The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Newham Youth Map explores the borough through young people’s eyes

12 February 2021

A new blog from The Royal Docks shares insights from the team of young people who created a new 'Youth Map' in Newham with CASA researchers


The team used Memory Mapper, an open-source toolkit, to create the map. Dr Leah Lovett (UCL CASA) says, “All maps tell their own story; the conventional organisation of the global map with Europe at the centre reveals a colonial spatial imaginary, for instance. The Memory Mapper toolkit allows people to tell their own spatial stories in ways that may challenge those dominant narratives.”
The project was run across the summer of 2020, with Irshad, Youssef, Mariana, Tekai, Kanye, and Bisi from Newham, working with Leah and Dr Duncan Hay. The culmination of the project saw the young people delivering training sessions for Newham councillors and local youth workers in the use of the Memory Mapper toolkit. These sessions were conceived as a way to consolidate the participants’ learning, and to ensure wider take up and legacy for the Newham Youth Map.

The young people commented on their experiences of participating:

“I’ve learnt a lot of skills that I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise sitting on the sofa in lockdown.” 

“This whole experience has been great.” 

“It’s totally changed my mind about computing and programming.” 

“I feel like I’ve had a whole new insight into a completely different area.”

The councillors were impressed with both the map and the youth-led training, and are in discussion with UCL with a view to building on the work already done and embedding the resource.

This knowledge exchange project was funded by UCL Culture in response to lockdown and the needs of the community local to UCL East.

The Memory Mapper toolkit, developed by Dr Duncan Hay as part of the Jewish East End Memory Map research project, has recently launched as an open source offering at: https://memorymapper.github.io.

You can read the blog here and explore the Newham Youth Map here.