Living on a building site: Young people's experiences of emerging `Sustainable Communities' in England

Peter Kraftl, Pia Christensen, John Horton, Sophie Hadfield-Hill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper examines experiences of young people (9-16) who live in new communities that are under construction. In the context of large-scale housing developments, built in England after 2000, it analyses various ways in which young people engage with life `on a building site'. From ethnographic research in three unfinished communities, several inter-linked themes became apparent: how young people engaged with building sites in both aesthetic and material registers; how building sites could, paradoxically, constitute places for both safer play and of significant risk; how such sites could afford sociability whilst simultaneously representing foci for intergenerational tensions. Thus, the paper contributes to studies of architecture/urban design, geographical studies of childhood, and expands a recent call for critical geographies of construction sites. In particular, we argue for the significance of building sites as important, often-overlooked times and places where meaning-making and everyday routines are fostered and normalised in new communities. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-199
    Number of pages9
    JournalGeoforum
    Volume50
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

    Fingerprint

    community
    experience
    housing development
    sociability
    aesthetics
    childhood
    geography
    time

    Keywords

    • Urban design
    • architecture
    • childhood
    • children's geographies
    • materiality
    • urban regeneration
    • youth

    Cite this

    Kraftl, Peter ; Christensen, Pia ; Horton, John ; Hadfield-Hill, Sophie. / Living on a building site: Young people's experiences of emerging `Sustainable Communities' in England. In: Geoforum. 2013 ; Vol. 50. pp. 191-199.
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    Living on a building site: Young people's experiences of emerging `Sustainable Communities' in England. / Kraftl, Peter; Christensen, Pia; Horton, John; Hadfield-Hill, Sophie.

    In: Geoforum, Vol. 50, 01.12.2013, p. 191-199.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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