Community Plan of William Dunbar and William Saville Houses
Community Plan of William Dunbar and William Saville Houses

Alton Estate’s People’s Plan

Title of the project
Co-designing neighbourhoods with communities in a blended environment: digital and face-to-face knowledge exchange

Principal Investigator and project coordinator
Dr Pablo Sendra

Pablo Sendra, Michael Short, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Nicola Livingstone, Irene Manzini Ceinar, Sahar Navabakhsh, William Turner, Sarah Goldzweig. 

Quantity Surveyor
Chetan Patel

In partnership with
Alton Action, Just Space

Students contributing
Agnes Marsden Jeeves, David Gosta Dawson, Luis Barraza Càrdenas, Lukman Oesman, Saffron Mustafa, Ekaterina Chistyakova, Gwendolyn Casazza, Ryan Yip, Dominika Piotrowska, Aleksandra Milentijevic, Philip Williams, Ju Eun Kim, Jake Maddocks, Henry Mellen

Funded by
Research England’s Higher Education Innovation Fund, managed by UCL Innovation & Enterprise

Photo credits
Alton Action

Between October 2020 and July 2021, a group of researchers from University College London (UCL) carried out the knowledge exchange project ‘Co-designing neighbourhoods with communities in a blended environment: digital and face-to-face knowledge exchange’ in the Alton Estate. The project was carried out in partnership with the local organisation Alton Action and the London-wide network of community groups Just Space. Alton Action has acted as a link between UCL researchers and the residents from the Alton Estate. They have also acted as community organisers and has supported UCL researchers in co-hosting the engagement workshops and in the production of the ‘Alton Estate’s People’s Plan’. Just Space is a network of community organisations with experience on overseeing estate regeneration processes, co-authors of the platform EstateWatch. London, who hosted one of the engagement workshops on how London policies can support a regeneration approach different from demolition.

The project has consisted of a series of community engagement workshops, a survey, and interviews with the aim of understanding how the regeneration scheme proposed by Wandsworth council would affect local people and co-producing with residents an alternative plan for the area that is demarcated for regeneration. This alternative scheme is referred in this document as the ‘People’s Plan’, although we have also referred to it during the project as the ‘Community Plan’. The engagement workshops and the process of co-producing the People’s Plan have been a knowledge exchange with residents and campaigners, where residents learn about the future plans for their area and gain agency in being able to express the kind of development they aspire to; and researchers learn through the process of co-producing proposals with residents about how regeneration schemes affect local people.

The People’s Plan is one of the main outputs of this project. It includes urban design proposals that combine refurbishment of existing buildings, roof extension in existing buildings, sensitive infill development, demolition and redevelopment of two of the sites of the project, and also various strategies around biodiversity, community gardening, local shops and community infrastructure. The proposals have come out of the engagement workshops and are backed by various evidence base documents, including a social impact assessment, a heritage impact assessment, a life cycle analysis, and also a review of the policies that affect estate regeneration in London.