The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


MSc UDP and Just Space audio map launched as tool to amplify diverse community voices in London

31 March 2021

Designed as a first step towards the production of Just Space’s Community-Led Recovery Plan for London, this project captures and amplifies unheard stories of community struggle and resilience in the face of COVID-19.


In Autumn 2020, students from the DPU conducted remote interviews with sixteen community organisations involved in campaigns to promote more just planning in London. Building on a longstanding collaborative partnership between the DPU’s Urban Development Planning programme and, a London-wide network of community campaigns and organisations, Just Space, the purpose of these interviews was twofold: to support the Just Space network in tracking the impact that COVID-19 and associated lockdown measures were having on London’s diverse communities; and to gather grass-roots ideas to feed into a broader conversation about how London might build-back fairer after the pandemic.

The audio map presented here 
represents a distillation of these recorded conversations, bringing together selected audio clips with brief organisational profiles. Read collectively, the stories captured in this map underscore the critical importance of placing the knowledge(s) and experience of London’s diverse communities at the heart of post-pandemic recovery planning in London. In particular, the groups’ propositional reflections about what needs to change in order for London to become a more just city in the future, offer a clear and timely steer for decision makers seeking (re)election in upcoming local, metropolitan and mayoral elections.

Initially focussed on Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) organisations, neighbourhood groups and local economy groups, the map is designed as a living resource, with the potential for the ideas and reflections of further London-based groups to be added overtime. It forms the first step of a larger process being taken forward by Just Space as they move towards the production of a Community-led Recovery Plan for London.

The project thanks the following community partners for their time, inputs and enthusiasm: 81Acts of Exuberant Defiance, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), Calthorpe Community Garden, Deptford Neighbourhood Action, Dharart Limited, Foundry Asset Management Limited, Grove Park Neighbourhood Forum, Grove Park Youth Club Building Preservation Trust, Kanlungan, Pedro Achata Trust, People’s World Carnival Band, Race on the Agenda (ROTA), Roy Tindle, Runnymede Trust, Save Latin VillageAnti Tribalism Movement (ATM) and Selby Trust. Thanks also to Naima Bouteldja, for her work leading the audio editing process, Dana Sousa-Limbu, for her support producing the audio map, and to the MSc UDP 2020-2021 cohort who conducted the initial interviews.

For more information about the project, please contact Richard Lee at Just Space (richardlee50@gmail.com) or Barbara Lipietz and Tim Wickson at the Development Planning Unit (b.lipietz@ucl.ac.ukt.wickson@ucl.ac.uk).