn’t only add a spectacular burst of colour; they also provided shade from the burning sun and turned the street into a pleasant place to spend time in.

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case RECODE studies

Pedestrian Timeline Governor’s Island, New York & 99 Tiny games, London

© clear-village.org 2013

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a space a great deal more interesting. Artist Candy Chang brought back to life the history of Governor’s Island by chalk-spraying 20 landmark events on the island’s pedestrian lanes. This simple intervention invited people to enjoy a leisurely stroll while learning about the local area. With similar simple means, gaming company Hide&Seek stencilled 99 tiny games on London walls and pavements in July 2012. Many different places, like shopping centres, parks, bus stops and others, were transformed into areas of play to turn the city into one big playground for a month.

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case studies RECODE

Detroit Green Alleys Many think of alleys as places dominated by stone and concrete. This example from Detroit shows that alleys don’t have to be like that, but can actually be pleasant green spaces that protect urban wildlife. The alley doesn’t need storm drains, thanks to permeable paving and plants that are native to Michigan and typically have long roots. Transformed by a group of local organisations, the alley is now a popular connection route and an inspiration for other green alley projects in the city.

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case RECODE studies

© clear-village.org 2013

Magdeburg Library Although not located in an alley, the Magdeburg open-air neighbourhood library is a great example of how a temporary facility can catalyse a more permanent one. In 2005 a 2-day temporary library was set up, made of beer crates and supplied with donated books. This short intervention led to the launch of a readers’ café in a nearby shop, where more books were collected while designers and residents developed plans and raised money for a permanent library. It was opened in June 2009: a 24-hour open-air library with a stage for performances and various seating areas offering a relaxed reading environment.

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case studies RECODE

Pittaki Street, Athens Pittaki Street is an excellent example of how local resources can be used to transform a no-go area into an attractive destination. Until recently, Pittaki street had been a dimly-lit and little-used alley. Determined to change this, local design company Before Light and non-profit organisation Imagine the City collected old lamps from local residents, retrofitted them with new wiring and made them weatherproof. With its many lamps suspended from cables, Pittaki Street now resembles a living room, an effect which is reinforced by the pictures of a bed, fridge, table and other pieces of furniture painted on the walls. Thanks to its residents, Pittaki Street is now a lively public space which also attracts visitors from further afield.

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Š clear-village.org 2013


CHAPTER 3 OUR aLLEYS LABS

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RECODE LABS

ABOUT THE LABS The Alley Links Lab series took place at the end of January and the beginning of February 2013.

The Lab series consisted of the following components:

The Labs brought together community members and stakeholders for a collaborative experience spread over five days. Supported by expert facilitators, Lab participants were guided through a rhythm of exercises expressly designed and facilitated to tap into the spontaneous creativity and wisdom of the local community. The Labs were curated in such a way as to allow for multiple types of input, at different levels of detail, in order to engage as many people and capture as many ideas as possible.

+ Lab 1. Wednesday 30 January, 4.30pm – 6.30pm

The Labs were held under the transition brand “Our Alleys”. A transition brand does not aim to establish a long-term brand or identity for a place, but rather serves as a way to promote the change process and rally people around it.

© clear-village.org 2013

The Labs had two primary goals. Firstly, they aimed to source ideas on how to improve the alleys. Secondly, and as indicated by the “Our Alleys” brand, they aimed to engage the local community by raising awareness of the project and creating a shared sense of ownership and opportunity.

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Presentation of survey results and launch of Lab series. + Lab 2. Saturday 2 February, 11.00am - 5pm Project presentation, mapping exercises and visionary idea collection. + Lab 3. Saturday 9 February, 1pm - 5pm Visionary idea collection, idea design and strategising. + Afternoon Labs. Monday 11 and Wednesday 13 February. 2pm - 6pm Follow-up idea collection, idea design and strategising. With the exception of Lab 1, which was held in The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, all the Labs took place at Lloyds Pharmacy, 464-466 Tottenham High Road. Kindly provided as a project venue by Lloyds Pharmacy, this derelict space was radically transformed into an inspiring temporary workshop environment. To draw people in and maximize their engagement, the space was set up to provide participants with a trajectory from the ‘outside’ to the ‘inside’ of the project, starting with initial engagement and information about “Our Alleys” and then leading in steps towards a collective interactive experience.


LABS

RECODE

53


54

Š clear-village.org 2013


Participation in the Labs proved extremely satisfactory. To a large extent this can be ascribed to the substantial outreach efforts carried out in advance. Personal invitations were e-mailed to participants of the street survey and to members of the Friends of Down Lane Park; approximately 600 flyers were handed out by Clear Village and FDLP in the area and distributed in local shops; and on the days of the Labs Clear Village and FDLP also engaged in personal outreach to people on the High Road.

In total, 148 people took part in one or several of the Labs as registered participants, whilst there were also some who participated in the exercises without registering. There was an almost equal number of male and female participants and all age groups were well represented. 84% of the participants who provided their postcode were local residents (postcode N17); other participants included shopkeepers and visitors. Thanks to FDLP lobbying, several councillors took part in the Labs, including the Mayor of Haringey, David Browne, and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Alan Strickland.

55


56

Š clear-village.org 2013


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1. MAPPING Held at

Results

Lab 2

The exercise confirmed some of the main findings from the street survey. Participants indicated that they mainly use Factory Lane, Holcombe Road and Stoneleigh Road and that they generally use their preferred alley on a daily basis.

How it worked

© clear-village.org 2013

The mapping exercise aimed to build a better understanding of how people currently use and perceive the alleys. Participants were asked to indicate on a map what routes they take most frequently and how often they take them. On another map they were asked to indicate with stickers or in writing what they like about the alleys, what they dislike, and what improvements they would like to see. These were questions that had also been explored in the street survey and the exercise was thus a way to gather additional data and crosscheck initial conclusions.

58

As in the street survey, the exercise also underscored that negative perceptions of the alleys far outweigh the positive. Only 3 ‘like’ stickers were placed on the map compared to 30 ‘dislike’ stickers. Stoneleigh Road (11 dislikes), Holcombe Road (7 dislikes) and Brook Street (7 dislikes) stood out particularly negatively, primarily on account of safety concerns. Finally 19 improvement stickers were placed on the map. Most were for the High Road (6 improvements), followed by Albert Place, Holcombe Road and Stoneleigh Court (3 improvements each). While there was a desire for improved shopping facilities on the High Road, the most common improvement suggestion was for better lighting in the alleys.


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2. IDEAS & LOCATIONS Held at

Results

Lab 2, Lab 3, Afternoon Labs

The exercise resulted in an overwhelming number of ideas. Many participants contributed a variety of ideas, leading to 274 ideas in total.

How it worked In this exercise participants were invited to share concrete ideas on how to improve the alleys. They wrote their ideas on a post-it together with a number; the number was then written on a sticker and placed on a map of the area to show where the idea could be realised.

As indicated by the word cloud, ideas addressing safety concerns in the alleys were the most common (1/3 of all ideas fell into this category). Within this category, the most common idea by far was for improved lighting (37 ideas). Other major categories of improvement ideas were: + pedestrianising and repaving the alleys (36 ideas) + bringing in different forms of art (35 ideas) + greening the alleys (34 ideas) + introducing new community (36), commercial (19) and cultural (15) facilities.

Š clear-village.org 2013

In terms of location, most ideas were for Brook Street, Holcombe Road and Albert Place. Brook Street and Factory Lane were frequently mentioned as potential locations for new community facilities, while Albert Place was viewed as a place that could be substantially upgraded through lighting and art. Not surprisingly given its market, Holcombe Road was often mentioned as a potential location for new commercial facilities.

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children’s games remove betting shops

screen projectors

no graffiti

facilities for teens cinema

plants live music

mirrors

lighting

market

historical trail

safer

murals

improve bus stop

outdoor theatre more parking

public toilets

street art

CCTV trees pedestrian signage

art

more doctors activities for elderly

facilities for elderly

vertical garden

paint walls

street performance popup market

entertainement

pedestrianise

food bank

festivals

bookshop

food

community facilities

more police

colours

walled garden

stop antisocial behaviour

seating community café library

clean up

artists’ facilities

Brook Street burial ground

playground flowers light installation

more people

park

billboards

remove betting shops

no artists

improve pavement graffiti

patrols shops

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IVITIES

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U BR

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UNITY MM

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this map shows the results of the spatialising of the ideas mentioned by the lab participants. we have categorised the ideas mentioned per alley. 62

LADYSMITH RD

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© clear-village.org 2013

N SPA EE

STONELEIGH RD

FORSTER RD

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N SPA EE

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THE JOHN LOUGHBOROUGH 7TH DAY ADVENTIST SCHOOL

ING HT

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N SPA EE

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“Places to engage the community in conversation with one another”

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© Alan Stanton

idea suggested by lab participant


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Š clear-village.org 2013


3. storytelling Held at Lab 2, Lab 3

How it worked To complement the data from the mapping and ideation exercises and allow for open and spontaneous input, people were given the opportunity to tell their personal stories about the alleys. Participants were asked to share their anecdotes, views, and any positive or negative experiences they may have had in the alleys. All the stories were recorded on video.

Results 7 participants from a variety of backgrounds shared their stories about the alleys and in some cases the wider Tottenham area. The accounts gave a vivid sense of both hope and despair. On the one hand there were grim stories about robbings and beatings. One person related how her first husband had been savagely beaten up in the alleys in the eighties; another described how he had recently been robbed there himself. To address the issue of crime, one person gave a passionate please to have cameras installed in the alleys. Yet perceptions of safety in the alleys weren’t entirely negative. As an 82-year-old participant said:

Negative feelings about the alleys were often accompanied by similar views of the wider area. As one person who would like to move out of Tottenham put it:

“The whole vibe here is throwing me off. Because of what I experienced… I can’t really feel comfortable in this area.” Yet other people felt that if efforts were made, a more positive atmosphere could be achieved. Referring to the day when the Olympic torch passed through Tottenham, one person remembered

“the sense of excitement, people were doing something, strangers were talking to strangers.” Looking towards the future, most interviewees expressed a strong desire to see change and improvement in the alleys. According to one person,

“the whole thing is about getting it more attractive and safer”; while another person pointed to more long-term and far-reaching opportunities such as creating jobs.

“ I’ve never experienced anything that would make me feel nervous. I walk there every night… It doesn’t bother me at all.”

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4. DESIGN & STRATEGY Held at

Results

Lab 3, Afternoon Labs

In total 27 ideas were developed in greater detail in the following categories:

How it worked After sharing their ideas on the Exercise Wall, people were asked to elaborate on them and develop them from initial idea to concrete intervention. Participants were encouraged to describe their idea in a short pitch (in keywords) and in a longer story, the development of which was guided by taking into account the following questions: + What sort of people will the idea attract? + How will the idea benefit the community? + What sort of activities does the idea involve? + How will the idea affect other activities in the area?

Š clear-village.org 2013

+ How will the idea help to improve the atmosphere in the alleys? In addition, participants were asked to consider how their idea would work in practice and how it could be realized. After fleshing out their ideas in this manner, participants were then asked to draw them with the help of facilitators and localize them on a map of the alleys. The proposed interventions were subsequently displayed on a wall and could receive green stickers as votes of approval from other Lab participants.

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+ Community facilities (9 ideas) There were imaginative ideas for new community facilities such as a youth centre (2x), a pop-up market close to Holcombe Road market (2x), and a community library with shelves on the walls of the alleys. Another suggestion was to expand Holcombe Road market towards Brook Street in order to open up a larger community space and thus also improve safety. Importantly, many participants felt that improved community facilities could address some of the key social challenges of the area such as youth criminality.

+ Arts & aesthetic improvements (9 ideas) Participants suggested that the alleys could become like an open art museum in a variety of ways. Ideas included: exhibiting paintings by local artists on the walls of the alleys; setting up newsstands with newspapers about the arts and new media; painting the alleys in different colours and different patterns; fitting mirrors to reduce blind spots and make the alleys appear broader; providing space on the pavements and walls for graffiti (especially in Albert Place); and doing street painting with young people to build local pride. One person suggested that involving well-known artists could lead to a neighbourhood upgrade as in Shoreditch, but others felt that local artists, school children and other community members should play the primary role.


+ Security & lighting (5 ideas)

+ Greening (2 ideas)

Better lighting was once again the most popular idea in this category. However, in this exercise lighting was viewed not only as a safety improvement but also as an aesthetic enhancement similar to some of the ideas mentioned above. As participants pointed out, lighting should help to make the alleys brighter, more inviting and more cheerful. It was also suggested that lighting should be easy to look after, could be of a temporary nature (such as tea lights in bottles), and could also be used to represent different countries and languages.

One idea was to transform the old post office site into a community green space. Another suggestion was to turn the underused parking space behind the ASDA on Stoneleigh Road into a nursery which could supply plants to green the alleys.

+ Exercise/�Smarter Travel� (2 ideas) It was suggested that the alleys could be enhanced with cycle lanes as well as with a skating area.

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5. MODEL Held at Lab 2, Lab 3, Afternoon Labs

How it worked The model of the alleys allowed people to share their ideas for interventions in 3D using different materials such as play-doh, thread and post-its. It also provided participants with a valuable visual aid for the other exercises.

Results

Š clear-village.org 2013

A variety of ideas was planted directly onto the model. Factory Lane was provided with a new seating area; the beer garden of the Beehive Pub was expanded; Albert Place was transformed into an art space; a memorial for the former Brook Street burial ground was erected; and a public art installation was set up by Holcombe Road market. Most radically, Stoneleigh Road was turned into a river, with a bridge to connect the neighbourhood to the High Road.

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69


70

Š clear-village.org 2013


CONCLUSIONS Unlike traditional consultation methods, the Labs are a way to engage the local community in a new type of social contract: one where local people play a key role in redesigning and reshaping the public space around them. With over 150 participants, the Labs were an excellent means to engage the local community in the project: to inform, present and excite; to gather views, ideas and suggestions; to start to change the narrative of the alleys as a place of difficulties to a place of opportunity; and to build a sense of community buy-in and ownership.

Taken together, the street survey and the Labs underline that whilst current perceptions of the alleys are largely negative, there is strong community support for the idea of transforming the alleys from ‘places to pass through’ into ‘places to stay’, as well as a widespread willingness to provide bottom-up assistance. This latter point was vividly illustrated by the fact that several participants already offered to assist with later stages of the project. It is essential that such ground-up support is closely integrated into improvement plans for the alleys, to ensure that people do not only feel that change is effected for the community but also by the community.

On the one hand, the Lab exercises emphasized the need for design interventions that address the safety issues in the alleys. This is clearly in line with the results of the street survey, which showed safety to be people’s primary concern. Better lighting was generally viewed as the most desirable and effective intervention to tackle the problem and should certainly be part of any improvement scenario for the alleys. Yet on the other hand, the exercises also showed that there is a strong desire to turn the alleys into a more inviting and usable space, with ideas ranging from greening, to paving, to multiple forms of (street) art, to providing community facilities which could also help to address some of the wider social challenges in Tottenham such as crime and unemployment. In this respect, the Labs successfully built on the street survey by encouraging community dreaming and sourcing related ideas.

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Š clear-village.org 2013


CHAPTER 4 DESIGN SCENARIOS

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SCENA RECODE RIOS

ABOUT THE SCENARIOS Based on the results from the street survey and the labs, four design scenarios have been developed for the alleys. In each scenario, community input and aspirations are integrated from a different conceptual angle and placed in an overall strategic framework which also takes into account resource, time and stakeholder considerations.

Š clear-village.org 2013

The scenarios reflect our vision on how to bring about big-impact change in areas that face multiple interrelated challenges, such as the alleys and Tottenham in general. The scenarios combine a variety of short-term and long-term components. On the one hand they propose smart low-resource interventions to score quick wins and build community engagement and momentum, on the other hand they advocate larger interventions which are more demanding in terms of planning and resources yet also have more potential to achieve long-term change. The interventions in each scenario are designed to be mutually reinforcing, aiming to create a virtuous circle.

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Scenario thinking lays bare the critical aspects of different strategies by bringing out their inherent advantages and disadvantages. Based on a critical assessment of the three design scenarios, a fourth scenario has also been developed. This scenario aims to integrate the strong points of the other scenarios while avoiding their shortcomings. As such, it is the Clear Village-recommended strategy to guide the next phases of the Alley Links project.


Š Design Council / Ashley Bingham

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Scenario 1: Eclectic alleys This scenario is based on the notion that the alleys currently lack a sense of identity and are largely viewed as featureless transit routes. To address this, the scenario proposes to create a distinct identity for each of the alleys. These different ‘identities’ or ‘brands’, which are subsumed under the overall brand of ‘eclectic alleys’, build on the specific characteristics of each of the alleys and incorporate a variety of ideas and suggestions that were sourced during the street survey and the labs. The following identities are proposed: + Fast Speed Factory Lane emphasises the high use of Factory Lane as a connection between the neighbourhood north of Dowsett Road and the Bruce Grove Area. + Stoneleigh Courtyard builds on the fact that despite being directly opposite Bruce Grove station, Stoneleigh Court is in fact a rather intimate space. + Brook Street Chapel Yard draws attention to the presence of the Chapel and the history of the Brook Street burial ground and also emphasizes tranquility as one of the alley’s main assets. + Holcombe Road Market builds on the market as a key existing feature and underlines its value as a dynamic community space.

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+ Albert Art Place makes the most of the slightly rough (and potentially attractive) character of the alley to create a community art space. + Stoneleigh Safe Road focuses on Stoneleigh Road as a central artery of the neighbourhood.

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In this scenario, available resources would be mainly targeted at physical interventions and would be spread more or less evenly across the alleys. In each alley, specific issues such as inadequate lighting would be addressed on an individual basis. Quick wins in this scenario would be painting parts of the alleys in different colours and adding lighting to reinforce the effect and bring out the different alley identities. In addition, a number of small-scale follow-up interventions could be initiated in each alley, in line with each alley’s identity, to catalyse further interventions in future.


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Scenario 2: Decorative lighting as a change-maker Contrary to scenario 1, this scenario would introduce a common identity for the alleys by means of decorative lighting. It would thus be a direct response to the widespread demand for increased safety in the alleys and take the most frequently mentioned idea during the street survey and the labs, i.e. lighting, as its leading theme.

The design of the lighting system could be organised in a number of ways:

In this scenario, all available resources would initially be focused on creating a lighting system that is sufficiently striking and appealing to create a new identity for the alleys. While the system would probably be the same throughout the alleys, it should be able to create a different effect and atmosphere in each alley. At a later stage of the project, these differences could then be further underlined through other interventions.

b) Also as a quick win solution, an existing lighting system could be used and then aesthetically adapted, potentially through 3D printing and using locally sourced design (for instance by holding workshops at schools).

a) As a quick win and in line with the collaborative approach of the project, a lighting event could be held with locally sourced materials. A permanent solution could subsequently be developed through options (c) or (d).

c) A light designer and manufacturer could be selected to take part in a participatory design process with the local community. d) A national high-profile design competition could be held to source a solution as well as to profile and promote the neighbourhood. Once the lighting system is installed, other steps to upgrade the alleys could take place if and when funding is secured. Other interventions that underline the common identity of the alleys, such as a historical trail, would neatly fit into this scenario.

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Scenario 3: The alleys as a community space This scenario would transform the alleys from a ‘place to pass through’ into a ‘place to stay’ by turning them into a lively community space, with Holcombe Road market and Brook Street at its centre. The assumption in this scenario is that creating high-profile community facilities in Holcombe Road and Brook Street could create a ripple effect of community-driven change in the other alleys, while at the same time helping to address broader social issues such as crime and unemployment.

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The quick wins in this scenario would focus on identifying opportunities that are not included in the plans for Holcombe Road market currently being prepared by Adams & Sutherland. Such opportunities could include: turning the parking area of Haringey Law Centre into a (temporary) community space and establishing a connection with Brook Street; improving the playground on Brook Street or potentially using the space for a different purpose; and using the Stoneleigh Road parking area for community events, growing plants or children’s games. In all cases, active community use would bring a new dynamism to the alleys and also emphasize the demand for more permanent community facilities.

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In the longer term, the Stoneleigh Road parking area could be an ideal location for such permanent facilities. They could be in the form of a community centre, a garden, or otherwise, while interventions in the other alleys could continue to be more spontaneous.


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Critical assessment Each of the scenarios presented thus far is founded on a clear and simple concept which strongly aligns with the findings from the street survey and the labs. However, each of them also has certain risks and shortcomings that need to be borne in mind.

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Scenario 1: Eclectic alleys would make for a rather splintered approach. Spreading resources across all the alleys would entail working on different fronts at the same time, which would require strong overall coordination and the involvement of many different stakeholders. For instance: the idea of painting some of the walls of the alleys as a first step would need the buy-in of all the landlords whose property is affected, which might not be easy to achieve. In addition, it would be difficult to develop a compelling and coherent funding proposal for this fragmented approach and the likelihood of securing grants would therefore be lessened. Finally, the scenario would only achieve clear substantial impact in the longer term, once a sufficient number of interventions have taken place. As a result, it would probably not provide adequate support for the project goals, such as encouraging greater use of the High Road and local shops and businesses, in the shorter term.

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Scenario 2: Decorative lighting as a change-maker would focus on spectacular high-profile lighting to put the alleys and the wider neighbourhood on the London map. Although the effects should not be overstated, this scenario could have a positive effect for local businesses and encourage follow-up investments. It would also be relatively simple from a stakeholder management perspective, provided that the council is fully supportive. However, the scenario would carry with it a certain degree of risk. Unlike scenario 1, it would allocate all resources to only one type of intervention. Furthermore, the different options for the design process present a clear challenge. The quick-win options (a) and (b) discussed previously would be easy to implement but might not lead to the high-profile solution that is envisaged; whilst the longer-term options (c) and (d) would lead to a high-quality solution but would also take time to implement and require substantial investment. Scenario 3: The alleys as a community space would potentially have the highest positive impact for local businesses, as it would transform Holcombe Road market and Brook Street into a vibrant community hub. Furthermore, the creation of a community facility in the underused parking area in Stoneleigh Road would help to address a variety of broader social issues in the area. However, the scenario would be challenging in that it would involve a large number of stakeholders and be heavily dependent on two factors: the possibility of acquiring the privately owned land between Holcombe Road and Brook Street and of converting the parking area in Stoneleigh Road. In addition, both these points would entail a substantial investment that may not be realistic at this stage of the project.


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SCENARIO 4: CULTURAL ALLEYS This scenario would aim to combine the benefits of the three scenarios described before. It proposes that: + improved lighting should be a key component of the transformation of the alleys, in line with the strong community demand identified in the survey and the labs. + the desire to turn the alleys into a more appealing public space realm is a second key issue that should be addressed. The topic of lighting would be addressed in two ways. Firstly and as a quick win, existing lighting would be upgraded and additional lighting would be installed where necessary. Secondly, an overhead grid would be introduced in all the alleys. This simple low-cost infrastructural element would be able to accommodate a range of other lighting functions, such as temporary lighting for events, lighting decoration competitions, and others.

The focus in the other alleys would be on smaller and more incremental interventions. In Albert Place, an exhibition space would be created for community (street) art, while Stoneleigh Court would be turned into a more intimate space. Improvements to Factory Lane and Stoneleigh Road would largely focus on transforming these highly-used transit routes into safer and more attractive places to pass through. Scenario 4 clearly incorporates many of the elements of the other scenarios. Yet by taking a broader approach, which does not rely on only one type of intervention such as lighting or creating new community space, it mitigates the risks posed by the other scenarios. As such, scenario 4 is the Clear Village recommended option. FDLP and Clear Village collaboratively developed this scenario into a detailed intervention plan, which is presented in greater detail in the following section.

The scenario also proposes opening up Brook Street to Holcombe Road market to create a large community space. This intervention would be combined with a substantial refurbishment of Brook Street, including: + new paving + street furniture + an open-air community facility.

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CHAPTER 5 DETAILED PLAN & roadmap

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STRA tEGIC RECODE PLAN

This section provides a detailed picture of the various interventions proposed by “Cultural Alleys”, the Clear Village recommended scenario 4 briefly described in the previous section. It is premised on an extremely important and exciting recent development: in March 2013, the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group, thanks to FDLP lobbying, decided to allocate 200k for interventions in the alleys to build on the momentum generated by the Alley Links project. The interventions proposed in this section have been budgeted for this amount and presented to the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group. The proposed interventions consist of two major interventions which require substantial investment, as well as a number of smaller interventions spread throughout the alleys. The major interventions are: + improved lighting throughout the alleys + creating a new public space for community use by linking Holcombe Road market with Brook Street.

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The smaller interventions for each of the alleys fall into two distinct categories. “Safe and clean” interventions address widespread concerns about the alleys being unsafe, dirty and unattractive; whilst “community layer” interventions aim to go beyond these immediate issues and establish the alleys as a community destination.

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ALL ALLEYS Lighting will be substantially improved in all the alleys as a clear response to the strong community demand identified in the survey and the labs. We propose to use LED lighting which has substantially lower energy and maintenance costs than conventional lighting (potentially up to 70%). Yet lighting should not only be viewed as a functional necessity or safety feature. As suggested by many lab participants, it can also serve as an artistic/ cultural element which can help to make the alleys more inviting. These community suggestions are supported by inspiring examples from other parts of the world, such as the community intervention in Pittaki Street in Athens presented in this report. In line with these suggestions, we propose installing an overhead grid in the alleys which could accommodate different artistic/cultural projects. It could, for instance, provide the infrastructure for seasonal festive lighting or showcasing lampshades designed by local schoolchildren. Moreover, although the grid would be constructed primarily for lighting, it could also be used for other artistic projects in which lighting does not play a role. The grid would consist of galvanised or stainless steel cables suspended over the alleys and fixed to the alley walls. Where no walls are present, steel poles would be put up as supports. The grid would be a striking feature which is repeated in all the alleys and thus helps to brand and promote the alleys as a single public space.


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ALBERT PLACE During the labs, Albert Place was often mentioned as a place where artistic interventions could make a significant difference. Following up on participant suggestions, we propose transforming Albert Place into a community art space.

Community layer

Safe and clean

+ “welcome to our alleys� sign to underline change process

+ high quality lighting + paint alley walls or decorate with visuals + replace the current fence around the Beehive Garden with a new green fence + decorate fans and boxes on the walls + decorate the bin area at the Stoneleigh Road end

+ false walls that serve as community art exhibition space

+ open up the Beehive Garden towards Albert Place, also for the Beehive to benefit from visitors to art exhibitions in the alley. In the longer term, Albert Place could be further established as a community art venue by extending the exhibition space into the alley and setting up a small kiosk or bookshop that could provide more information about the arts.

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+ pedestrianise the Stoneleigh Road end with new paving and up-lights

+ overhead grid

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The visuals on the opposite page show albert place with the interventions proposed with different ways to paint the alley. the top visuals show simple painting with one colour, while the two visuals below show how a more artistic approach could transform albert place into a more surreal PLACE to walk through.


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BROOK STREET & HOLCOMBE ROAD

This visual looks from Brook street into holcombe road market, a view that is currently blocked by fences that are placed between the law center on the left and the back of the buildings on the right. 92


PUBLIC REALM VISUAL

by removing the fences, brook Street and holcombe road market could become one attractive public realm. the overhead grid could be used to emphasise the new connection between brook street and holcombe road market. 93


BROOK STREET & HOLCOMBE ROAD As mentioned before, we propose that Brook Street and Holcombe Road should be opened up as a single public space for community use. Building on the interventions in Holcombe Road market developed by Adams Sutherland Architects, which include new market stalls and new paving in the area, the main Alley Links interventions would be to remove the fences between Brook Street and Holcombe Road market and to bring into public use the parking area of the Law Centre and the area behind Bet Fred and the post office. These measures will create a large community space and also establish a visual link between Holcombe Road market and Brook Street to enhance safety (and the perception of safety) in both alleys. The interventions proposed for the combined area are:

+ overhead grid + new public furniture to encourage people to stay, particularly in front of Brook Street Chapel and in the parking area of the Law Centre + establish a public art project to improve the appearance of the back of Santander bank and Lloyds Pharmacy + planters in Brook Street to green the space and create shade + remove the playground on Brook Street and create street games painted on the pavement + a memorial sign in front of the chapel for the former burial ground

+ high quality lighting

In combination, these interventions will establish Holcombe Road market and Brook Street as a central community space. In the longer term, the space could be further enhanced by establishing:

+ remove fences between Holcombe Road market and Brook Street

+ a community podium where members of the community can perform

+ improve the currently unsafe crossing between Holcombe Road market and Stoneleigh Road

+ a kiosk on Holcombe Road market which could serve as a small cafĂŠ

+ pedestrianise Brook Street using the same pavement as in Holcombe Road market to enhance the feeling of one public space

+ a living wall against the staircases of the post office

Safe and clean

+ set up a green fence at the back of Post office/ Bet Fred to hide blind walls Š clear-village.org 2013

Community layer

+ remove redundant bollards on Brook Street and install new ones to block traffic into the alley + paint post office wall

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STONELEIGH COURT & FACTORY LANE Stoneleigh Court is an intimate space with significant potential on account of its location directly opposite Bruce Grove station. In the short term, proposed interventions aim to enhance this feeling of intimacy, while in the longer term interventions could focus on taking advantage of the economic opportunities afforded by the location.

Safe and clean + high quality lighting

The street survey and the labs revealed Factory Lane to be a highly-used alley linking people’s homes to the High Road’s shops and transport links. The proposed interventions aim to enhance Factory Lane as a convenient and attractive transit route.

Safe and clean + high quality lighting + improve bin area

+ paint alley walls

+ pedestrianise Stoneleigh Court end, telescopic bollards, new pavement

+ address issue of parking, potentially through repaving

+ paint walls

Community layer + overhead grid + green the alley In the longer term, it is conceivable that the current bar/ restaurant could be redeveloped to offer more outdoor space with seating. A still more ambitious proposal would be to roof over the alley and transform it into a semi-indoor bar and restaurant space. However, considering that most of Stoneleigh Court is privately owned, this would clearly be a highly complicated undertaking.

COMMUNITY layer + overhead grid Long-term interventions for Factory Lane depend heavily on redevelopment plans for the former post office site, which have not yet been made public. One long-term possibility, however, would be to introduce electronic billboards with community information.

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STONELEIGH ROAD Like Factory Lane, Stoneleigh Road is primarily used as a transit route. The proposed interventions therefore have the same goal of enhancing the transit experience.

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ROADMAP The interventions proposed in this chapter were presented to the community on 25th March and the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Group on 26 March 2013. They were very positively received on both occasions.

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The main feedback from the community focused on how to manage and maintain newly introduced elements, an important concern which needs to be integrated into the next phases of the project.

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Autumn 2013

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The phasing of the interventions per alley is based on the following considerations: + start with relatively easy interventions in one alley to send out a signal of change and showcase the potential of the alleys + make interventions in Brook Street concurrent with those planned for Holcombe Road market by Adams Sutherland Architects + carry out relatively simple interventions to build up momentum in advance of pursuing interventions which may be more complex, on account of for instance the need to involve private landlords

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To a large extent, the feasibility and success of long-term interventions is dependent on the outcomes of the short-term interventions proposed. For example, if the interventions suggested for Holcombe Road Market/ Brook Street do not lead to a vibrant and well-received community space, it may not be worthwhile to consider creating a public podium on Brook Street. In addition, such longterm interventions will require additional sources of funding to be secured.

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CONCLUSIONS The interventions presented in this section form a holistic plan to improve the alleys based on the ideas of the local community collected during the survey and labs. They address the safety concerns that were widely raised by the community, yet they do so by focusing on a positive use of lighting rather than opting for methods such as increasing policing or installing CCTV, which would in a sense underline the currently negative brand of the alleys. In addition, they emphasize that the alleys can be transformed into attractive places to stay with broader community value. As such, they aim to provide not only a new destination for the local community, but potentially also for visitors from further away.

Moreover, the interventions help to deliver on some of Haringey Council’s key policies, such as the Sustainable Community Strategy1 and the recently approved Local Plan2. They also contribute to the goals set out in the “Smarter Travel” initiative3 and the “40:20” initiative4 which seeks to reduce carbon emissions in Haringey. All in all, this project is yet another example of a systemic shift in public governance and urbanism where local activists supported by design & regeneration professionals can support strategic prototyping of places in transition.

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The interventions should not be viewed as standalone initiatives, but have a direct relation with the wider environment. They have the potential to support the broader regeneration of the Bruce Grove area, as well as to upgrade Tottenham High Road as an attractive asset for the neighbourhood and a favourable location for local businesses.

1

Sustainable Community Strategy 2007-2016, on www.haringey.gov.uk/sustainable-community-strategy

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The Local Plan: Strategic Policies (approved 18 March 2013) on www.haringey.gov.uk/index/housing_and_ planning/planning-mainpage/policy_and_projects/local_development_framework/local_plan_adoption.htm

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Haringey Smarter Travel Initiative on http://www.haringey.gov.uk/smartertravel

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Haringey 40:20 initiative on http://www.haringey4020.org.uk/ 98


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contact & TEAM

CLEAR VILLAGE THomas Ermacora thomas@clear-village.org Robin Houterman robin@clear-village.org TEL: 020 89809019 LIMEWHARF VYNER STREET LONDON, E2 9DJ

CLEAR VILLAGE JAMES BRADY LUCY BROWNE THOMAS ERMACORA TERE GARCIA SAMANTHA IRVINE ALICE HOLMBERG ROBIN HOUTERMAN HANA HULL FRANK VAN HASSELT CHRIS VAUGHAN NATALYA WELLS MIRJAM WURTZ FRIENDS OF DOWN LANE PARK MARTIN BALL ZENA BRABAZON SEAMUS CAREY ALAN STANTON




CreatIve regENERATION SPECIALISTS