Mon 6 Jun 2016 until Tue 9 Jun 2015

Metropolitan Field Trip London

Highlighting the economic potential of community-led enterprises and the limits of a city in transition
Mon 6 Jun 2016 until Tue 9 Jun 2015

Join us on this four-day field trip to London and meet your professional peers and local City Makers. 

Together with Locality, the London based national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations, working together to help neighbourhoods thrive, we will study the transition of this European financial capital. How do these two realities interfere? To what extend could community-led organisations contribute to disrupting uneven growth dynamics in this expanding megacity, towards more sustainable and inclusive solutions?

The London Metropolitan Field Trip is looking to show the limits of a city in transition. Where tensions of ensuring a well-functioning and affordable city are felt on a daily basis and the public, private and voluntary sector all play a role. The role of the voluntary sector has become more substantial over the last years, but is actually rooted in a long tradition of community-led and owned enterprises in London and beyond. This renewed focus on the responsibility and potential for the voluntary sector is flanked by government attempts to facilitate the movement and alternative structures to traditional economic structures.

Community Enterprises

Unique in Europe you will find genuinely community owned and led enterprises whose main objective is to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions in their community and are very successful in doing so. That includes anything from running a multi-million pound enterprise with prime location real estate on the Southbank developing affordable housing, community transport, and education and employment services to community pubs to management of heritage assets and open spaces.

© Neil MacWilliams

Alternative economic structures

Alongside this movement you will find alternative structures that harness the collective power of the public to either go beyond the monetary economy or traditional funders. Being in London during the Global Sharing Week will highlight the initiatives around time banking, shared goods and services happening in London and beyond. One of the more exciting developments around funding community enterprises is around crowdfunding and community shares in particular. Spectacular projects have funded through hundreds of thousands of pounds raised by the public who now own a share in that venture, and therefore have collective ownership over it.

Government initiatives

One of the government acts that England is perhaps most known for in Europe is the 2011 Localism Act, promoting community asset ownership, community managed local services, community-led development and neighbourhood planning. After three years of experience the foremost experts on the effectiveness of the Act will be able to shed some light on the potential for Community Rights in London and beyond.

Brick Lane © Garry Knight

What will the Metropolitan Field Trip entail?

15.06.11 Metropolitan Field Trip London programme

With a broad perspective on transition and social innovation in urban development we will study London as a city and a metropolis. We will meet local City Makers, professional peers, residents, entrepreneurs, and study the small-scale, often informal urban interventions.

Preliminary programme – subject to change

Thursday June 11

Morning     Arrival to London

14.30 hs      Start of the programme

Locality workshop on Localism, the Community Rights and the future of local government in England

Speakers include Stephen Rolph and Jim Asbury (on the Community Rights to Build, Bid and Challenge: Our Place; and Neighbourhood Planning) and Simon Parker, Director of the New Local Government Network

Evening – Bootstrap Company Ltd (including social event in the Dalston Roof Park)

“It’s a vibrant, friendly, supportive community, and a great centre for my business” – Bootstrap Tenant

Friday June 12 

Visits and meetings at:

“ of the most impressive displays of social entrepreneurship anywhere in Europe” – Lord Brian Mawhinney

“The Bankside Open Spaces Trust works with local people to develop parks and gardens so they can relax, kick a ball, grow plants or just hang out.”

“The Ivy House is London’s first co-operatively owned pub, the first pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value, and the first building in the UK to be bought for the community under the provisions of the Localism Act.”

Saturday June 13

Visits and meetings at:

“Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) has transformed a largely derelict 13 acre site into a thriving mixed use neighbourhood by creating new co-operative homes; shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars; a park and riverside walkway; sports facilities; by organising festivals and events; and by providing childcare, family support, learning, and enterprise support programmes.”

  • Fair in the Square in Highgate Village – featuring circus skills workshops and performances by Locality member Jacksons Lane

“The Fair in the Square is as close as London gets to a village fete.”

“Making thoughtful places for public use” and “delivering permanently affordable housing”

Sunday June 14

Tour of some of London’s major regeneration sites

Starting in Westminster, river bus to Canary Wharf, tube to O2 Arena and cable car to London Docklands – followed by ‘wash up’ meeting in East London

15.00 hs    End of the programme

The Metropolitan Field Trip to London is organized by Amsterdam based platform Pakhuis de Zwijger, Deltametropolis Association, Stipo, Inspiring Cities and AIR together with local partner Locality in London.


Why should you join the Field Trip to London?

Because you are somewhat actively engaged in the transition of cities, or urban development in general. You want to broaden your horizon and witness how things are done elsewhere in Europe. You want to meet new people within your field of interest or profession, and want to establish sustainable (inter)national contacts. And first and foremost, you want to get a unique perspective on London, gain this in the company of an inspiring group of peers and have the practicalities fully taken care off.

Who will join the Metropolitan Field Trip?

Practical information & Booking

Booking transportation to and from London is the responsibility of the participants.

To join this unique Metropolitan Field Trip, please sign up here:


Would you like to ask some questions? Call us through +31 20 624 63 80 or send an e-mail to Charlot Schans.

comments on this article
There are comments on this article
comments on this article