Hundreds of Vassall and Coldharbour residents are producing food and other goods locally, including 20 community farms and Caribbean cooking projects. Thousands more are living in poverty, without access to employment, nature and decent food. Together, our network of community organisations proposes to “green” the estates, creating new centres of community and sustainable enterprise. We will hold two pop-up markets (July on Loughborough Road, October on Patmos Road) to engage local residents in a conversation about how to develop enterprise and community on the estates. The market would activate an area without its own high street —with local growers, makers, bakers, builders — to help people envision what they might want from a high street. The markets will also serve as a platform for community co-design sessions with team of designers to develop achievable strategies, including place-making, enterprise and infrastructural improvements, in response to community goals.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
* Because we desperately need high streets in Vassall and Coldharbour - swathes of estates have been built without high streets or even local shops. In particular older people and young families have to travel long distances to buy decent, affordable food. People are stuck in poverty unable to benefit from Lambeth as the inner London food flagship and we need to provide opportunities for residents to buy, share, produce and sell food.
* Because we need to engage local people and benefit from their skills and knowledge.
* Because we can make it happen. This project will bring together dozens of community organisations that have a track record of achievement and innovation - an explosion of community food growing, cooking, activism and innovation means we have the skills, networks and community reach to make this happen.
* Because we are organised with the power to change - Lambeth council, NHS and Incredible Edible Lambeth are fully engaged partners and ready to work with us.
Steps to get it done:
We'll be working with Wayward, a chartered landscape architecture, art and architecture practice based in London – an internationally award-winning collective of designers, artists and urban growers. Wayward has pioneered new methodologies in the creative use of meanwhile space, transforming vacant lots into large-scale, design-driven urban gardens that engage local communities and inspire international audiences. Their projects include the celebrated Union Street Urban Orchard and the critically-acclaimed Urban Physic Garden, pop-up community gardens and event platforms in meanwhile spaces built by hundreds of volunteers. They will work with us to design the pop-up market, run the community co-design sessions and work with local estates to create a place making strategy and an achievable, grassroots master plan combined with more ambitious infrastructural aims.
This is one of the first ventures for Vassall and Coldharbour Green Forum, a new network committed to greening the estates.
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