The Old Kent Road is often referred to as the cheapest street on the Monopoly Board. Now it has been declared an opportunity area! But for whom and for what?
‘Opportunity Area’ should suggest the opportunity to do things differently, be inventive, not to repeat and regurgitate what has gone wrong in other places. This opportunity must not be squandered, it must be embraced creatively, carefully, inclusively, not through clumsy destruction, displacement, eviction and expropriation, not by just letting rip with the raw force of London growth momentum. We must shape our city together, we must all discuss and agree what a good city is like, piece by piece.
Plans of an unfathomable scale are currently in the making: it is assumed that more than 20.000 homes will replace the industrial land and the retail sheds on the Old Kent Road that currently employ the same number of people as the city centre of Glasgow; the proposed housing numbers are over 3 times the amount currently being built at the Elephant & Castle where the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate led to the displacement of hundreds of residents.
The many different communities that live and work on the Old Kent Road are by and large unaware of what is about to happen to them.
The Peckham weeklies together with Old Kent Road People, local residents, businesses, the CASS, UCL and LSE are hosting this event - an unlikely combination of group action, 5min provocations and recent studies of the OKR.
We are hoping to bring together as many people as possible to form a spontanious kazoo choir that will perform the classic music hall song “knock’d ‘em in the Old Kent Road’.
The event will take place at the new community venue Livesey Exchange based in 60 garages on the Ledbury Estate.