What makes a neighbourhood? New project maps the places that matter

15th November 2021

Local residents in Swiss Cottage, Somers Town and Kilburn have mapped the places that are most significant to them in a new collaborative project from UCL Culture, Camden Libraries and lead artist Richard DeDomenici, supported by the Carnegie UK Trust.

The ‘Yourtopia: What Makes a Neighbourhood?’ project posed this question to diverse communities, drawing on local history, addressing social issues including air pollution, street harassment and gentrification, and exploring the shape of the neighbourhood of the future.

In summer and autumn 2021, residents of each area were invited to join DeDomenici on a series of one-to-one socially distanced walks, each of which was filmed.

Key locations from these walks were then marked as nodes on a bespoke online map, where you can watch the short films made on each site.

Explore the Yourtopia map

The map created from these walks and conversations is a living online resource, which will continue to evolve as it is updated with further testimonies from local people.

The project will be presented publicly in November 2021 with celebration events at Camden People’s Theatre on 20 November and Bloomsbury Theatre on 29 November, giving opportunities for family, friends, researchers, colleagues and the public to watch and discuss the films made, and imagine what their future neighbourhood could look like.

Speaking about the project, Richard DeDomenici said:

“It was hugely exciting to meet and talk to so many passionate, knowledgeable Camden residents about the local places that have impacted their lives, or stirred their imaginations. I hope that the map we have created together is a thought-provoking snapshot of this borough through the eyes of the people who know it best, and prompts our online visitors to ask what gives their own neighbourhood life and meaning”.

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