A new, public-funded, network now exists linking researchers and ‘practitioners’ in UK housing: CaCHE Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence is a consortium of 13 partners led by the University of Glasgow. http://housingevidence.ac.uk Its web site lists publications and (past) events and a new section is planned which will be designed for tenants and housing activists.
Just Space collaborates with students and staff in various London universities. If you are a community organisation seeking support which might be available from staff or students do get in touch via the Just Space coordinator (see contact page).
To help community groups and researchers/students get the most from these collaborations, and avoid pitfalls, this “protocol” has been developed and modified. There is a comments area on the page for suggested improvements.
UCL (Bartlett School of Planning, Department of Geography, DPU and Engineering Exchange) have cooperated with Just Space for some years, supported by grants from UCL’s Public Engagement Unit and other grants from the departments concerned. This cooperation has been very valuable in the education of the next generation of planners and urban experts, has begun to influence researchers’ choice of topics and methods of participatory research – and produced some valuable research support for community groups. More details here.
King’s College London (Department of Geography) has been active in research and in the organisation of a major conference in 2013 as part of work that Just Space, London Tenants Federation, Loretta Lees (then at Department of Geography, King’s College London) and Southwark Group Archive Notes are doing with a small grant from Antipode, a radical journal of geography. The work includes the collation of hard evidence on gentrification-induced displacement in London and the need for alternative visions for community groups. It aims to demolish the planning policy orthodoxy of mixed communities in the UK as the social and economic panacea for supposedly failed council estates and to foster new thinking. Around 80 representatives from council tenant and other community groups (many of whom have been, or are currently, involved in campaigning against top-down regeneration / gentrification / demolition and displacement) and some students and academics engaged in the event. Download conference report and contents (PDF)
Just Space also has valuable participation from individuals from Queen Mary (Geography Dept), Goldsmiths (mainly Centre for Urban and Community Research), the LSE (various parts), Westminster (School of Planning) and East London (LERI).
LSE London has started a year of activities on housing 2014-15. Details and slides etc from the launch event in September 2014 are here http://lselondonhousing.org/2014/09/17/launch-event/
Squatting London – see London Groups