Additional Team Members - Lili Pandolfi, Granville Community Kitchen
This research project aims to understand the importance of the community buildings Granville and Carlton for the communities in South Kilburn and surrounding areas, the different kinds of support the buildings and the organisations using them provide, and their importance a social infrastructure: spaces for creating and maintaining social connections. In particular, it aims to understand the relevance of these buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent periods of lockdown and restrictions, when social infrastructure and networks of mutual support have become more relevant. Since the buildings are about to go through a regeneration scheme to turn it into a mixed-use development, the research project also aims to understand how the lessons learnt during the pandemic can contribute to guide decisions on the activities, services, physical infrastructure and governance of the buildings to create more resilient social infrastructures.
The specific objectives of the project are:
• To understand how the community buildings Granville and Carlton – and the organisations using them – have provided support during the pandemic.
• To co-produce with residents and users of the buildings a collective vision on the kind of activities, services and community support they would like to see on the buildings.
This will have particular emphasis on building resilient communities for future scenarios related to climate change and health crises.
• Work with the community on defining which are the main needs in terms of physical infrastructure to develop these activities, services and community support.
• To co-produce with residents and users of the buildings a community-led management governance structure for the buildings, which puts local people at the heart of decision-making.
For doing so, this project has used Participatory Action Research methods in order to co-produce knowledge with communities about how they use their built environment, their social infrastructure and the aspirations for the future of their neighbourhood. The researchers have facilitated two codesign workshops with users of the buildings and surrounding residents, attended a Stakeholders Group meeting to discuss the project, and carried out semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, users and organisations. This has been accompanied by a literature review on community spaces, social infrastructure and workspaces in the context of Covid-19.
From this research, the project has produced a series of key findings on the relevance of the buildings a social infrastructure, and a set of recommendations that can inform some of the decisions on the activities, services, physical infrastructure and governance of the buildings. This research was funded by the Roddick Foundation.