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Living on a building site: Young people’s experiences of emerging ‘Sustainable Communities’ in England
journal contributionposted on 2013-10-15, 15:40 authored by Peter Kraftl, Pia Christensen, John Horton, Sophie Hadfield-Hill
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.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Grant No. RES-062-23-1549.
CitationGeoforum, 2013, 50, pp. 191–199
- VoR (Version of Record)