The People's Estates
内容This book is about the fight for the survival of the UK social housing.
West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in west London are set to become the latest victims that sees areas in the capital demolished under programmes of 'regeneration', a term used by councils when decisions have been made to sell off lands in order to improve areas. However, in the last years the term has been over-employed and used as a disguise for making large and short term profits by selling valuable lands to developers. Unfortunately, this has translated into the loss of homes, especially social homes. The planned demolition of West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates will see the loss of 761 homes.
The 'Peoples Estates' story is about rendering a voice to the 761 residents of West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates, a voice that, in the context of things, it has been negated to them. The residents of the estates are fighting the Hammersmith and Fulham council for their right to stay in their homes which are set to be demolished. The council has sold the 77 acres of land to developers, Capital and Counties Properties plc., which have forwarded plans for an urban village which does not include social homes, but high end, top market ones.
The title, the 'Peoples Estates' refers to what the estates are and have meant to be for years: homes for people. The future for the residents looks grim. The bulldozers will not just raze to ground buildings, but everything that they ever considered to be home: their memories, attachments, friends and community as a whole. The story follows the highs and lows of the residents and thus it is created by listening to what they have to say and contextualised in the bigger picture which sees a transformation of the British social housing.
The implications of these changes are great, in that it sees a greater divide between those in need and the rest of the society. It also sees the existent urban structure into a process of ghettoisation, where the poor are marginalized from the inner cities.