A Good City for all
In an exciting new initiative the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, hosted a meeting at Lambeth Palace for those with responsibility for ministry in the riverside parishes in Southwark Diocese and organisations involved in the extensive redevelopment happening along the south bank of the River Thames. Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/159853150
‘Battersea to the Barrier’, chaired by the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, took place on Friday 12 February and it provided an opportunity for dialogue between senior figures involved in the new developments and regeneration along ‘London’s Creative and Flourishing Waterfront’ from Battersea to Woolwich and representatives of the Diocese of Southwark and the riverside parishes affected.
So much is going on along the riverside between Battersea and the Barrier it seemed a good time to debate the question ‘A Good City for all – what is your part in creating it?’. As well as investing in staff and buildings (£23m in one riverside borough alone), the church has significant reach into local communities. The delegates heard from a variety of speakers representing organisations as diverse as the company redeveloping Battersea Power Station and the Southbank Centre on what their contribution to creating a good city for all could be and what the church has to offer. A question and answer session followed.
The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun offered a commitment from the Diocese to continue these conversations and to convene future gatherings. He said “The church has been present along the riverside for centuries. We can offer continuity in the face of massive and rapid change and use our substantial resources in helping to build communities”.
Battersea to the Barrier is the first of a number of opportunities for a wider conversation on what makes a good city bringing together the riverside parishes of the Diocese of Southwark from Battersea Fields to Thamesmead. More information can be found at http://batterseatothebarrier.org/
Participants in the Chain Reaction Interviews were:
The Archbishop of Canterbury
Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor, Policy and Planning, City Hall
Rob Tincknell, CEO, Battersea Power Station Development Company
Sue Foster OBE, Director, Housing, Regeneration & the Environment, Lambeth Council
Dr Noha Nasser, Department of Architecture & Construction, University of Greenwich
Cllr Peter John OBE, Leader of Southwark Council
The Reverend Dr Andrew Davey, Urban Theologian and Parish Priest
Bob Allies OBE, Allies & Morrison Architects
Mike Hayes CBE, Planning & Development Consultant
Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre
Quotes from the event
“What does it look like to have a city that encourages human flourishing and the common good?” – The Archbishop of Canterbury
“Can London be the city that cracks the long-stalled idea of urban regeneration that’s for the common good of every citizen?” – The Archbishop of Canterbury
“A sense of community exists in all of us, but we’ve lost some of that with technology and other things. As developers we have to oil the wheels of community to make it go round properly and that’s what we’re endeavouring to do at Battersea Power Station.” Rob Tincknell
“I want to unlock the idea that people’s imagination is the route to a better world.” – Jude Kelly
“If you think there’s a lot of construction going on at the moment, you haven’t seen anything yet if we’re going to go anywhere near getting the numbers of homes we need.” - Sir Edward Lister
“Design isn’t just creating physical space, it is creating the stage for social life and if we don’t design places for people, we’re excluding them.” – Dr Noha Nasser
“The elephant in the room is the housing crisis. The gains made by the church-led living wage and credit caps are lost if people can’t afford their rent.” – Andy Thornton, Christian Today.
“There’s a virtuous circle: the policy that ends up benefitting everybody is coming directly from the regeneration & investment that’s coming into the borough.” - Cllr Peter John
“We paid a worker £25k pa but we lost him because he couldn’t find somewhere to live in London. What will you do to remedy this?” – Keith Davis, Borough Market