Surveying at the Aylesbury 30/01/15
We accompanied a social geography student Emma Slaney to carry out a survey on the Aylesbury estate. The research is for her dissertation on residents’ reactions to regeneration schemes.
We went knocking on the doors of the Taplow and Wendover blocks, managed to fill out on average five surveys each. Combined with Emma’s previous visit this makes approximately twenty surveys.
Many of the people we spoke to had lived on the Aylesbury for over thirty years. Some of the people seemed happy with the proposals, many having read the council’s leaflets. Others opposed regeneration. One respondent described feeling lonely, they no longer knew their neighbours and their friends had been decanted. Another was angry with the decision-making process, describing it as undemocratic and illegal. Most said they did not attend meetings regarding the future of the area, citing work commitments or the feeling that their views were ignored.
Of particular interest to the SGTO’s future engagement with residents on the Aylesbury, or other sites affected by regeneration, was an insightful conversation held with one resident who was initially wary of engaging with us. This was explained by the fact that he was unaware of our motivation (as SGTO representatives) for approaching him coupled with a general distrust of actors associated with the regeneration process given his knowledge of what had occurred to residents like him at the Heygate Estate, for example. Only as a result of a prolonged conversation did the resident open up, which is evidently impractical when conducting mass surveys.
Furthermore, it is to be borne in mind that Aylesbury residents have already been approached on more than one previous occasion by other researchers and interested stakeholders. The aforementioned resident expressed an element of frustration at the prospect of Aylesbury residents’ current uncertain conditions being studied in a detached manner by individuals who did not have any particular affiliation to the Estate. It is worth considering how this study in the first instance can avoid being perceived in this light, and also from ever falling into this trap.
The timing of surveying is never easy. We surveyed from 15.00 – 18.00, which was advantageous as we caught people arriving home from work before they started dinner, however it was difficult for people with young children returning from school.
We will return to the Aylesbury with our own questions.
Freddy Russell (SGTO Volunteer)
Leo Oliveira ( SGTO Volunteers