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Title: Void potential : absence, imagination and the making of community in London's Olympic Park
Author: Woodcraft, Saffron
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 9688
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the meaning and making of community in London's Olympic Park where five new neighbourhoods - described as model communities for the 21st-century, and known as the Legacy Communities Scheme (LCS) - are currently under construction. 'Thriving new communities' have been identified by government as an indicator of the success of the Olympic legacy regeneration programme, which promises to transform the prosperity and life chances of people living in east London. Planned urban development is the vehicle for this transformation, of which the LCS is a significant component. This research interrogates the social and material effects of the Olympic legacy regeneration programme by examining the process of 'making' Chobham Manor, the first LCS neighbourhood, from the perspective of the professional planners, architects and regeneration practitioners engaged in the planning and placemaking process. Based on ethnographic data collected over two and a half years, the thesis describes a series of social, spatial and discursive 'voids' - territories, gaps, absences and emptinesses - that emerged as prominent and agentive entities in the work of imagining and making Chobham Manor. It examines the investments made by different actors in producing, protecting and sometimes over-coming, the potential of these voids to support, disrupt or sustain the making of 'community'. The thesis deconstructs how the voids shift through material registers and operate to produce and exert power in coercive and subtle ways, and from this empirical base, develops a typology of voids as an analytical device to interrogate the production of power, space and citizen subjectivities in the neo-liberal city. By engaging with 'voids' as vital and contingent entities that produce dynamic social, material and temporal relationalities, this thesis advances the analytical potential of the void beyond current engagements with the immaterial and transcendent.
Supervisor: Buchli, V. ; Knox, H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available