On April 29th, Future of London visited Woodberry Down, as part of Green Sky Thinking week. The Woodberry Down regeneration project is notable not only for its size but for the willingness of stakeholders to work together, and their commitment to involving local residents in decision-making.

Future of London’s Communities in Transition series examines best practice in locally-directed regeneration, giving public-sector practitioners an opportunity to learn first-hand from stakeholders. 

An Overview of the Woodberry Down Regeneration Scheme

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Five years into the regeneration project, significant progress has been made. The project is approaching the end of its first phase, with the second just underway. So far, 860 homes have been completed. Of these, 64% have been “affordable” (76% at social rent, with the remainder shared ownership and shared equity) – the scheme as a whole will deliver 41% of homes below market rates.

To find out how new and established residents regard the regeneration process, Berkeley commissioned a social sustainability report (download the report here). The report uses recognised metrics to establish a picture of how residents feel, and where improvements could be made, and provides comparative results for similar areas. The report highlights key findings such as a life-satisfaction score of 90% against a national average of 66%. 71% of residents said they felt able to influence local decisions, against 40% nationally. Despite this good news, the report highlights crime perception and feelings of safety as areas for improvement, alongside links with neighbours.

Future of London visited the Redmond Community Centre, home to Manor House Development Trust. Director Simon Donovan explained how the organisation’s community work supports local people to start social programmes and make them self-sustaining. MHDT partners with University of East London and the Greater London Authority to run programmes addressing sustainable responses to climate change and improving public health.