Measuring the social impacts of regeneration in South Acton: third social sustainability assessment

In late spring and summer 2020, as the restrictions of the first UK lockdown lifted, Social Life returned to the South Acton Estate to continue our ongoing monitoring of the impact of regeneration on the social sustainability of the existing, and the new, communities.

Read the summary of the social sustainability assement here.

This is the third round of this research, building on social sustainability assessments in 2015 and 2018. It repeats questions used in two earlier rounds of research, adding questions about the impact of COVID-19.

The research was commissioned by Acton Gardens LLP – a joint venture between Countryside Properties and L&QT. The purpose of the research was to explore the social impacts of regeneration, to better understand local priorities and needs, and to influence the planning, design and management of future phases of development. The research findings are a snapshot of how residents are experiencing regeneration halfway through the programme, when new housing has been developed at scale but large areas of the older estate are still occupied.

This research took place during the extraordinary period of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our method and approach took account of the need for social distancing, to keep residents and interviewers safe.

The findings need to be put in the context of the time, when people’s relationship to the place they lived changed as schools shut and many people found themselves staying at home. Residents became dependent on the few facilities that were open and available, especially on what could be done outside. This was a unique time, when pressures and stresses on residents were unprecedented. Carrying out research at this time captured the experience of a community living through crisis.

Download the full publication