Hi Edgeryders

Hi Edgeryders

I’m Scott.

I’ve known about your community for a while now and I’m really excited to finally get the chance to join with you all.

I live in London and for work I head up the artistic programme for an arts charity, where we try to regenerate urban areas together with the communities that inhabit them– sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Recently we’ve moved from relatively short-term commissions and artist residencies to focus on building infrastructure such as subsidised housing for artists - so I’m really excited to start reading the posts on place and participation and hopefully join in the conversation.

My background is in informal arts education where I’ve worked on lots of different projects with young people, from developing video games and short films with them to building playgrounds.

I’m really happy to be here and get the chance to learn from you all.


Hello @scott, welcome! I am alberto, one of the old-timers in the community. Very good to meet you.

This sounds intriguing, and I would like to know more. Do you mean in a physical sense (“let’s make a colorful mural on that wall yonder”)? Or in an immaterial sense (“there are now ethnic street food happy hours at the local pub every other Tuesday”)? Or both?

Also: what do you find not to work?

Hi @alberto really good to meet you too.

I’ve just read your post on Place-based social innovation and I think thats what we try to do and that this happens in both a physical and immaterial sense, usually together.

So usually we work with a community and local government to develop cultural infrastructure where there isn’t much, this could be a kiln, a drinks company or a block of flats and then we stick around and commission artists to inhabit those spaces and work with the people who live there, then after a period of time we give it over to the people who are most invested to run it themselves as a charity or a business. You can check out some of our projects here http://createlondon.org/

In response to your second question - loads of things don’t work for all sorts of reasons.

Maybe one universal is that partnerships are often very tricky when you are in the middle of a community, a funder and a local government in a city like London where the needs of these groups often vary.

Also every place we work is very different and we don’t always have the time, money or expertise to explore the problem we are trying to solve as much as we’d like to before attempting a solution - I’m hoping Edgeryders can help me with some of the expertise though…


The fact that you manage to work with public/private infrastructure in a city like London speaks a lot!

Short termism is something that many people seem to be growing tired of. I see it in my own work with innovation projects to “reactivate” spaces. For a time now Edgeryders is looking to move beyond prototyping in creation/use of infrastructure and work on a more permanent basis having community embedded activities in one place. Just yesterday I was looking at this model for community land ownership that @thom_stewart flagged to me… what self management of access for a group is.
It seems that ownership of assets by communities is a prerequisite…

Oh and welcome to Edgeryders! I’m also one of the old timers around here :slight_smile:

Thanks for the vote of confidence. It looks like your projects are bigger than ours, though. This looks like a 20 million scheme!

I would be super-interested in learning how you work with local councils. Just now we have @mariacoenen starting to gauge the institutional landscape to look for partners for the new Reef. We need those because we will be generating externalities, and it makes sense to try to get some recognition for them, and to be allowed a little extra headroom as we try to do our stuff. Also, it just makes plain sense, local institutions are another channel to your neighbors. Maybe we could plan a more formal exchange of views after the summer?

Hi Noemi,

Thanks for the welcome and really nice to meet you.

The Access to Land network you linked to looks really interesting - do you know if anyone is doing something similar in a more urban / city context?

I’m aware of some stuff around Community Land Trust’s happening in London such as this but i wonder if there’s a European network already sharing learning?

Hi Alberto,

I wish it was a 20 million project - it was actually 3.5 and the council and Greater London Authority generously funded it.

It would be great to talk to you about our work with local councils and find out more about the your plans for the new Reef after the summer - just let me know…

Hei, I;m so late to respond here, I apologise!

Nope, we do know people who buy apartment buildings together, in Milano and Berlin, but not land… Perhaps @thom_stewart knows more.

So @scott @alberto @mariacoenen, and Thom of course if he wants to, should we schedule a meeting further down in October to share some ideas? I can set it up, just let me know some tentative dates which would work. I can only do 9th or 10th (Tue/Wed) 29th or 30th (Mon/Tue). Any date sounds good for you?

I’m game, but I can only do (conditionally to calendar) 9-10. What do you think, @scott?

Yeah, sounds good - I can do 9th or 29th

Great! I’ve set up a meeting for tomorrow (Tuesday) in our zoom channel, tentatively for 3 PM Brussels time/ 2 PM London time.
@scott @alberto does that work for you? I can change it to anytime earlier if that suits better,

Here is the link:

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Noted with thanks. We will need to finish by 3.45.

Thats good for me, speak to you tomorrow

@noemi, @scott and I spoke a bit today, though there were quite some connection problems.

It occurs to me that Creative London has the largest contact surface with the culture team and the new Reef. Maybe you could pick up the thread and reschedule a call with him?

Of course! @scott, I’m happy to pick this up in a future call, or send over some reads about what we are trying to do in the Culture team. Do you have a preference? The only limited availability for me is between 16th and 27th this month…


Hi @noemi can you send me the reads over first and then we can arrange a call to talk about where I can best support the Culture team?

Just jumping in here to say hello :hand_splayed:. I’m part of the Culture Team with Noemi, and working with Alberto on some of interesting projects. Only just found this thread
I’m based in Bedford (just north of London) so perhaps we could meet up face to face some time and i can see some of your projects in action. I’m similarly busy through until December now, but happy to fit something in as further discussions develop.

Hi Alex, yeah it would be really good to meet-up with you later in the year when you have time. I’m happy to show you some of our projects and it would be interesting to hear what else you’re working on.

I’m looking forward to finding out what the Culture Team is working on so hopefully we can pick up that discussion as well.