Tottenham In Common

Tottenham in Common aims to assist local communities in democratically influencing changes to their built environment.

by Ben Beach & David McEwen in London, Greater London, England

We did it
On 31st August 2018 we successfully raised £65 with 2 supporters in 58 days

Tottenham is a district undergoing rapid changes, yet many in the community feel excluded from this process. 

Despite this, a diverse range of community groups have produced their own regeneration plans for their neighbourhoods, reflecting their hopes and aspirations for future development.

‘Tottenham in Common’ will bring together and support these groups in developing a shared community plan for urban design across Tottenham. 

We will orchestrate this through three interrelated approaches:

Working with local groups, the inquiry will undertake a thorough mapping of neighbourhoods over several months. Highlighting the successes and failures of spaces as seen by residents, practical design solutions will be formulated with community groups. 

Through street events, walking tours, meetings and in-depth research, the inquiry will be conducted with a focus on accessibility; holding sessions in native languages – e.g. Spanish – and translating existing planning documents into plain English. 

Culminating in a report - available to all in the local area – the inquiry will facilitate dialogue with local government and development of the community plan through democratic participation.

A two-week event space opened centrally on the High Road, the Common Space will be open to all to share and contribute perspectives on future development in the area. The space will assist community groups in developing their plans through a programme of free, open-access, participatory workshops with architects, design professionals, relevant NGO’s and other community organisations. 

The space will support the inquiry and community plan by providing an arena for mapping workshops, forums and assemblies with residents. In the daytime, the space will provide an educational programme including a library, talks and walking tours – linked to local schools – with additional open slots available for groups to use as they wish. 

Additionally, this space will serve as a hub for those wishing to learn more about current regeneration and development plans for the area, communicated in a language understandable to all.

The Tottenham in Common newspaper will summarise key findings of the inquiry and community plan, in addition to signposting further resources online. Providing a platform for community groups to share perspectives, the paper will reflect local desires for the built environment in Tottenham. 

5,000 copies will be distributed in neighbourhoods where groups are resident to help enable further dialogue about future development.

Written in accessible and inclusive language, the paper will serve as the primary method to communicate the collective work of Tottenham in Common directly with communities involved in processes of regeneration.

Over the course of over 4 years working in the area, we have developed a deep relationship with a rich variety of community organisations devoted to improving the urban environment of Tottenham. These include key local partners – Latin Village UK, Broadwater Farm Residents Association and Haringey StART. 

Tottenham In Common will directly support the efforts underway by these organisations, all of which have developed or are in the process of developing key local urban strategies.  

Due to our long history working alongside these organisations, we are optimistic co-ordination between these groups and others is possible.


David recently graduated with distinction from the MPhil Architecture and Urban Design course at the University of Cambridge.  He also holds a MSc in Building and Urban Design from the Bartlett, University College London and MA in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Alongside his academic pursuits, he has worked for two years in architectural practice in London and Cape Town. 

Over the past 4 years, David has developed a great deal of experience working with local communities, community organisations and research institutions in London on regeneration and urban design projects, particularly in the areas of Elephant & Castle and Tottenham. Additionally, David has run participatory design and urban research projects in countries as diverse as Uganda, South Africa, Cambodia and Italy. 


Ben previously studied architecture at the Bartlett, UCL, where his research was focused on community participation in regeneration processes. On graduating, he initially worked with Article 25 – an NGO utilising architecture as an international development tool – where he became accustomed to working in a participatory fashion with communities, often in difficult conditions. Ben then worked in private practice for three years, where he was tasked with running multiple projects at a range of scales. 

Ben is now entering his second-year studies on the MPhil Architecture and Urban Design course at the University of Cambridge, with a research focus on community-led design.  

David and Ben recently taught the Architecture Summer School programme at Central St. Martins. 

Thank you very much for your support!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Invitation to the closing party!

An invitation to the closing party of the event space, in thanks for your support!

£25 or more

Tottenham in Common Newspaper

A copy of the community newspaper produced, detailing the findings of the inquiry and views of participants in twelve pages of full technicolour AND an invitation to the closing party of the event space!

£50 or more

Tottenham Community Inquiry + Newspaper

A printed and bound copy of the Community Inquiry report + newspaper; detailing the findings of the Inquiry and event space AND an invitation to the closing party of the event space,!

£100 or more

Invitation to the event space!

A copy of the programme for the event space, enabling you to attend over the two weeks to understand more about the project, in addition to a copy of the newspaper and inquiry report!

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