Phoebe Walton

"New Perspectives, New Southgate"

Section MS7, Helene Kazan

Keywords: architecture, urbanism, time

I have lived in New Southgate, a North London suburb, for over ten years. During this time the area has changed: beginning with welcomed piecemeal improvements ā€“ new shops and renovations, to a recent escalation of developments as it enters the full rush of regeneration. This is spurred by the councilā€™s 2011 Masterplan, which sets out the removal of social housing, industry, retail and the creation of new housing blocks.

Reports litter the internet, mediating the community into charts and numbers. Lost are the particular lived experiences of New Southgate. The quantifiable erases the qualitative; the ā€˜top downā€™ squashes the ā€˜bottom upā€™. This leads to generic, unresponsive development and an eroding sense of community and agency.

This project establishes a long-term participatory practice with New Southgate and its residents, to uncover subjective, personal perspectives of the area. Through this process, the project explores ways local engagement can produce agency in potentially influencing development of the area.