A New Vision for Sharston’s Social Infrastructure.

Social Infrastructure can be defined as the public physical spaces within which various activities are conducted to allow the accumulation of social capital. This includes, but is not limited to, libraries, parks, gyms and cultural facilities. My project is an attempt to re-frame debates within past and present national policies, which I would argue tend to focus upon the delivery of new housing and employment opportunities, with little consideration for the Social Infrastructures necessary to support them. To do so, I interrogate the various benefits that can be gained from the presence of such Social Infrastructures, in terms of community cohesion, representation of cultural identities and the advancement of political action.

Through a tracing of existing conditions within my chosen location of Sharston, situated in Wythenshawe, South Manchester, I have sought to provide new spaces for community congregation within my scheme. In doing so, the project will facilitate new serendipitous exchanges that have the potential to lead to more permanent economic and political relationships. Throughout the process, I was able to work with various local groups to build a fuller picture of the specific requirements of surrounding residents, in order to suggest a programme relevant to their needs. It is of personal importance to me that these local voices are empowered throughout the various design stages.

The culmination of all this research is the production of a project brochure for a redeveloped Hollyhedge High Street, providing a wider access to Social Infrastructure. This has been written with the community as the intended audience, detailing all the services now available to them. Supplementary to this, I produced a technical package, which was an important part of realising and fully resolving my scheme.

A wider selection of my work can be viewed on my website.