Symposium: ‘London’s Turning?’

Date/Time: 24/10/2015 from 10:00 am - 6:30 pm

Date: Saturday October 24th 2015
Time: 10am – 6.30pm
Venue: University Square Stratford

East London’s regeneration, initially triggered by the building of Canary Wharf, and accelerated by the advent of the Olympics, has been widely hailed as a triumphant reversal of fortunes, turning an area of long term deprivation and dereliction into a culturally vibrant and economically prosperous part of a world city. Yet critics have argued that far from producing a convergence of life chances, the new developments are reproducing old inequalities, and that the gentrification of East London, however patchy, will lead to the entrenchment of social disadvantage. But how are the changes actually perceived by those who are living through them on the ground? How are they making sense of their worlds as a whole new urban landscape is created in their midst? This conference brings together researchers and policy makers, writers and artists, and representatives of local communities to discuss some key issues.


10 – 10.15am Welcome from Paul Brickell (LLDC)

10.15 – 11.15 Speaking Out of Place: Voices and Visions from East 20
Phil Cohen and Debbie Humphry introduce and discuss the main findings of the first phase of their ethnographic research and community projects in East Village, followed by first public screening of ‘A Place beyond Belief’, a film made with the involvement of local young people and other residents.

11.15 – 11.45am Coffee (included)

11.45 – 12.45pm Workshops will explore some of the issues raised by the plenary session

  • Housing led by Penny Bernstock (Centre for East London Studies UEL)
  • Place Making led by Nicole Crockett and Fiona MacDonald (The Building Exploratory)
  • Health and Well Being: The Post Olympic agenda led by Mike Weed ( Christchurch Canterbury) and William Bird (tbc)
  • Working with young people on regeneration issues led by Nick Edwards (Fundamental Architecture Inclusion), Melissa Butcher (Creating Hackney as Home) and John Wallett (Living Maps)

12.45 – 2pm Lunch (not included in ticket)
Lunchtime Video Programme: There will be screenings of ‘Lights on for the Territory’ (LivingMaps/Aura Films), ‘Olympic Youth Legacy Video’ (Fundamental Architectural Inclusion) and ‘Creating Hackney as Home’.


Photo: Building Exploratory

2 – 3pm Workshops looking at some case studies of other parts of East London to help identify wider patterns of urban change and gentrification. The workshops will be led by local people involved in campaigns around these issues.

  • Balfron Tower Tower Hamlets: Alberto Duman
  • Royal Docks Newham: leader tbc
  • Carpenters Estate Newham: Focus E 15
  • The Boleyn Ground Newham: Karen Harris

3 – 3.45pm Workshop report back

3.45 – 4.15pm Tea (included)

4.15 – 5.30pm Plenary: The Post Olympic Legacy in East London: Convergence or Divergence?
Panel: Gavin Poynter (UEL), Paul Brickell (LLDC), Paul Watt (Birkbeck), Ralf Ward (Planning Consultant), Martha Mingay (GLA), Emmanuel Gotora (TELCO), Francesa Weber-Newth (Independent artist and researcher) Ken Clark (LB Newham)

5.30 – 6.30pm Reception


Photo: Gary Wilson (MyPlaceYourPlaceE20 group)

‘MyPlaceYourPlaceE20’ a community photography project in E 20 will be on display at the Guttman Health Centre in East Village during the conference.

Full price tickets: £20.00
Students, unwaged, seniors and local residents: £7.50
(Places are limited so please book online here)

Event supported by the Centre for East London Studies ( UEL logo) and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (Birkbeck Logo). We would like to acknowledge the financial assistance of the London Legacy Development Corporation, Share East and Triathlon Homes in supporting some of the work reported here.

Organised by Livingmaps Network and the Building Exploratory (logos)

Venue: University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road London E15 1NF



Apologies for any confusion due to change of date, venue and ticketing.This event was originally scheduled to take place in July.


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