In Crystal Palace, South London, a group of local residents have come together to form a Community Land Trust and to develop a community garden, with affordable and sustainable homes for local people.
The CLT won a bidding process to develop an infill site, "The Lawns", owned by Croydon Council. Archio are delighted to be working with the Community Land Trust and local residents to develop the proposals, which are currently at pre-planning stage.
This project is uniquely community-led, not only are the project instigators a local community group, but they themselves have reached out to other local people and neighbours to the site, to develop the proposals in a truly collaborative way. The Resident Design Group is made up of 18 local people, all of whom applied to take part, and who themselves are representative of the local area – 55% are on low incomes, half are in housing need, and 55% are BAME.
In March 2020 when we won the commission, the Covid pandemic forced us to take an 'about-turn' and move our participatory design and on-site engagement tools online. We worked with the local residents’ design group acting as co-creators using a combination of digital and analogue methods. The process is heightened as, during the pandemic, communities are redefining how they relate to their neighbourhood and taking a new-found interest in their local area.