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Southwark Stands Together

Reporting back on progress

Renewing and reinventing our open spaces and buildings theme

In our renewing and reinventing our open spaces and buildings theme, we will ensure that people can be part of:

A great opportunity for our Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic people in Southwark to collaborate in developing diverse and inclusive open spaces to the public that establishes best practice standards shapes key policies and celebrates our communities

Review the naming, public art and built environment policies to ensure that they reflect and contribute to the community and council’s vision for diverse and inclusive open spaces and buildings. We will also identify future opportunities where we can ensure that our built environment celebrates the diversity of our communities.

We have completed the review of submission for our architects’ framework and are pleased to announce that 20 locally-based architects have been successful in getting onto our framework.

These practices are made up of those who come from a range of ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and experiences that reflect our communities.

This is London’s first diverse inclusive architects’ framework. This framework presents an opportunity not previously available for these practices. They will now have the opportunity to be involved in all future projects across council-led sectors: housing, education public, commercial and, in many instances, mixed-use developments.

We have held two Community Conversation days about Public Art in Southwark and have commissioned a series of posters for bus stops from LCC student designers, inspired by these Community Conversations, to publicise an online questionnaire about what residents would like the borough’s Public Art Policy to achieve. This questionnaire will be live from 11 October to 11 November 2021. You can find the questionnaire at www.southwark.gov.uk/publicartsurvey

Using Peckham Square project as a model scheme to establish best practices in being representative of our communities, including people from across many different ethnic backgrounds and ensuring that diversity remains a focus in open spaces and buildings

In partnership with Spheron architects, we have reached the advanced stage of our community engagement. We are excited to present our response to the needs and aspirations shared with us by the community in Peckham.

Over the last six months, we have received over 600 feedback comments and design ideas. This has enabled our architects to create concepts for a space that is inclusive and practical.

Here is what you told us you needed from the redesign of Peckham Square:

  • safety and personal security: lighting and clear visibility
  • accessibility: removal of physical barriers but also social barriers, mainly related to cost
  • cycle lane to be managed, and safely integrated into a pedestrian area
  • facilities for events/performances and community activity, as well as markets and stalls

We are hosting further open house sessions throughout this month for more information please contact raje@spheronarchitects.co.uk

We will be launching an innovative set of podcasts called ‘breaking the glass ceiling’, exploring experiences and stories of the community in and around Peckham Square. We will also be discussing wider issues in our communities such as employment, education, health, social housing and safety.

Anti-racist audit

As a result of the listening exercise and our commitment to becoming an effective anti-racist organisation, we agreed to undertake an anti-racist audit of the borough to identify statues, street names and uncover any other links with slavery, as well as using the opportunity to honour more diverse people. We are working on completing:

An anti-racist audit of our open spaces and buildings and agree on the next steps for further consultation

We have compiled a list of our public spaces and buildings containing 3,099 items (representing 2,241 unique people or things). So far, we have identified 596 entries; this represents more than a quarter of unique entries.

We have completed our initial audit with support from Emery University. We will undertake further research on our findings.

We will use the principles behind the audit to inform how we celebrate diversity in our communities and look to launch new guidance around how we name future assets.

Page last updated: 15 October 2021

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