When Mahmooda Qureshi was first contacted by HOPE not hate, she was already very active in her community, a mother and foster carer for children from challenging backgrounds. In 2007, she received an award from the City Council for her community work within the Islamic Society of Britain. Here, she explains what her life is like as a HOPE not hate community organiser.
Our first Lab was held at the Pearce Institute in Govan (Glasgow), an important community space in this neighbourhood. The session brought together eight smart urban intermediaries (SUIs) –people who are making a difference locally– and five cooperation partners, who are helping to connect local learning to national networks.
‘’Be out on the streets!’’ (Amsterdam civil servant)
Are people in different cities around Europe facing comparable challenges when they work in deprived neighborhoods? How can we better – and more cleverly learn and inspire each other?
On Friday March 16th, the first SmartUrbI Local Living Lab took place in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. More specifically, in Amsterdam Osdorp, 2 researchers, 3 external partners and 8 smart urban intermediaries came together to discuss and exchange ideas on what it means ‘to make a difference in your neighborhood’.
The first of four Birmingham ‘urban labs’ was held on 19 March 2018 at the Women’s Enterprise Hub located between Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook, at the heart of our anchor neighbourhood.
At the centre of our collaborative research is Govan, a former ship-building neighbourhood with a long working-class history in Glasgow. As many industrial sites, Govan was harshly hit by the process of de-industrialisation. Unemployment and the dismantling of former industrial sites are just some of the issues that Govan had to face.
Alison Gilchrist, the research fellow on the Birmingham team, describes her initial explorations of their ‘anchor neighbourhood’ just to the east of the inner-city. She shows how the combined Sparkbrook/Balsall Heath area meets the project’s criteria for somewhere that is vibrant, diverse and active in finding solutions to local challenges.
During the last months, we as SmartUrbI team in Amsterdam have had more than 25 informal conversations with a wide range of individuals, organisations and initiatives.