Category Archives: South London

They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs

Image result for Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities. Changing Neighbourhoods

A new publication, March 2016:

Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods

Publisher: Springer
Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-3-319-23095-5 (Print) 978-3-319-23096-2 (Online)
Available under Open Access at SpringerLink: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-23096-2
Year: 2016

Summary

This book presents a comparative analysis of intergroup relations and migrant integration at the neighbourhood level in Europe. Featuring a unique collection of portraits of urban relations between the majority population and immigrant minorities, it examines how relations are structured and evolve in different and increasingly diverse local societies. Inside, readers will find a coordinated set of ethnographic studies conducted in eleven neighbourhoods of five European cities: London, Barcelona, Budapest, Nuremberg, and Turin. The wide-ranging coverage encompasses post-industrial districts struggling to counter decline, vibrant super-diverse areas, and everything in between. Featuring highly contextualised, cross-disciplinary explorations presented within a solid comparative framework, this book considers such questions as: Why does the native-immigrant split become a tense boundary in some neighbourhoods of some European cities but not in others? To what extent are ethnically framed conflicts driven by site-specific factors or instead by broader, exogenous ones? How much does the structure of urban spaces count in fuelling inter-ethnic tensions and what can local policy communities do to prevent this? The answers it provides are based on a multi-layer approach which combines in-depth analysis of intergroup relations with a strong attention towards everyday categorization processes, media representations, and narratives on which local policies are based. Even though the relations between the majority and migrant minorities are a central topic, the volume also offers readers a broader perspective of social and urban transformation in contemporary urban settings. It provides insightful research on migration and urban studies as well as social dynamics that scholars and students around the world will find relevant. In addition, policy makers will find evidence-based and practically relevant lessons for the governance of increasingly diverse and mobile societies.

Contents

Introduction
Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo

‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods
Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley

Rise and Resolution of Ethnic Conflicts in Nuremberg Neighbourhoods
Claudia Köhler

Comfortably Invisible: The Life of Chinese Migrants Around ‘The Four Tigers Market’ in Budapest
Boglárka Szalai, Krisztina La-Torre

Inter-Group Perceptions and Representations in Two Barcelona Neighbourhoods: Poble Sec and Sagrada Família Compared
Ricard Morén-Alegret, Albert Mas, Dawid Wladyka

Turin in Transition: Shifting Boundaries in Two Post-Industrial Neighbourhoods
Pietro Cingolani

News Media and Immigration in the EU: Where and How the Local Dimension Matters
Andrea Pogliano

Boundaries, Barriers and Bridges: Comparative Findings from European Neighbourhoods
Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo

Reviews:

For anyone who wants to understand a critical issue of the early 21st century–the integration of immigrant minorities in European cities-this book is essential reading.  In contrast to the all-too-common top-down view from the perspective of the national state, the authors provide us with essential ground-level insights from the daily round in urban neighborhoods. — Richard Alba, CUNY Graduate Center

This timely book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of migration in Europe. Its focus on the neglected areas of negotiation, boundary-making and social relationships in European neighbourhoods make it especially compelling. It deserves to be read closely by academics and policy-makers alike. — Richard Gale, Cardiff University

Our chapter:

‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley

This chapter explores how housing policies and the nature of housing stock have conditioned residential geographies and diversity patterns in two south London neighbourhoods, Bermondsey and Camberwell. The key drivers are policy changes to social housing allocation and the post-industrial reconfiguration of urban space expressed in processes of gentrification and the redevelopment of riverside docklands into expensive housing units. These developments have challenged existing narratives of community, but they have also shifted the focus of analytical enquiry towards emerging us-them divides based on class and generation. Within the context of diversity and social cohesion, both neighbourhoods are characterized by a comparatively unproblematic day-to-day muddling along with difference, but also a generally declining level of civic engagement and neighbourhood cohesion, expressed by a sense of ‘living together apart’.   >>> Download PDF (254KB) >>> View Chapter               

HOW TO CITE: Jensen, O. & Gidley, B. (2016) ‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods’, in Pastore, F. & Ponzo, I. (eds) Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods, Springer, pp. 19-38


Servicing super-diversity

This is my latest COMPAS blog post. You can read the original here. The photos are by me.

In the 1890s, philanthropist Charles Booth and a team of assistants – the pioneers of sociological research in the UK – walked the whole of London, visually noting the wealth of each street’s inhabitants, to construct their Maps Descriptive of London Poverty. The maps coded streets by colour, with scarlet red and gold marking the “well-to-do” and the “wealthy”, dark blue and black representing the “casual poor” in “chronic want” and the
“vicious and semi-criminal” “lowest class”. Southwark, just across the Thames from the City of London, was a mass of dark colours.

A hundred years later, the New Labour government created an Index of Multiple Deprivation to map new forms of poverty, dark blue for most deprived and gold for least. Again, the northern wards of Southwark were swathed in darkness, with the area around Elephant and Castle especially dark blue.

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More recently, the estate agents Savills has produced a different map of London, with dark blue representing areas where house prices were declining, and Booth’s scarlet red now used to mark zones moving “upmarket”. This time, in what the Economist called “the great inversion”, the former dark zones of Southwark had become vivid red property hotspots.

Elephant and Castle, in the heart of this area, exemplifies London’s sharp changes: commercial student housing, warehousing study migrants from the rising powers of Eastern Asia; luxury pied a terres in developments in a rebranded “South Central” quarter; social housing redevelopments that result in the decanting of long-term residents out to London’s far suburbs; a growing hub for Latin American enterprise.

Super-diversity at the local level

Elephant and Castle is also the site of a COMPAS project, Welfare, neighbourhood and new geographies of diversity. This project, along with an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship, were the source for February’s COMPAS Breakfast Briefing, presented by my COMPAS colleague Mette Louise Berg and me. We asked “How do local authorities deal with the increasing diversity of their clients and residents?” The Powerpoint presentation is online, and podcast and summary are coming soon.

IMG_3525_elephant_arches

Mette opened by describing the concept of “super-diversity” at the heart of our project, the intensifying diversity of forms of difference concentrated in one place, as defined by COMPAS founder Stephen Vertovec. Vertovec’s work has opened up a research agenda that I have been pursuing with Nando Sigona, Mette Berg and other colleagues in the last half decade, with a conference in Oxford, a workshop in Birmingham, and an edited collection. It also informed a Home Office study on the varying impacts of migration in local areas (subject of a previous Breakfast Briefing by Jon Simmons), which included “super-diverse London” as one of its geographical clusters.

The Welfare, neighbourhood and new geographies of diversity project, which also involves Caroline Oliver, Hiranthi Jayaweera and Rachel Humphris, as well as photographer Simon Rowe, takes this agenda forward by piloting ethnographic research on how diversity is patterned differently at different stages of the life course, and how this impacts on service provision in a super-diverse space.

Understanding Elephant

figure for BB blogpost

My contribution to the Breakfast Briefing was to present detailed census analysis done as part of the project by Anna Krausova, exploring different patterns of diversity across multiple axes of difference in an area circumscribed by a 1 mile radius from Elephant and Castle. Mette then presented some of the findings from the education and housing case studies of our qualitative research. Continue reading


Turning the Tide? Deptford regeneration event 25 April

This event is being organised by the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR) as part of its twentieth anniversary, inaugurating a series of events that range from crime in urban Brazil to the global travel of flip-flops to the future of urban art.

Programme:
3.30 – 5.30 Seminar: The changing face of “regeneration” in London
Short initial interventions by: Alison Rooke, Michael Keith, Heidi Seetzen, Rob Imrie, Luna Glucksberg
5.30 – 6.00 Screenings and sound intervention: Creative Responses to Urban Change in Deptford (food and drinks provided)
6.00 – 8.00 Workshop: 21 Years of Urban Regeneration in Deptford
Short provocations by: Ben Gidley, Jess Steele, Jessica Leech, Neil Transpontine, and Joe Montgomery
Followed by roundtable discussions:
– Creative Deptford: arts, culture and regeneration
– Housing and neighbourhood
– DIY Deptford: regeneration from below?
– Convoys Wharf: regeneration or land grab?
– The changing face of Deptford: migration, identity, diversity and generation

CUCR blog link | Hashtags: #ttt21 #cucr20 | Email to register: f.calafate AT gold.ac.uk

The following day, the Radical Housing Network’s Housing Weekender will be in Lewisham.


EU-MIA update

This is an extract from a post by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog. Read the whole original here.

Over the past few months most of my time has been spent on fieldwork relating to the European Migrant Integration Academy (EU-MIA). The academy, to take place in Turin in February 2014, will be based on case study material from 10 integration projects in different EU-countries. Together with FIERI – a Turin-based research centre – we have, over the past few months, been visiting these projects, carrying out and filming interviews with key stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Whereas FIERI is doing five field missions in southern Europe (France, Italy (2), Spain (2)), we at COMPAS have so far visited projects in Austria, Britain, Germany and Sweden, and this week I will be off, together with Ida Persson, to Vejle, Denmark for the final mission. In the next paragraphs I will attempt to summarise the experiences from the missions that I have been part of : Bermondsey (Southwark), Hamburg and Vienna. (The mission to Visby, Sweden was carried out by Ben Gidley, Ida Persson, and Simon Rowe.)

St. George’s Festival, Bermondsey
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For our pilot mission, we returned to Bermondsey where we previously have done fieldwork as part of the Concordia Discors project. Whereas the St’ George’s Festival, staged every April since 2006, was the central event that we focused on, it was important for us to establish a broader understanding of how the festival is nested within a broader context of community development. These are primarily the South Bermondsey Partnership, implemented  2004-11 and led by a small locally based team from the London Borough of Southwark, and, since 2012, the Big Local, led by two well-established organisations with a long history in the area – Bede House, and Time and Talents.

Talking to different stakeholders enabled us to understand how different meanings were invested in the festival. At policy level the aim was to challenge the association between Bermondsey and the British National Party in a manner that didn’t denigrate the neighbourhood. But among local residents there was a feeling that while a wide range of events were taking place to celebrate diversity, nothing much was done for the local white population.  The St. George’s Festival served both purposes, ‘reclaiming’ the English flag from BNP while also providing a hugely popular, and inclusive, community event in a neighbourhood that is increasingly diverse. Furthermore, as many told us, while St. George is closely associated with English identity, he is also the patron saint of many other countries.

[READ THE REST]


Nostalgia and diversity: Understanding integration at the local level

This was published in the COMPAS Blog in May 2013.

Bermondsey, Ben Gidley 2013

They never call it Bermondsey any more
A couple of weeks ago, in Bermondsey, South London with my colleagues Ole Jensen, Simon Rowe and Ida Persson, we met a man called Albert, at the entrance to his council flat. Born on Christmas Day 1926, Albert had lived his whole life in Bermondsey (apart from his national service at the end of the war, spent in Scandinavia). He had lived over half a century in his current flat, since it had been built as part of the massive post-war social democratic housing expansion whose legacy completely dominates the landscape of South London. He worked as a drayman at the Courage brewery, brought up three daughters and a son – and slowly watched his neighbourhood change almost beyond recognition.

The Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey was merged into the London Borough of Southwark in 1965. Its town hall had been bombed in the war, and Bermondsey no longer exists as an administrative unit. “They never call it Bermondsey any more”, Albert insisted. At its height, the docks employed huge numbers of men; the Peek Frean biscuit factory employed thousands of women. The docks closed one by one from the 1960s, the brewery closed in 1981, and the biscuit factory houses work units for creative businesses. The council estates are no longer sites of utopian hope but now carry the stigma of residualised poverty. A tidal wave of gentrification ripples down from the riverside, and the UK’s decade of mass migration has transformed the demographics. Continue reading


For Pete Pope

The past weekend marked a year since the passing of my friend Pete Pope, community activist, custodian of local memory, merry prankster, cyclist, leaflet distributor,  ale-quaffer, kind soul, and free man of the parish of Deptford. Pete was one of the first people I interviewed when I started out as a researcher at the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths, as part of the Creekside regeneration programme evaluation. I’ve spent hours interviewing him, most often in his regular haunt the Dog and Bell, where the half the interview below also took place. He was incredibly kind and generous with me, and I know he was to many others too. I miss him. 

Here are some edited extracts from the transcript of an interview with Pete which I conducted on the Pepys Foreshore and in the Dog and Bell on 16th March 2004 as part of Cacao’s Pepys Portrait Project, a life story/portrait project conceived by Simon Rowe and Francesca Sanlorenzo, from which the photo (by Simon) also comes.

Pete Pope, by Simon Rowe and Francesca Sanlorenzo

“I grew up down Surrey.  I grew up in Farnham in Surrey.  But I knew from an early age that the only way to get on in Farnham was to get out of Farnham, you know.  And the kind of social world is split into two camps, which became the stayers and the goers, as it turned out, so I sorted that one out very quickly.

I came to Deptford in ’82. Okay I’d been at Rose Bruford Drama College in Sidcup. I was living in Kilburn. I was living in private rented accommodation and the landlord just decided to double the rent.  “No way, no!” And because I had been to Rose Bruford, it had the kind of student grapevine basically. And through the grapevine I discovered that Pepys Estate, which at that time was a GLC estate, was officially classified as hard to let, and you just have to go to the GLC office down on the Old Kent Road and say crudely I want to get a flat and I’ll take Pepys, and you get “Oh yes, great fantastic, bless you”.  So that was it and at a fraction of the rent.

I had to have a low rise because, as much as I’m fascinated by the geography and love views, I’ve actually got no head for heights on a long-term basis.  If I was up at the top of a tower and I woke up one morning with a hangover and the wind was blowing, I’d just be walking over the ceiling howling, you know.  So I got myself a second floor flat and that was it: I’m stuck there. Continue reading


Changing London: Selling out

From The Economist:

Brixton, once the heart of black Britain, is now a black shopping destination

Hurry up, dear. I need to get back to Croydon

A GOOD deal has changed in Brixton, a south London district, since Eta Rodney bought her Victorian terraced house in 1980. Then many of her neighbours were, like her, Jamaican. West Indians had settled in Brixton since 1948, when some arrived on the Empire Windrush. Today many of Mrs Rodney’s black neighbours are selling up and moving out of the area, making way for predominantly white newcomers. Britain’s historic black centre is being transformed—but in an odd way.

[READ THE REST]

 


Integration and neighbourhood relations in South London

From the COMPAS Blog, by Ole Jensen

London is seen as being a vibrant multicultural city that attracts and houses people from all over the world.  How is this diversity experienced in everyday life though? And how is it that different areas of the same city can have vastly different experiences of diversity despite both having similar levels of immigration?

The Concordia Discors project aimed to investigate questions like these. Starting in early 2011, in cooperation with universities and research institutes in four other European cities – Barcelona, Turin, Nuremberg and Budapest the research focused on the everyday experiences of getting along at the local level.

Fieldwork (as described in a previous blog) was conducted in five cities and for each, two inner-city neighbourhoods were selected that are characterised by relatively high levels of ethnic minority and immigrant populations. Please visit the project webpages for further details – http://www.concordiadiscors.eu/

[READ THE REST]


Secret Streets

Drawn map of Deptford High Street, London

The Secret History of Our Streets has been a fascinating and brilliantly made BBC documentary series on London and its recentish historical geography. It tracks particular streets mapped by Charles Booth in the 1880s, with streets in Deptford, Camberwell, Bermondsey, Shoreditch, Caledonian Road and Notting Hill. The links in the previous sentence are to illuminating blog posts about these by Laura Vaughan of UCL’s Bartlett School. There’s also an Open University webpage and booklet with the series.

It’s quite strange for me, as I know Deptford High Street so well, and have recently been researching (with my colleague Ole Jensen) both Bermondsey and the very street in Camberwell, Camberwell Grove, the programme looks at.

The programmes have had some flaws, in particular the constant but un-articulated presence of the politics of race and racism, and occasional lapses into the kind of golden age discourse of nostalgia, melancholy and resentment that drives white backlash culture.

Here are some of the key links on the Deptford programme, which was both excellent TV and the most flawed of the series, via BfB: “Ken’s responsethe Brockley Central discussion thread,the Crosswhatfields postthe Deptford Dame’s responseCaroline’s comments… Bill [Ellson]’s post on sexy fish and the Les Back/Dawn Lyons production it links to.” In addition, read Bill’s return to the question of fish;  the definitive account of Deptford, Jess Steele’s Turning the Tide; and  Deptford: Putting the Record Straight, produced by friends and family of Nicholas Taylor.

If you are interested in Booth, read the Occasional paper I wrote about him [.pdf] a decade ago.


Pete Pope

My friend Pete Pope, who died in May, has received some moving testimonies on the internet. Jess Steele has a lovely post, “Scattering Virtual Ashes“, which includes a narrative of some of the Deptford history that Pete was part of. Pete’s friend Bill Ellson had several posts, starting with the funeral notice including some wonderful photos; some more fantastic photos; another; a video of his send-off; and a photo narrative of the send-off. Transpontine has a nice short post, where I left a comment. Crosswhatfields has more great visuals.


Pepys Portrait Project

From Cacao’s tumblr:

Pepys Portrait Project London, 2004 - Present

Pepys Portrait Project

London, 2004 – Present

HIGH-RES 1/12/12 — 7:22pm SHORT URL: http://tmblr.co/ZihICxEfi7ug FILED UNDER: #Pepys Portrait Project

Pepys Portrait Project

Pepys Estate was built in 1965, a modernist high rise GLC estate, seen as one of the best housing estates in London. The estate symbolised the utopian dream of a better future for working people. Since then, the reputation of council housing has changed, and tower blocks are associated with social problems.

The population has become more diverse. As part of the regeneration of the estate, some blocks have been demolished and their residents rehoused; others have been sold to private developers for luxury homes.

Since 2004, Cacao has been documenting the lives of the people in the estate, revealing the different worlds behind their doors and windows. From photographs of residents and their homes, we have built a portrait of a changing estate. The project interweaves the images with their stories, a diary documenting an account of the social life of the estate over the four decades of its life. Through these images and voices, the residents express universal truths, hopes, dreams and fears.

In 2007 Simon Rowe continued the photographic exploration of the Estate as part of a personal project Local Authority. (www.simonrowe.co)

See also:

 ‘What’s so great about SE8’? Continue reading


Blogging Concordia Discors

Two posts by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog:

A snapshot of urban dynamics

Early January, and I am in the process of finalising the fieldwork that I have been carrying out in two neighbourhoods in Southwark during much of 2011. The final interviews have been set up, and we are in the process of organising neighbourhood forums in Bermondsey and Camberwell in order to discuss our findings with research participants and local stakeholders.

Continue reading →

Towards an understanding of integration at neighbourhood level

 Headlined by emotive notions of a society ‘sleepwalking to segregation’, the retreat from multiculturalism has in Britain triggered policy development and debates that emphasized ethnic, religious and cultural difference at the expense of an examination of social cohesion in material terms – for example local access to employment, housing and welfare services. In addition, with the notion of ‘parallel societies’ seemingly emerging as the lasting emblem of reviews of the 2001 riots in the northern English mill towns, there has been a lack of analysis of how the marking of communities on ethnic and religious grounds gels with the lived, local experiences of community and belonging. Continue reading →