Spaces of solidarity, association, and creativity are the foundations of Working Class identity. Eroded through the influence of global capitalism, these spaces are being marginalised, and Working Class people have become increasingly isolated and vulnerable to predatory ideologies. The current development boom within the twin cities of Manchester and Salford hand us the opportunity to transform these marginalised spaces. Yet, with investment comes the risk of gentrification, the cultural erosion and displacement of established communities in favour of a more economically desirable resident. So how can these post-industrial peripheries be regenerated without inadvertently enabling yet another wave of gentrification?
We need a solidarity approach- to understand the complexity and diversity of Working Class experiences, values, problems and hopes and foreground them throughout the design process. This approach to regeneration encompasses housing underpinned by a social infrastructure, defined by the specific culture and context that Working Class communities exist in. When design is rooted in the unique experiences, references, and identities of those who define this historically overlooked context, we can regenerate communities while maintaining them as Working Class territories.