By Barbara Lipietz, on 6 November 2012
Photo by Flickr member: ©J@ck!
At a public meeting held on 24th September to discuss UCL’s planned expansion on the Carpenters Estate, Estate residents clearly and collectively stated their opposition to the current initiative. Whilst we fully espouse the expansion of UCL, we believe that such an expansion should take place in a manner that supports and respects local communities.
Ongoing research in the area by the DPU provides insight into community dynamics and aspirations of Carpenters Estate residents. This has highlighted the diversity and vulnerabilities of the groups living on the Estate and its surrounding. Unless active consideration of such dynamics is taken into account, urban regeneration efforts run the risk of resulting in social exclusion.
We therefore support the Urban Lab’s concerns as expressed in its ‘UCL’s Stratford Proposition’. We further urge UCL:
- to engage afresh in its review of an appropriate site for UCL’s expansion;
- that such a review should be undertaken on the basis of revised ‘site desirability’ criteria, to include a clear commitment to the well-being of local and East London borough residents, the active participation of affected communities, as well as engagement with local government;
- that these guiding principles should further be carried through in the formulation and implementation of any future plans.
In carrying out the above, UCL should draw on its founding principles, reasserted in the current UCL Grand Challenges. It could also call upon its wealth of internal experience, knowledge and practice, working with communities, local government and planning in different contexts.
The above statement was produced in consultation with DPU staff members and represents the position of the DPU.