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Ethics of care in housing estate maintenance and regeneration: the case of the Balfron Tower in London

Davis, Juliet ORCID: 2018. Ethics of care in housing estate maintenance and regeneration: the case of the Balfron Tower in London. Presented at: 2018 IAG Urban Study Group Urban Theory Symposium: 'Cities of Care', Melbourne, Australia, June 14-15, 2018.

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This paper seeks to demonstrate the centrality of building maintenance and repair to understanding the ethics of social housing estate regeneration in contemporary London. Maintenance and repair articulate relationships of care, which ethics of care scholars often characterise in terms of attentiveness to forms of vulnerability, responsibility, competence and responsiveness (Tronto, 1993; Sevenhuijsen, 2003). In the case of the Balfron Tower in East London, designed in the 1960s by architect Ernő Goldfinger, issues of care can be traced through ways in which matters of deterioration have been addressed through regeneration and changing estate governance since 2010, particularly through: associations of decline with social stigma and related efforts to transform the building’s image, a decision to separate the ‘needs’ of the building from those of residents through heritage preservation, a lack of resident participation in decisions related to their displacements, and failures to empathise with place-attachments, raising questions of competence and creating breakdowns of trust. Maintenance and repair are sometimes described as background practices but, in the context of London’s regeneration, they at ‘at the fore’ (Graham and Thrift, 2007) of ‘social cleansing’ processes (Minton, 2013) and are hence vital for understanding the politics of urban care and material aspects welfare retrenchment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 13:48

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