The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


London: A community-centred alternative to displacement


In collaboration with David McEwen (unit 38) and West Green Road / Seven Sisters Development Trust

16-21 September


Please note the official deadline for applications was on Monday 15 July. However, we still welcome late applicants. Please download the application form in the Applications section and contact us soon at dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk.

Regeneration is radically transforming London’s physical and social fabrics. In Tottenham, North London, development proposals will see a very diverse community displaced to make way for luxury residential towers: Seven Sisters Market – one of London’s most celebrated migrant hubs located at the ‘gateway’ to Tottenham – has become the battleground for competing visions for the city. The summerLab wants to explore a community-led transformation, alternative to an otherwise exclusionary trajectory of urban regeneration.

Seven Sisters Indoor Market is home to over 60 businesses from 21 nationalities, employing over 150 traders. While an emphatically international space, the market is particularly celebrated for the role it plays for London’s Latin American community. Businesses form the stage for social life, offer a vital support network and an opportunity for cultural expression. As the United Nations have recognised: “the market provides a dynamic cultural space, inclusive of people from a diversity of places and from different generations, that is a great example of London’s cultural diversity.” It is a unique space within the city.

How, in a context threatened with eviction because of regeneration plans, can resistance evolve into an alternative? How can such alternative inspire a wider, community-focused and community-led, strategy for a street, for a neighbourhood, for the whole of Tottenham? Working alongside local traders, residents, campaigners and the plan’s current designers, the summerLab will attempt to answer these challenges. We will work at multiple scales and enquire the manifold dimensions of the urban transformation: the workshop will start with a series of urban explorations, from the Market to the wider neighbourhood, to other significant regeneration projects in London; we will meet a series of activists and scholars that will offer critical perspectives on the current dynamics of urban transformation; we will conduct fieldwork activities to gather empirical evidence to support the formulation of a Community Plan for Seven Sisters, on which we will work along with local community architects and members. We will present such plan at the presence of local stakeholders, feeding a collective discussion on the necessity and appropriateness of fostering a community-driven process of transformation.

Please download the application form below or write to us at dpusummerlab@ucl.ac.uk to express your interest. Further information will be provided in due course. Stay tuned and follow our Facebook page for updates!