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YOUTH ENGAGEMENT

REPORT Bringing forward the case for Youth Involvement in the Revitalisation of Globe Town

Report • January 2018


Executive Summary The number of the Globe Town area, referring to the last census held in 2011, has sharply increased. It has commonly been cited in literature that young people feel marginalised and further alienated by the regeneration processes that radically alter the areas they live in. This report has reviewed a series of projects (from youth design competitions to school and architectural company collaborations) in London (particularly North & East), which have tried to defy this 21st century trend. Learnings from each case study will used to inform youth outreach strategies Roman Road Trust could potentially deploy in the future in the Globe Town neighbourhood.

‘Tower Hamlets is so diverse. Firsts is a celebration of human experience’ (New Creatives, 2017)

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Introduction & Background Context

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Youth Engagement Case studies

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Roman Road Trust Activities

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Methodology & Learnings

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Recommendations

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Conclusion

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Thanks

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Executive Summary

Legacy Youth Voice Islington’s Young Person Design Competition Young people envisioning the new White City Green space Wealdstone Youth Workshop

Morpeth Secondary Arts & Culture workshop

1) Trial small scale youth outreach urban regeneration projects at local schools 2) Use engagement methods which are highly creative 3) Collaboration is key!


Introduction & Background Context As a result of extensive inward migration over the past few decades, Tower Hamlets boasts an extremely ethnically diverse population (New London Architecture, 2016). Alongside demographic change, the borough has also seen fast paced urban change, with some of the transformations being heavily affiliated with the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2012 (NLA,2016). Globe Town is situated between Bethnal Green, in the East of the borough and Bow, further West. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of the Mile End & Globe Town ward rapidly surged, by 26%, from 12,081 to a total of 15,910 (LBTH,2012). Looking at more striking statistics, the number of young people aged 11-15 has doubled within this time frame (LBTH,2012). Bearing in mind the increasing number of young people in the area, it is ever more critical to get this demographic group involved in Globe Town’s regeneration initiatives. Concerning the wider regeneration of London, studies have emerged expressing how young people feel excluded from such processes (UCL,2017). At council consultation events, there are little attempts to engage with this demographic group; if so, attempts often seem tokenistic (UCL,2017). There is general consensus that young people today have a heightened awareness of implications regeneration can bring i.e. house price inflation, alluding to community or even their own displacement from the areas where they grew up (London Youth, 2017). With the increasing closure of youth services (connected to government spending cuts), less city spaces in London can be deemed inclusive of this age group.

Youth Engagement Report • January 2018

Literature has continuously pressed the numerous ways young people in which can benefit from meaningful involvement in urban regeneration initiatives. Collaboration (or complete devolution of power to young people with these projects- which is rare) can aid with personal growth, assist with the development of certain employability skills (not just relevant to built environment professions but other sectors) and finally enable those who wish to enter higher education, do so with experience obtained from such unique opportunities (Fitzpatrick,1998; JFR, 2002). Besides these benefits, it is only fair that young people get involved in the regeneration of the areas they live in as they “have intimate knowledge of the area being planned” (Masri, 2017,p.3). It is also critical to remember that this generation will be impacted by whatever built environment changes will be made (Masri,2017).

Age structure in Mile End & Globe Town Comparing 2001 with 2011 census data of the Mile End & Globe Town Ward (LBTH,2012)

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Grace from the New Creatives Globe Town Common Vision Arts & culture workshop, Four Corners, Jan 2018


Youth Engagement Case Studies Various small scale (although very few) projects have been conducted throughout London, championing the involvement of young people in urban regeneration. This section will review the case studies found and further examine engagement methods executed.

Legacy Youth Voice Legacy Youth Voice is a committee which was created 4 years before the London 2012 Olympic Games. The project was launched, with core intentions of enabling young East Londoners to influence what occurs, not just prior to, but after the Olympics in Queen Elizabeth Park. The panel assess and offer their insights to the site’s urban design projects i.e. the Timber Lodge & Podium.The Panel more so represent and disseminate information to others their age about new facilities within the Park (Newham Recorder,2015; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,2018). With over 200 members (in which numbers are still increasing from persistent annual recruitment - see Figure 2), the LLDC wish to continue nurturing this demographic’s interest

Location Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford Timescale 2008 Facilitators London Legacy Development Corporation & Kaizen Partnership No. of Participants 14-18 Age of Participants 30 young people, recruited every year from Olympic LBH, LBTH, LBN & LBTH Successes Already accrued more than 200 participants

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One of Legacy Youth Voice’s post on social media platform Facebook, regarding the recruitment of new members for the 2018 year (Legacy Youth Voice Facebook page, 2017)


Islington’s Young Person Design Competition The focal point for this 2015 design competition was Finsbury Leisure Centre (Figure 3), situated in the St Luke’s area of South Islington. Comprising of various facilities from badminton courts to fitness studios, construction of the building was completed in 1973. With respects to its age (over 40 years old), renovation was becoming increasingly vital (Future of London, 2016). In 2014, Islington Council identified this as an chance to improve the community asset. Regarding this, a professional design competition was initiated. Upon further talks of the desire to extract greater social value from this process, a young people’s competition for 14-18 year olds in London was too devised by the Council (Future of London,2016). The opportunity was disseminated via major social media platforms; complementing this, the youth competition was advertised at cinemas, leisure centres and residential boards within housing estates. Educational architecture charity Open City (collaborating with the Council) facilitated 1 day workshop sessions at 4 youth clubs within the region, guiding entrants on how to develop a masterplan. 6 teams were formulated from the 40 young attendants - Figure 4. Winners were announced in February 2016. Reflecting upon Islington Design Panel review, the intricacy of the winning teams’ design, creativity and their ability to work well together was highly applauded (Future of London,2016).

Location Islington, North London Timescale July 2015 - February 2016 Facilitators Islington Council & Open City No. of Participants 40 young people (6 team entrants) Age of Participants 14-18 Successes

7 expressed desire to pursue a career in architecture and some expressed documenting the opportunity on their CV

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Current design and configuration of Finsbury Leisure Centre (Islington Gazette, 2017)

A series of submissions from the different groups, envisioning what the newly renovated Finsbury Leisure Centre could look like and new housing surrounding the venue (Future of London, 2016)


Young people envisioning the new White City Green space In 2014, St James’ Group were executing plans to construct new housing and communal open space on a vacant site situated in White City. Wanting to maximise long term district benefits, the firm collaborated with grassroots regeneration charity The Glass-House and nearby Phoenix High School on the White City Green project. Emphasis was placed on equipping young people with the confidence to discuss, interact with and contribute to the dynamic design processes happening in their area (Academy of Urbanism, 2018; The GlassHouse, 2014). Field trips (in this instance, to Bankside & Southbank) and study site visits (Figure 5), with participants being provided with a camera to record what they found innovative, were facilitated. Students then developed moodboards and 3D models to convey their own ideas for the new White City green space (The GlassHouse, 2014). Prior to delivering a presentation of their proposals (Figure 6) to a series of stakeholders at the end of the programme, a communication skills workshop was conducted by GlassHouse to boost student confidence (The GlassHouse, 2014).

Location White City, West London Timescale 4 months in 2014 Facilitators St James (of Berkerly) Group & The Glass-House No. of Participants 30 x Year 10 students (Phoenix High School) Age of Participants 14 & 15 Successes 2 interned after project with St James Group Class expressed gratitude in working with professionals

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During site visit, St James Group informing pupils from local Phoenix High School about the series of careers you can explore within the construction sector (The Glass-House, 2014)

Students delivering presentation at the end of the programme and to an array of stakeholders, about their visions for White City Green (The Academy of Urbanism, 2018)


Wealdstone Youth Workshop The key goal of this project (launched last year and finishing in March 2018) is to get young people involved in developing public furniture for Wealdstone Town Square. Such activities, aspire to increase community cohesion. At the same, Spacemakers, working in collaboration with We Made That & Europa, hope that this programme will help to alter negative stereotypes of this demographic group (NLA,2017). Architectural firm Silo was selected to lead numerous workshops throughout the 2017 school holiday, revolving around young people co-designing and trialling of public realm furniture parts (Spacemakers,2017). See Figures 7,8 &9. Major incentives for participation include a cash reward of £500 and young people gaining a share of intellectual property made.

Location Harrow & Wealdstone, North West London Timescale June 2017- March 2018 Facilitators We Made That, Spacemakers & Europa No. of Participants 8 young people Age of Participants 17-18 Successes Participants will receive £500 for their contributions. A share of intellectual property developed is also gained by the young people.

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Public event on space situated outside Holy Trinity Wealdstone Church, Wealdstone Youth Group and local community constructing temporary furniture together (Wealdstone Youth Group Facebook Page, 2017)

Wealdstone Youth Group constructing pieces of furniture during one of the 2017 summer workshops calleds (Wealdstone Youth Group Facebook, 2017)

Photo of the all furniture created from the “Self Assembly� public event (Wealdstone Youth Group Facebook Page, 2017)


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Rich Mix’s New Creatives presenting at Globe Town Common Vision: Arts & Culture Event, regarding their latest storytelling project called “Firsts” (Roman Road Trust, 2018)

Students at local Morpeth Secondary School, discussing proposal ideas within groups for improving Globe Town Market Square (Roman Road Trust, 2017)

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Roman Road Trust Activities On Thursday 14th December 2017, Roman Road Trust held a youth engagement workshop with 18 Year 8 students from local Morpeth Secondary, regarding the revitalisation of Globe Town Market Squarea space in Globe Town which has been frequently cited as being underutilised (LBTH,2017; Shout Out UK,2017).The workshop more so, was delivered during one of the school’s Pledge Award Afternoons, which hopes to elevate student participation in extracurricular activities. See Figure 10 . Roman Road Trust will be meeting the head of Morpeth School next week, opening possibility of more collaboration with the school.

On Tuesday 9th January 2018, Roman Road Trust held its Arts & Culture workshop event, being delivered as a part of the wider Globe Town Common Vision series. Rich Mix’s New Creatives group (aged 16-25) were invited to speak about their recent project - “Firsts”, which aims to increase community cohesion in the Tower Hamlets borough through storytelling and performance. See Figure 11 regarding this. 5 precisely attended. Regarding the final Globe Town Common Vision Knee’s Up Event (will be held in February 2018), young people from a series of local creative institutions - Balik Arts, Rich Mix New Creatives Group and Four Corners will be involved in filming a documentation, summarizing discussions from the Globe Town Common Vision series.

‘Could there be more stalls? For a market square, it is not really a market’ (Year 8 Morpeth Student, 2018)

‘We want people to share their stories freely and find out how similar they are ’ (New Creatives, 2018)


Methodology & Learnings

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Methodology With regards to the Morpeth outreach session, Roman Road Trust conducted the session by firstly showing students a short video clip of the Public Realm event. Students reactions to this and thoughts were discussed. Following this, the class of 18 were then divided into 4; each group presented their ideas for how they potentially envision Globe Town Market Square improved. Increasing interactivity, the floor was opened up to the audience for questions after each presentation. Roman Road Trust Art & Culture event (in a similar manner but engaging with an older age group), provided a platform from Rich Mix’s New Creatives to present and inform the local community about their latest project called “Firsts”. “Firsts” is a project which aims to increase community integration and celebrate the diversity of the borough through storytelling. A survey looking at arts, culture and young people in Globe Town was designed, but not tested on mass scale due to time constraints.

Learnings The incorporation of a video in the Morpeth youth engagement session,encapsulating the views of different stakeholders from Globe Town Public Realm workshop, was quite effective. Students were encouraged to speak upon about the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with some of the points made. Interestingly the clip triggered students to reflect upon their own perceptions and daily experiences of the square (i.e. some use it as a pass through en route school ... and simultaneously reflected on night time safety concerns). Upon overall reflection, students were extremely creative with their proposals, with a few also drawing to visually illustrate their ideas. Proposals included adding a temporary theatre to the square, constructing a mini community centre and hosting a series celebratory festive events (concerning Christmas, Diwali, Passover etc…) there. One group placed emphasis on environmental regeneration (i.e. planting of vibrant flowers to energise the concrete space). Proposals, however, were exempt of realities i.e.funding costs. In addition to this, to extract a more in depth answer/ clear up ambiguity of suggestions, some groups required further probing with questions from the RRT facilitator. At the Globe Town Arts & Culture event, the New Creatives exhibited great confidence in delivering their presentation, expressing happiness at this opportunity to be invited. Young people from the Rich Mix group got highly involved, making valuable contributions to ending discussions. In light of this, RRT could seek advice in the future from this group on cultural/ artistic interventions to benefit the young Globe Town community.

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Year 5’s from Globe Primary School • East End Spring Pinwheels


Recommendations 1

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Trial small scale youth outreach urban regeneration projects at local schools. Regarding youth engagement in Globe Town, a good place to start would be working with and assessing the impacts of initiatives at school level. Projects could entail doing activities with students which allude to place attachment/ create strong feelings of inclusion i.e. creating artistic sculptures, upcycled furniture, banners with different language inscriptions, which can then be inserted into public spaces. Roman Road Trust already fosters a strong relationship with Morpeth Secondary School…. bearing in mind the school’s geographical proximity to the often under - underutilised Globe Town Market Square, a project could be developed from this. The way in which the Harrow & Wealdstone Youth project is currently structured (see Section 2.4) could somewhat be mimicked by Roman Road Trust.

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Use engagement methods which are highly creative. Consultation methods do not necessarily need to be formal to be effective; sessions (adjusting to the needs and age of an audience), can equally be as effective being creative (Swords,2002). There are an array of creative/ self expressive engagement methodologies exist, including the use of drama, filming and photography to engage young people. Participatory video production has been used in two instances in the Hackney borough, East London. Between 2013 and 2015, Dr Melissa Butcher and Dr Luke Dickens in collaboration with Immediate Theatre and media company Mouth That Roars, facilitated a project called “Hackney As Home”, which aimed to investigate the extent (and via film) to which young people feel attached to the area. 5 young people (aged 17-19) and different parts of the borough i.e. Haggerston, Hoxton & Dalston were recruitedFigure 12. Hackney, alike Tower Hamlets (and both bordering the Olympic site), is currently undergoing extensive built environment transformation. Socioeconomic inequalities in some areas inevitably will be perpetuated by this process (Hackney As Home Website,2015). Reflecting upon this case-study, Roman Road Trust should advantage of the arts & culture facilities in Globe Town which specialise in filming production i.e. Four Corners, Balik Arts & Art Represent. Roman Road Trust could potentially work with such enterprises to facilitate creative engagement methodologies like participatory video production. Findings obtained from could be screened at a Tower Hamlets Cinema Popup event.

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Collaboration is key! Reflecting upon all 4 London case studies examined, all case studies seem to have multiple facilitators. The London Legacy Development Corporation is currently working with social enterprise We Are Kaizen, regarding the execution of their Legacy Youth Voice Panel work ; Islington Council, to deliver their youth design competition collaborated with architectural educational company Open City. St James Group, in light of their White City Green proposal, formulated a close relationship with expert community regeneration charity The Glasshouse and the Spacemakers agency are currently partnered with Silo architects & We Made That, in the facilitation of the Wealdstone Youth Group public realm sessions. Roman Road Trust recently worked with the Make:Good firm,in December 2017, on the East End Garlands Christmas shop front regeneration project. It would interesting to make use of Make:Good’s expertise and explore the possibility of conducting a similar project, but of a more youth-orientated nature, with them.


Hackney As Home main webpage, introducing 5 young people recruited from different parts of the borough for opportunity (Hackney As Home Website, 2018)

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Conclusion

As indicated, there are a increasingly growing number of small scale regeneration projects in London which are trying to challenge the way in which youth engagement is done. As continuously iterated, major change, even post the Olympics, is greatly occuring in the Tower Hamlets. Ways have to be found which guarantee that young people are not marginalised by such extensive processes. Roman Road Trust, as reviewed, are currently trialling a range of youth outreach initiatives (including work with local schools i.e. Morpeth Secondary School & designated youth groups i.e. Rich Mix New Creatives) in the Globe Town area. Upon thorough research, it was found that barely any youth projects have been done in the Tower Hamlets borough; interventions undertaken in the Globe Town neighbourhood so far could be used as a model for other districts in the borough.

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Thanks

RRT would like to thank our intern Chloe McFarlans who put together this report as part of her own interest and reserach into youth engagement tactics. Working with Chloe for three months was highly enjoyable and showed intense dedication from her part. Chloe McFarlane is an engagement consultant, who graduated with a BSc Geography degree from the University of Hertfordshire in 2017. She currently works at Fluid & Soundings an independent architecture & community consultancy company based in London. Alongside being highly engaged in youth activism, she has undertaken a series of placements with various charities in London (including Roman Road Trust) that champion community-led urban regeneration.

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Youth Engagement Report January 2018

Profile for Roman Road Trust

Globe Town Youth Engagement Report 2018  

Recent graduate Chloe McFarlane completed a three-month internship with Roman Road Trust where she compiled a report on Youth Engagement for...

Globe Town Youth Engagement Report 2018  

Recent graduate Chloe McFarlane completed a three-month internship with Roman Road Trust where she compiled a report on Youth Engagement for...

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