New plans in Hackney, Barking and for London’s recovery

16 February 2022 Update

Bartlett students have been playing a crucial role in the production of the 

JustSpace Recovery Plan for London – an innovation in plan-making by the network of community groups through the Covid-19 pandemic. Unable to have face to face meetings, the network has put together a completely new kind of planning document through a large number of small workshops, some thematic, some cross-cutting, and all facilitated with support from volunteer Planning School students. This work draws on earlier interview work by students at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) in 2020 which is now written up in the Faculty magazine, along with audio extracts.
The Just Space work began in 2020 and continues through to the publication of the Recovery Plan in March 2022 and after that to implementation and dissemination. In the first of a series of meetings in the School of Planning, six students presented summaries of their work and reflections on the process in January and more such meetings will follow, with details posted here. The thrust of the Recovery Plan is that London planning has to change from being led by developer interests to being led by the concept of the caring city to rectify the major injustices caused or revealed by the pandemic while also addressing the crises of climate and nature. Enquiries to m.edwards@ucl.ac.uk or follow @JustSpace7 on twitter.

Other Planning students are supporting community activity in Barking Riverside Opportunity Area where an important community development project is under way to help empower long-standing residents of two council estates, now being joined by new residents in one of London’s largest new housing developments. This is located on reclaimed industrial riverside and being developed by the GLA and a housing association L&Q in a joint company. Previous posts on this blog have some material from past years and some of this year’s students are reporting on their work shortly: helping to establish a nature reserve and evaluating some housing schemes.

A third group are preparing alternative plans for Hackney Central where the council’s agreement with a development company lapses at the end of March and a great debate is under way about how the site of a big Tesco and its car park should be used, triggered by a very effective community group. This activity got under way in late 2021 and is now being pursued by an entire module;

Others again have been helping Just Space groups across London marshall their experiences to feed in to a scrutiny by the London Assembly. The product of their work will be submitted to the Planning and Regeneration comittee of the Assembly in late February.

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