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Whitecross Street

Portrait of the Estate

Whitecross Street

Portrait of the Estate

The Whitecross Street Estate sits to the north of the Barbican and the City of London, and forms part of a dense, mixed area of London. The estate consists of 534 homes owned by the Peabody Trust, some of which were built in the late 19th century and others during the estate’s redevelopment between the 1950s and 1970s. In 2007 Peabody launched ‘Improve’, a ten-year programme to transform the open spaces in approximately 40 of its estates, including Whitecross Street. Preliminary discussions between Peabody and the estate’s Tenants’ Association began in the summer of 2010.

Publica were commissioned by the local Tenants’ Association to create a ‘portrait of the estate’ as a means of identifying and articulating residents’ concerns and hopes for the estate’s regeneration through its amenity and public spaces. The work was supported and funded by Peabody. The aim was to provide evidence of the strengths and weaknesses of the estate’s public realm, including residents’ own experiences and opinions, in order to identify a shared vision and clear principles for its future regeneration. These were revealed through a series of resident-led walks, local interviews and community meetings, as well as research into the area’s history, demographics and existing environment.

The final report, available here, provides both a neighbourhood portrait and a set of fifteen principles for improvements to the estate, developed by the Tenants’ Association. It also outlines local, London-wide and national policy objectives to help residents understand the wider framework for making positive local change happen, and to influence future changes to the area in partnership with Peabody. The body of work, principles and vision provided a brief for Peabody to subsequently appoint engagement and landscape consultants.

  • Title: Whitecross Street: Portrait of the Estate
  • Location: London Borough of Islington
  • Year: 2010
  • Client: Peabody Trust, Whitecross Street Tenants Association