Community-led Urbanism - academyofurbanism.org.uk
URLCommunity-led Urbanism - academyofurbanism.org.uk
Three decades after the pioneering work of Swiss architect Walter Segal, a new generation takes up Segal’s self-build legacy. Raquel Ajates Gonzalez and Sam Brown describe how the Rural Urban Synthesis Society aims to create affordable homes but for a 21st century context.
In 1985, a remarkable and unprecedented self-build project took place in Lewisham, south-east London. Led by a group of architects headed by Walter Segal – a visionary Swiss architect obsessed with the idea of designing a house that anyone could build – a group of council tenants were given the opportunity to build their own family homes. Lewisham Council provided the land and gave a group of people the opportunity to become homeowners by building their own homes. Walters Way and other similar self-build projects that took place in the 1980s and 90s are widely regarded as having not only offered a solution to a housing need not met by mass- housing, but also for having generated meaningful involvement of the participants in their communities and neighbourhoods that has lasted until this day.
The vast majority of the self-builders, councillors, architects and others directly involved will tell you, as any developer
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