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RECODE REGENT ESTATE


PHASE I: WELL-BEING ANALYSIS Qualitative interviews, analysis and strategy performed by CLEAR VILLAGE. Report date: July 2012 HackMe is a CLEAR VILLAGE project, in collaboration with


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CONTENTS PART 1: INTRODUCTION

PAGE 6

PART 2: WELL-BEING INTERVIEW FINDINGS

PAGE 12

POSITIVE FINDINGS

MIXED FINDINGS

NEGATIVE FINDINGS

PART 3: A GLANCE INTO THE FUTURE OF REGENT'S ESTATE

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WORKSHOP 44

WHAT PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE PUBLIC SPACE

HOW PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE THEMSELVES

CONCLUSIONS


INTRODUCTION ABOUT SMALL WORKS. Small Works is a joint programme by CLEAR VILLAGE and CIVA that helps communities to unleash their potential and build a better future. We do so by turning empty spaces into community assets, working with residents to identify local challenges and opportunities, facilitating an ongoing process to develop solutions, and initiating workshops and other activities to build local skills. Our goal: to ignite resilience from within.

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There has been a great deal of discussion in recent times about the Big Society, Neighbourhood Plans, Localism, social investments and entrepreneurial support to address the complex societal challenges facing us. Small Works wants to focus on the other side of the equation: namely, how do local people experience their neighbourhood, what do they want to see happening in future, and how can they be empowered to contribute?

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Small Works Hackney, originally launched as “HackMe” at Regent Estate in collaboration with Rolemop and Workshop 44, is the first Small Works project to kick off. The first project phase consisted of carrying out a Well-Being Analysis, which is summarized in this report. Building on the findings of the Well-Being Analysis, the second phase of Small Works Hackney will see a number of public space interventions being carried out hand in hand with local residents in the second half of 2012 in order to increase the vitality of Regent Estate and bring it to the attention of local decision-makers.


HACKNEY IS READY! IS READY TO ROCK! NOW WE GOT THE RHYTHM, WE’RE NEVER GONNA STOP WE DON’T NEED NO TRENDY STUFF WE WANT SUBSTANCE AND HEART BABY THAT’S ENOUGH FROM THE HEART, THAT’S WHERE IT STARTS PULSING THROUGH MY BODY AND I’M FEELING THE PART!

SWEET COMBINATION MUSIC JAM IN WORKSHOP 44


RECODE PART 1

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+ Secondly, the Well-Being Analysis helps to engage the community around the transition process. For any such process to be successful, it is essential to ensure community buy-in. Change that is driven top-down is often perceived in negative terms and local people who have invested their lives in the community will understandably feel that decision-making over their heads is disrespectful. The Well-Being Analysis counteracts this by taking a bottom-up approach and demonstrating to local people that their opinions and aspirations are valued and form an integral component of the overall process.

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+ Firstly, it provides an overview of a community’s strengths and weaknesses as perceived by local people. The Well-being Analysis gathers feedback on essential community well-being factors such as Architecture & Infrastructure; Social & Community aspects; Economy & Governance; and the Natural Environment. Furthermore, each of these larger categories contains within it a number of subcategories, so that a large-scale Well-Being Analysis results in a breadth of findings as illustrated by the Well-Being Wheel.

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The Well-Being Analysis is usually conducted within communities that are undergoing or about to undergo transition. For instance, it was recently carried out in Atina, Italy, to support the municipality’s efforts to regenerate a struggling village and in Kiel, Germany, to help an asset management company to increase tenant satisfaction in a deprived neighbourhood. In such contexts the Well-Being Analysis serves three purposes:

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The CLEAR VILLAGE Well-Being Analysis is a process to aggregate quantitative and qualitative data on a community and to provide insight into key parameters of well-being. The Well-Being Analysis is supported by research, yet above all it is about reaching out to the community, engaging its members, and collating their feedback and views.

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ABOUT THE WELL-BEING ANALYSIS

governance participation

Example of the wheel methodology from the CLEAR VILLAGE Well-Being Analysis in Atina, Italy

+ Thirdly, the Well-Being Analysis provides a structural yet intuitive insight for design briefs, communication briefs, and any work that may be carried out in the place by CLEAR VILLAGE or others. As such, it is a key pre-intervention tool that generates empathy for local transition and ensures higher relevancy in tackling problemsolving from the outside. At the heart of the Well-Being Analysis lies the conviction that local people are not an obstacle to be overcome, but an asset to draw upon. Local people should be viewed as experts on their community with a vast reservoir of embedded knowledge on the weaknesses, strengths and opportunities of the place. Any transition process that does not adequately solicit their views and ensure their engagement is therefore negligent of one of its most valuable assets.


THE REGENT'S ESTATE PROCESS The Well-Being Analysis process involves CLEAR VILLAGE’s design analysts taking part in an onsite design residency and engaging local people in interviews and conversations in their own space. To support the interview process, a semi-structured qualitative interview grid is developed based on learnings from previous Well-Being Analyses in similar communities and desk research on the specific community in question. Interviews are underpinned by the grid structure, but they are allowed to flow and interviewees have the opportunity to speak their mind at any point. It may be said, then, that input is allowed to override structure. What CLEAR VILLAGE tries to innovate is a means to harness content from conversations, which can then be converted into strategic findings, supplemented with statistical data and other research, and translated into the different ‘languages’ spoken across the entire spectrum of stakeholders, ranging from local community groups to executive boardrooms.

For the sake of interventional purposes in Regent’s Estate, CLEAR VILLAGE tailored the Well-Being Analysis methodology to a combination of + detailed Interviews; and + ‘lite’ street-style Interviews. In the ‘lite’ version, 12 statements were provided to which interviewees could reply with agree, neutral, disagree or not important for me. 10 of the statements related to the following topics of the Well-Being Wheel: mobility, public space, safety, housing, diversity, community comfort, personal development, employment and governance/ empowerment. Two further statements were provided on Regent’s Estate-specific topics, namely the growth of Broadway Market and the relevance of Workshop 44 to the estate. And finally 3 open questions were developed to elicit more detailed responses and gauge what wishes people had for the future of Regent’s Estate, what they would like to see in the public space, and how they would like to contribute themselves.

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RECODE PART 1

The ‘lite’ interviews were developed with two goals in mind. Firstly, to provide a quick and easy means for residents to provide their feedback and views. And secondly, to incorporate the comprehensiveness of the detailed interviews at least in part, by including topics from different parts of the Well-Being Wheel and thereby taking a holistic approach to the situation in Regent’s Estate. The full list of statements and questions in the ‘lite’ interviews are as follows, first, the statements: + From my home, I can get to where I want to go in a reasonable amount of time + There are enough parks, green spaces or recreational public spaces within reach + The public space in my neighbourhood satisfies my needs and those of my family + I feel safe in the public space of my neighbourhood + My home satisfies my needs and those of my family + I enjoy living in a diverse cultural neighbourhood + I feel at ease and respected in my neighbourhood + In my neighbourhood, there are formal and informal opportunities for professional and personal development

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+ I am happy with my professional life + I feel my voice is represented by the local government and decision makers + I feel that the community and/or I have benefited from the growth of Broadway Market + I know about Workshop44 and think the work is relevant to myself and the community

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And secondly, the questions: + What are your wishes or dreams for the future of Regent’s? + What would you like to see in the public space? + How would you like to contribute yourself? In total, 46 members of the local community were interviewed. 12 participated in the long interviews, while 34 participated in the ‘lite’ interviews. There was a satisfactory distribution of interviewees in terms of gender and age to ensure a variety of perspectives. In terms of gender: 54% of interviewees were male, while 46% were female. In terms of age: 24% of participants were <20 years old, 22% were 20-35 years old, 17% were 35-50 years old, 20% were 50-65 years old, and 17% were 65+ years old. It goes without saying that this Well-Being Analysis does not pretend to be an exhaustive and statistically valid examination of life in Regent’s Estate. That would be presumptuous on the basis of 46 interviews. It does, however, provide a snapshot of concerns, issues, hopes, aspirations, suggestions and ideas among the people of Regent’s Estate that can serve as a foundation for further exploration and initial public space interventions. We hope that this report gives something of a sense of the vibrancy, the challenges and also the opportunities of the ‘funny little oasis’ that is Regent’s Estate.


“PEOPLE TALK TO EACH OTHER. IT’S NOT PERFECT, BUT IT’S A FUNNY LITTLE OASIS. I THINK I’M LUCKY TO LIVE HERE.” A RESIDENT ABOUT REGENT'S ESTATE

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PART 2: WELL-BEING INTERVIEWS FINDINGS

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POSITIVE FINDINGS DIVERSITY Hackney has a proud tradition of diversity and tolerance and has long been a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. From the Vietnamese restaurants of Kingsland road, to the kosher butchers of Stamford Hill and the Caribbean grocers of Ridley Road Market, Hackney’s history of multiculturalism is deeply embedded in the social composition of the borough. Residents from Black and Asian ethnic minority groups constitute 41% of Hackney’s population, whilst the borough has the largest refugee and asylum-seeker community in the UK and the third largest Charedi Jewish community in the world. Hackney’s tradition of tolerance is reflected by the findings from the interviews, with 91% of interviewees from Regent’s Estate agreeing that they enjoyed living in a culturally diverse neighbourhood. This number is in line with the findings from the Place Survey 2008/ 2009 carried out by the London Borough of Hackney, which showed that an impressive four in five residents believe that people from different cultures get on well together. As two of the interviewees put it:

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“REGENT’S IS DIVERSE, BUT WE GET ALONG, WE KNOW EACH OTHER.”

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“I enjoy living in a culturally diverse neighbourhood”

It was, however, also pointed out that Regent’s Estate would benefit from having more interaction between different ethnic groups:

“PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS MIX BETWEEN ETHNIC AND SOCIAL GROUPS. THEY STAY IN THEIR POCKETS.”


“DIVERSITY IS PART OF WHAT MAKES GREAT BRITAIN GREAT.” A RESIDENT ABOUT REGENT'S ESTATE

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MOBILITY

As some of the interviewees stated:

Mobility and public transport also scored highly in the interviews, with 88% of interviewees agreeing that they can get to where they want in a reasonable amount of time. This is perhaps not surprising in view of Regent’s Estate’s proximity to central London, the recently opened East London Line which runs through nearby Haggerston between Dalston and Shoreditch, and the extensive public bus network that runs through the borough. As described in the ‘Hackney Transport Strategy 2006’, car ownership in Hackney is relatively low in comparison to the UK, with 56% of residents having no access to a private car, yet a similar proportion regularly use public transport.

“PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS VERY GOOD.”

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“From my home, I can get to where I want to go in a reasonable time”

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“THE BUSES ARE OK.” And most positively of all:

“IT’S MUCH BETTER THAN IT USED TO BE. WE ONLY HAD BUSES BEFORE, BUT NOW THERE'S THE TRAIN.” “HAGGERSTON HAS CHANGED MY LIFE! I AM NOW ABLE TO BE CONNECTED TO WEST LONDON!”


HOUSING

Some expressed satisfaction with their home:

“My home satisfies my needs and those of my family”

“IT’S FINE- IT’S WELL BUILT AND STURDY.” “IT’S ALL RIGHT -I KEEP IT IN CONDITION.” “WHEN WE BOUGHT HERE, OUR FRIENDS WERE ALSO LOOKING AND THEY TOLD US THEY WERE SURPRISED AT THE QUALITY OF OUR HOUSE, THE SPACE, THE LOCATION. SO I GUESS IT’S ALL REALLY GOOD.”

Satisfaction with housing also scored relatively highly in the Well-Being Analysis, with 71% of residents agreeing that their home satisfies their needs and those of their family. This is somewhat surprising in view of the statistics related to housing in Hackney. Firstly, Hackney holds a much larger stock of social housing than both the London and UK average. Secondly, levels of overcrowding in social housing are much higher in Hackney than the London and UK average. And thirdly, 32% of social housing stock fails to meet the Decent Homes Standard set by the government. In addition, as described in the ‘Hackney Borough Profile 2010’, there is a drastic need for more affordable housing in the borough due to astronomical rises in house prices, which increased by 197% between 2000 and 2009.

But others were much more critical, especially about Hackney Homes and the Council:

“HACKNEY HOMES NEEDS TO BE MORE EFFICIENT WITH THEIR SERVICES.” “THE BUILDING WHERE WE LIVE IS BAD. THE STAIRS ARE TOO LONG FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES LIKE MY MUM (..)” “(..) EVERY THIRTY YEARS WE’RE ENTITLED TO REFURBISHMENTS AND WE NEVER GET THEM. (..) I’VE NEVER MADE IMPROVEMENTS MYSELF, BUT I FEEL WE ARE ENTITLED TO REFURBISHMENTS FROM THE COUNCIL.”

The positive numbers for housing are also surprising in light of the anecdotal feedback provided by WellBeing Analysis interviewees.

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PARKS AND GREEN SPACES Finally, parks and green spaces also scored positively in the Well-Being Analysis, with 70% of interviewees agreeing that there are enough parks, green spaces or recreational public spaces within reach. This finding cannot be considered surprising. Hackney has the highest proportion of green and open space in inner London, covering almost 25% of the borough. Though the percentage is lower for Queensbridge Ward (16%), which is where Regent’s Estate is located, the estate is close to parks such as London Fields with its recently re-opened London Fields Lido, London’s only Olympicsize outdoor swimming pool. As some of the interviewees mentioned:

“THE QUANTITY OF PARKS IS FABULOUS. I OFTEN GO TO LONDON FIELDS, HAGGERSTON AND VICTORIA PARK.”

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“HAGGERSTON HAS A FARM WHICH IS ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE. LONDON FIELDS HAS A SWIMMING POOL. VICTORIA PARK IS ENORMOUS AND THERE IS THE CANAL WALKWAY THAT TAKES YOU ANYWHERE IN THE CITY.”

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"There are enough parks, green spaces or recreational public spaces within reach"

The satisfaction with parks and green spaces is reflected in resident accounts of their first impressions of Hackney which have been gathered by ‘Mapping the Change’, a Heritage Lottery-funded project at the Hackney Museum which aims to capture the history of Hackney through the voices of the borough’s diverse communities. Shirley Veronica Boateng, a nurse originally from Trinidad, summed up her first impressions of Hackney as follows: “One thing Hackney had going for it at that time I thought was the greenery, which I loved, and I still love that. It’s nice to walk up to the Marshes. There is...that big Savannah I used to go down there and walk all round, and run around, and sit down there, go across to Victoria Park, go up to Leyton… The greenery was very nice, the fresh air and things like that…”


“PEOPLE IN REGENT’S LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER.” A RESIDENT ABOUT COMMUNITY FEELING

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MIXED FINDINGS COMMUNITY COMFORT Levels of community comfort amongst interviewees revealed more mixed results. Whilst 67% of interviewees agreed that they feel at ease and respected in their neighbourhood, 12% were neutral or ambivalent and 15% disagreed. It does, however, compare favourably to Hackney Council’s ‘Place Survey 2008/2009’, which showed that 48% of Hackney residents considered a lack of respect in their neighbourhood as a very big problem, a higher percentage than the London average.

"I feel at ease and respected in my neighbourhood"

Two very different perspectives became apparent during the interviews. On the one hand, there were residents who felt a strong sense of community spirit.

“I KNOW EVERYONE HERE.” “PEOPLE HERE ARE VERY FRIENDLY AND FAMILY ORIENTATED.” “IT’S A VERY WELCOMING ESTATE. IF YOU’RE A DECENT PERSON, PEOPLE WILL TALK TO YOU.” “YOU CAN CALL ON YOUR NEIGHBOURS OR FRIENDS; EVERYONE HELPS.” But on the other hand, there were residents who felt that there was insufficient community interaction and that the situation needed to be improved.

“NEIGHBOURS AREN’T THE SAME AS BEFORE; THEY DON’T TALK.” “THERE IS A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH THE ELDERLY AND THE CHILDREN; IT’S THE IN-BETWEENS WHERE THERE ARE THE ISSUES.”

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"PEOPLE KEEP TO THEMSELVES IN SMALL POCKETS." “I DON’T FEEL LIKE I BELONG HERE. I’M UNHAPPY WITH WHAT I SEE HAPPENING (..). RESPECT HAS GONE OUT THE DOOR!”

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SAFETY "I feel safe in the public space of my neighbourhood"

In light of the anecdotal information provided by interviewees, it is not surprising that there are concerns about safety. Many had personally experienced crime on the estate.

“WE’VE BEEN BURGLED A FEW TIMES. ONCE MY MUM WAS MUGGED AND THE GUY USED HER KEYS TO TRY AND ROB US; LATER ON HE CAME AT THREE IN THE MORNING.” “I’VE HAD TWO BREAK-INS.” “WE’VE HAD TWO BURGLARIES.” The issue of safety within the neighbourhood also produced mixed results. According to the Metropolitan Police (June 2012), Hackney has the fifth highest crime rate in London, while Queensbridge has the fourth highest crime in the borough. According to the ‘Hackney Community Safety Plan 2008/11’, the council is seeking to promote strong and safe communities through “involving and informing our communities”. And in response to the August 2011 riots, the council and its partners have pledged to review their approach to community engagement concerning crime and further support victims of crimes. Despite these initiatives, 18% of interviewees do not feel safe in the public space of their neighbourhood, while 17% are ambivalent. Moreover, it should be emphasized that interviewees who do not feel safe include both males and females and members of all age groups (<20, 20-35, 35-50, 50-65, 65+). It is clear, then, that the feeling of inadequate safety is not confined to a single group but is a general problem in Regent’s Estate.

“WHEN I FIRST MOVED HERE I WAS MUGGED AT KNIFE POINT BY PEOPLE FROM THE ESTATE.” “I WAS BURGLED DURING MY FIRST YEAR ON THE ESTATE WHILE ON HOLIDAY. (..) WHEN I ASKED THE POLICE IF THEY HAD CCTV FOOTAGE, THEY TOLD ME THE CAMERAS DIDN’T WORK.” “TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO, MUSTAFA FROM THE LOCAL SHOP WAS ROBBED AND BEATEN UP AT GUN POINT. EVERYONE FELT AWFUL ABOUT IT AND WENT TO SEE HIM AND SHOW SUPPORT BY GOING TO THE SHOP. (..)”

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“IT’S NICE TO HAVE NEW PEOPLE COMING INTO THE AREA.” © clear-village.org 2012

A RESIDENT ABOUT BROADWAY MARKET

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PART 2 RECODE

Interviewees had mixed views on how the problem of crime should be tackled. Suggestions included: +

Improving the two passageways on either side of Broke Walk, which are viewed as intimidating places where drug use and drinking often take place.

+ Providing more lighting in the public realm- though there were also residents who thought there was already too much lighting. + Installing more cameras- though there were also residents who doubted that this would make a difference. + Having more police officers on the beat.

It should be added, however, that interviewees came across as very ambivalent about the police and many reported negative experiences.

“THERE USED TO BE A LOT OF SEARCHES WHICH WAS REALLY DISCRIMINATING.” “I KNOW IT’S A HARD JOB FOR THEM, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON PEOPLE (..)’” “I AM AGAINST (..) UNFAIR TARGETING.” Clearly, then, if the Council intends to achieve its goal of building stronger and safer communities, the reality and the perception of the relationship between the police and the community will need to be improved.

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BROADWAY MARKET The rejuvenation of Broadway Market, which sits directly adjacent to Regent’s Estate and accommodates a largely middle-class weekend clientele, has been celebrated by both the Council and some sections of the media for reviving what in The Guardian was referred to as a “dying street”. The extent to which interviewees felt they had benefited from the market’s renewal, however, was mixed. Whilst 64% of interviewees agreed that the growth of the market had benefited the community or themselves, 15% felt neutral or ambivalent and 12% disagreed. This reflects wider mixed perceptions of the benefits that the growth of Broadway Market has brought to the area. Some argue that the market has brought a more diverse mix of people into the area and thus provided a greater sense of security, yet others complain about rising property prices, the closure of local businesses serving the community, and the eviction of local residents by rapacious developers.

"I feel that the community and/or I have benefited from the growth of Broadway Market"

Interviewees showed the same mix of opposing perspectives. On the one hand, there were some who complained about perceived gentrification:

“IT’S A CLASSICAL CASE OF GENTRIFICATION.” “I’VE BEEN PRICED OUT OF THE PROPERTY MARKET.” “THE YUPPIES DRINK A LOT. I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S BECAUSE THEY NEED TO DRINK TO HAVE FUN.” “LOTS OF SHOPS HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT. THE PET SHOP, A USEFUL SHOP, IS NOW A TRENDY FURNITURE SHOP. HOW USEFUL IS THAT, RIGHT? (..). ALSO, THE CANAL USED TO BE LOVELY, BUT NOW IT’S BECOMING A TRAVEL PATH WHICH IS HORRIBLE WITH SPEEDING BIKES. IT’S DEFINITELY LESSENED MY QUALITY OF LIFE.” But on the other hand, there were also interviewees who welcomed the changes.

“WE LOVE BROADWAY MARKET.”

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“WE MOSTLY GO TO BROADWAY MARKET FOR OUR SHOPPING.”

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IN THE TOWN HALLS COUNCILLORS GET EXCITED: “THAT OLD STREET FULL OF SHOPS RUN BY PEOPLE FROM AFRICA, TURKEY, THE MIDDLE EAST WITH FLATS UP ABOVE – AREN'T THEY ON SHORT LEASE COS WE WERE ONCE GOING TO PUT A ROAD THROUGH THERE? THAT OLD POOL THAT OLD SCHOOL DON’T WE OWN THAT? YOU KNOW WHAT? WE COULD DEMOLISH THE LOT GET DEVELOPERS IN: NO TIME TO WAIT REEEE – GENERATE."

HACKNEY RESIDENT AND PREVIOUS CHILDREN’S LAUREATE MICHAEL ROSEN'S POEM ‘REGENERATION BLUES’


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EMPLOYMENT As reported in Hackney Council’s ‘Facts and Figures’, as of 2011 66% of Hackney residents are in employment, less than the London average of 68% and the UK average of 70%. Conversely, 11% of residents are unemployed, which is higher than the London average of 9% and the UK average of 8%. As described in the ‘Queensbridge Profile 2007’, a high proportion of Hackney and Queensbridge residents are employed in public services, whilst the two other dominant sectors of employment for Queensbridge are ‘real estate, renting and business activities’ and ‘wholesale and retail trade, repairs’. According to Team Hackney’s Economic Development Partnership, encouraging enterprise, supporting apprenticeships and tackling worklessness are the council’s three priority areas in this respect.

Interviewees of the Well-Being Analysis showed mixed degrees of satisfaction with their employment situation. Overall, the findings are perhaps more positive than would have been expected in light of the macro data. 65% of interviewees agreed that they are happy with their professional life whilst a mere 6% are not happy. The relatively positive numbers are also surprising in light of the anecdotal information gathered. Some interviewees focused on the positive:

“I’M DOING FINE. MY SKILLS ARE ALWAYS IN DEMAND.” “THE BUTCHER TOLD ME HE WANTED TO RETIRE, BUT HE COULDN’T BECAUSE HE’S MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY.” Yet other interviewees had a bleaker view of their professional and economic situation:

"I am happy with my professional life"

“IT’S BEEN A BAD TIME SINCE THE RECESSION.”

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“ANYBODY ORDINARY HAS FELT THE RECESSION. ON A PERSONAL LEVEL IT WAS HARD, DIFFICULT AND STRESSFUL. I LOST A DAY OF WORK, WHICH WAS GOOD IN A WAY, BECAUSE I HAD MORE HEAD SPACE FOR A WHILE. I’M BACK ON FULL TIME NOW.” “WAGES HAVEN’T KEPT UP WITH INFLATION. PEOPLE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON AND DON’T WANT TO WORK LONG HOURS FOR A PITTANCE.”

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“I WAS BORN A HUSTLER, SO I GET BY, I SURVIVE.” A RESIDENT ABOUT EMPLOYMENT

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“WE’RE FORTUNATE IN THE WAY THE ESTATE WAS DESIGNED. THERE’S A KIND OF INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BIT.” A RESIDENT ABOUT PUBLIC SPACE

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PART 2 RECODE

NEIGHBOURHOOD PUBLIC SPACE According to Hackney Council’s ‘Public Realm Strategy 2012’, the Council is working to ensure that all public space is fully accessible, inclusive and caters for a full range of activities; that streets are defined by social and environmental context rather than transport function; and that successful spaces are created through understanding local distinctiveness. As the strategy states: “The public realm should be shaped by the character of the distinctive neighbourhoods, built elements such as buildings, walls, fences and streetscape, parks and gardens, and landmarks of the borough- old and new- and given life by the activities that spill out into it from homes, businesses, community buildings, and public institutions.” Yet the interviews elicited a mixed response on this topic from residents. Whilst 59% of interviewees agreed that the public space in the neighbourhood satisfies their needs and those of their family, 20% remained neutral and 21% disagreed. Interviewees cited certain positive aspects of the neighbourhood public space:

“THERE’S NO TRAFFIC AROUND THE ESTATE. IT RESULTS IN LESS AIR POLLUTION (..). IT ALSO MEANS KIDS CAN PLAY AROUND OUTSIDE, THOUGH YOU DON’T SEE MANY.”

"The public space in my neighbourhood satisfies my needs and those of my family"

Agree Neutral Disagree Not important

But many problems were also mentioned. One of the ones cited most frequently was issues with the drains:

“THE DRAINS ON THE ESTATE ARE A MASSIVE ISSUE AND SMELL REALLY BAD. (..)" “THERE ARE SEWAGE WATER ISSUES. THE DRAINS OFTEN GET BLOCKED AND FLOOD DIFFERENT AREAS ON THE ESTATE. (..)”

“IT’S NOT BAD. THERE’S ENOUGH SPACE WITH PLENTY OF CCTV.”

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Another major problem cited by interviewees was the problem of accessibility for elderly and disabled people:

“FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE THINGS ARE DIFFICULT. (..) THERE’S NO LIFT. THERE ARE NO RAMPS.“ “THE BOLLARDS SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY. IT’S DIFFICULT IN A WHEELCHAIR.” “DISABLED AND ELDERLY PERSONS’ ACCESS IS LIMITED ON THE ESTATE. (..).” There was also dissatisfaction with litter in general and dog litter in particular:

“WE ONCE WENT ROUND WITH THE KIDS AND COUNTED THE LITTER. WE GOT TO 200 BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND THE CHURCH.” “PEOPLE NEED TO RESPECT THE AREA AND PICK UP AFTER THEIR DOGS.”

Finally, other issues that were mentioned included the lack of benches, the generally uninviting appearance of the public space, the lack of activities especially for young people, and the fact that the council undertakes changes without consultation:

“THE PUBLIC SPACE IS JUST WASTED. WHY NOT DO SOMETHING WITH IT?” “THERE SHOULD BE SOMETHING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO DO INSTEAD OF HANGING OUT ON STAIRWELLS.” “THE COUNCIL SUDDENLY DECIDED TO CHOP TREES DOWN WITHOUT ASKING ANYONE.” “WE NEED BENCHES, ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE WITH KIDS OR OLDER PEOPLE.” “WE SHOULD HAVE AN INTEGRATED SPACE, NOT PARTICULAR TO A CERTAIN AGE OR KIND OF PERSON BUT FOR EVERYONE.”

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“WE SHOULD MAKE BROKE WALK MORE LIKE A BOULEVARD, PRETTIER AND WITH BENCHES AND TREES.”

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NEGATIVE FINDINGS PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT As described in Hackney Council’s ‘Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-2018’, educational support for adults and young people is a key feature of the council’s future strategy:

"In my neighbourhood, there are formal and informal opportunities for professional and personal development"

“Our focus is on raising aspirations and improving qualifications because we believe these are the key to improving opportunities later in life, and breaking the cycle of poverty. Worklessness and low incomes are the major underlying causes of poverty. Our ambition is that Hackney’s children and young people should do as well as children and young people anywhere in the country.” However, only 23% of the interviewees agreed that there are formal and informal opportunities for professional and personal development in their neighbourhood, whilst 41% were neutral or ambivalent and 21% disagreed. Also worth highlighting in this respect is that none of the interviewees in the <20 age group agreed with the statement. As the local headmaster mentioned:

“THERE ARE PLENTY OF OFFERS OUT THERE, BUT IT’S ONLY THE ALREADY AFFLUENT MAKING USE OF THEM. THIS ONLY INCREASES THE SOCIAL DIVIDE.”

Other interviewees stated resignedly:

“MOTIVATION IN THE COMMUNITY IS LACKING.” “MAYBE WE SHOULD GET KIDS TO VALUE LEARNING MORE.” And throughout the interview process, it was reported by local residents that there simply isn’t enough for young people to do on the estate. As one young man asked:

“HOW CAN YOU COME TO THE ESTATE EVERY DAY? IT’S SO BORING HERE!”

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EMPOWERMENT The statement concerning representation and empowerment elicited the most negative responses. Hackney Council’s ‘Sustainable Community Strategy 2008-18’ aims to “enable and empower all our citizens to take an active role in local community, civic and democratic life in the borough.” In fact, voter turnout in Hackney in the 2010 General Election matched the national average of around 60%, whilst in the Council elections Queensbridge Ward registered a 58% turnout. Yet interviewees showed a high degree of disenfranchisement, with only 21% agreeing that their voice is represented by the local government and decision makers, whilst 41% disagreed. As with the topic of personal and professional development, there were no interviewees in the <20 age group who agreed with the statement.. Some of the interviewees voiced their opinion as follows:

“BASICALLY, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT ASKS YOU FOR SOMETHING, THEY’VE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS. THEY DON’T LISTEN. IT’S ALL A FALLACY.” “PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE THEIR SAY MORE OFTEN THAN EVERY FOUR YEARS.”

© clear-village.org 2012

“I DON’T FEEL ANYTHING FOR THE GOVERNMENT.(..)”

"I feel my voice is represented by the local government and decision makers"

The findings on this topic are reminiscent of the accounts and perceptions of the causes of the August 2011 riots, where personal accounts commonly refer to alienation, disempowerment and under-representation: “This is our way to get them to listen to us cos think about it we’ve been struggling for years, and what have they done for us, honestly what is the way...how else do we get to them?“ “The Olympics has a big part in this because they’re regenerating Hackney [but] they’re not regenerating for the people...they’re building up all these nice apartments that you see...but we have to stay in the estates we have already been classed as scum and ‘black people are the worst kind of people’, all these estates that you see that are now fenced up, that’s to keep you in, to keep you segregated from all those people that are coming in, to protect those people.“ (From the Hackney Citizen, 27.08.2011: Residents speak out on Hackney riots at Clarence Road)

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“THERE IS TOO MUCH TOP-DOWN. THERE IS TOO MUCH INVASIVE CONTROL.” A LOCAL RESIDENT'S VIEW ON EMPOWERMENT

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Š clear-village.org 2012


PART 3: A GLANCE INTO THE FUTURE OF REGENT'S ESTATE

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WORKSHOP 44 Workshop 44 is an activity space on Regent’s Estate located in a derelict former shop. It offers a host of activities, ranging from music sessions to bike repair classes, in order to reach out to local people and engage them in positive activity.

"I know about Workshop44 and think the work is relevant to myself and the community"

As the findings show, 59% of interviewees know about Workshop 44 and think that the work is relevant to themselves and the community. Some of the comments that were mentioned during the interviews include:

“IT PROVIDES A SPACE TO HANG OUT FOR PEOPLE, WHICH IS ALREADY USEFUL. ALTERNATIVELY THEY WOULD HANG OUT UNDER THE BRIDGE WAITING TO GET INTO TROUBLE.” “IT KEEPS THE KIDS BUSY.”

© clear-village.org 2012

“IT’S A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO GET TOGETHER AND BE INVOLVED AND ACTIVE.” The 20% of interviewees who disagreed with the statement in fact all did so because they did not know about Workshop 44, not because they did not consider the work relevant. Yet this finding does point to a way in which Workshop 44 can enhance its impact on Regent’s Estate. Several interviewees felt that Workshop 44 would benefit from engaging in more active outreach to the community; clarifying its goals; and being more pro-active about bringing people into its programme of activities:

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“THEY NEED TO GET OUT ON TO THE ESTATE MORE.” “THEY REALLY NEED TO BRANCH OUT TO PEOPLE.” “MOST OF US DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. (..) THE MESSAGE ISN’T CLEAR. THE MUSIC JAM SEEMS TO BE REALLY GOOD, THOUGH.” By doing so, Workshop 44 will be able to ensure that more people on Regent’s Estate will share the sentiment of one particularly positive interviewee:

“WORKSHOP 44 IS BRILLIANT AND CAN FLOURISH. I SPEAK TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND IT MUST BE REALLY HARD BEING THEM AROUND HERE. THEY NEED SOMETHING TO DO! THEY’RE THE LOST GENERATION.”


WISHES AND DREAMS FOR REGENT’S ESTATE When asked about their wishes and dreams for the future of Regent’s Estate, interviewees replied with an array of different ideas. Some actually felt that everything was already satisfactory as it was:

Yet by far the most ideas revolved around enhancing community spirit and providing more activities for local residents:

“I WISH FOR NO VIOLENCE AND EVERYONE TO GET ALONG.”

“IT’S OK ALREADY.”

“THAT PEOPLE LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY.”

“IT SHOULD STAY THE WAY IT IS.”

“SOMETHING FOR THE KIDS TO DO.”

Others suggested ideas of a personal (and sometimes rather impractical) nature:

“TO START A FOOTBALL PROJECT RUN BY ME.” “REDUCING COUNCIL CHARGES.” “THE SHOP SHOULD STAY OPEN LATER.” “FREE PARKING FOR VISITORS.” “I WISH FOR IT TO GO ABOUT A MASSIVE RENOVATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE COUNCIL TO GIVE US NEW HOUSES AND DESTROY THE CRAP EX-COUNCIL SHIT I BOUGHT.”

“THERE SHOULD BE MORE MUSIC, MORE EXHIBITIONS, SHOWCASING FILMS.” “A UNITED COMMUNITY.” “SAFER THINGS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO DO.” “I WISH FOR REGENT'S TO MAINTAIN ITS CHARACTER, FOR EVERYONE TO GET ALONG AND FULFIL THE POTENTIAL OF THE VAST TALENT AND CONTINUE TO GROW HEALTHY, STRONG AND WITH INTEGRITY.” “I WISH FOR COMMUNITY COHESION TO BE INCREASED, EVERYONE SHOULD CONTINUE CARRYING OUT POSITIVE ACTIVITIES ON THE ESTATE WHICH WILL REFLECT ACROSS THE BOROUGH.”

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IDEAS FOR THE PUBLIC SPACE When asked about what they would like to see in the public space, interviewees responded with three main points: + Firstly, and linking up to the findings from the statement about public space in the neighbourhood, residents would like to have more benches and better accessibility for elderly and disabled persons. + Secondly, a variety of ideas was suggested to improve what is currently perceived as the uninviting aspect of the public space:

“MORE GREEN SPACE.” “NICE FLOWER BEDS.” “MORE FLOWERS.” “SCULPTURES, MORE TREES, COLOURFUL AND GREEN BUILDINGS THAT ARE ECO SMART.” “SOME MORE GREENERY.”

© clear-village.org 2012

“A FOUNTAIN ON BROKE WALK WOULD BE NICE FOR WHEN IT’S WARM. ONE OF THOSE THAT COMES OUT OF THE GROUND SO THE KIDS CAN PLAY IN IT.”

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+ And thirdly, linking up to the responses to the question about the future of Regent’s Estate, interviewees would like to see more communal activities in the public space:

“PEOPLE ENJOYING THEMSELVES.” “I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE ACTIVITIES AND STREET PARTIES.” “OUTDOOR CONCERTS OR MUSIC FESTIVALS ONCE IN A WHILE.” “COMMUNITY EVENTS FOR ALL WHO LIVE IN THE AREA” “IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE MORE THINGS GOING ON- LESS LOW KEY.” “A PROPER GARDEN PARTY.” “FOOD PARTIES AND STREET EVENTS.” “A CLEAN AND HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT WITH FRIENDLY, HAPPY NEIGHBOURS INTERACTING IN A POSTITIVE AND HEALTHY ATMOSPHERE. FEELING PROUD EVERY DAY OF LIVING IN REGENT'S ESTATE.”


“I WISH FOR A REGENT'S ESTATE FESTIVAL, SOMETHING UNIQUE TO HERE THAT PEOPLE CAN GET BEHIND.” A RESIDENT ON THE FUTURE OF REGENT'S ESTATE

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Š clear-village.org 2012


PART 3 RECODE

HOW PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE THEMSELVES The question as to how local residents would like to contribute to changing the neighbourhood also elicited a broad range of responses, ranging from “don’t know” and “don’t have the time” to the more positive:

“BEING A BETTER PERSON.” “BY ENGAGING WITH THE NEXT GENERATION.” “I AM UP FOR CHALLENGES & LIKE TO DEVELOP.” “IN ANY WAY.” “YES, IN WHATEVER WAY IF I HAVE THE TIME.” “FRIENDLINESS AND A SMILEY FACE.” “TEACHING BASIC COMPUTING AND READING.”

“BEING NICE AND RESPECTFUL.” “ORGANISE A HOMEWORK CLUB FOR THE YOUTH IN THE AREA.” “I COULD HELP PEOPLE OUT.” “KEEPING PUBLIC COMMUNAL SPACES CLEAN AND TIDY. HELPING TO IMPROVE GREEN AREAS BY GROWING FLOWERS AND NEW TREES.” As CLEAR VILLAGE has learnt in the course of other community engagement projects, there is of course a large difference between what people say that are willing to do and what they do eventually do. This is not a cynical reflection, but a realistic observation which is in line with broader research into civic participation. Yet this comment aside, there is no doubt that there is a vast reservoir of positive intent and enthusiasm amongst residents in Regent’s Estate which can be tapped into in order to bring about positive change.

“SOMETHING WITHIN THE ARTS, I WORK IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.” “I ALREADY PARTICIPATE AT THE COMMUNITY HALL AND DO BBQS AT PENSIONER’S HALL- I WOULD JUST WANT TO DO THAT MORE.” “PROMOTION AND PUBLICISING SKILLS.”

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CONCLUSIONS It would be presumptuous to claim that the Small Works project can help the residents of Regent’s Estate to tackle all the problems that have been identified in the course of the Well-Being Analysis. Many require a long-term approach that can only succeed through close collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Council and Hackney Homes.

It is therefore with great excitement that we are looking forward to phase two of Small Works and to working together with the people of Regent’s Estate to bring more life and shared activity to their neighbourhood in order to strengthen the communal bonds.

That said, we do believe that phase two of the Small Works project, which will see a number of public space interventions being carried out hand in hand with local residents in the near future in order to increase the vitality of Regent’s Estate and bring it to the attention of local decision-makers, will be an extremely valuable step in the right direction.

Or, to put it in the words of the Sweet Combination music jam at Workshop 44:

On the basis of our Well-Being Analysis, we are confident that a number of key factors are in place that will ensure that public space interventions have a significant impact: + Regent’s Estate is a highly diverse and tolerant neighbourhood. + One of its potential strengths is local community spirit, though this needs to be supported and strengthened by having more communal activities.

© clear-village.org 2012

+

There is a great desire to see more activities taking place in the public space, in order to provide young people with constructive things to do, bring young and old together, and bridge divides between different ethnic and social groups.

+ And finally, there is substantial motivation and enthusiasm among local residents to participate in such communal activities and ensure their success.

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A LITTLE BIT OF ME, A LITTLE BIT OF YOU BRIGHTEST STARS ARE ALWAYS GONNA SHINE THROUGH. EVERYONE WILL HAVE THE TIME TO SHINE IF YOU BREAK ON THROUGH AND WALK THE LINE. WE JUST HAVE ONE ULTIMATE GOAL IS THAT EVERYBODY HERE GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME! SWEET COMBINATION MUSIC JAM AT WORKSHOP 44 43


CONTACT

CLEAR VILLAGE Lime Wharf, Vyner Street LONDON E2 9DJ T +44 (0)20 8980 9019

Thomas Ermacora Strategy Director T +44 (0)75 0300 1345 E thomas@clear-village.org Alice Holmberg Operations & Development Director T +44 (0)75 4993 8840 E alice@clear-village.org

Š clear-village.org 2012

Project team Thomas Ermacora Alice Holmberg Frank van Hasselt Victoria van Wassenhove Robin Houterman Tom Cowan



RECODE Regent Estate