ArtZone Co-Op

start

Eco-operation for London

ArtZone Co-op was commissioned to help raise public awareness of the changing face of an inner city area of East London by documenting and designing materials to illustrate an area south of Aldgate East and north of the Tower Bridge.

In our commitment to develop co-operative policy positions on local environmental, ecological and the economic situation we worked with local businesses and organisations to get a new conservation area extended so as to save the heritage of the wider area, protect a listed site of importance for nature conservation (SINC) on the Goodman’s Field Viaduct (Back Church Lane / Pinchin Street) and secure local work spaces. As a Worker Co-operative we are conscious that London has lost a huge amount of its 'workshops' and industries, where local families could traditionally find employment. The new clean business of finance and services which primarily attract young single people has caused a knock on effect whereby the local 'working community' is coming under threat from massed 'dormitory developments' that do not 'require' locally produced goods. Another ecological shift is the increasing development of 'overnight' hotel styled accommodation built to service the forthcoming Olympic Games where the occupants do not 'interface' with the local community.

There is growing public resistance against the current policy of high density building in London and actions are being taken at local level. At one level residents and local businesses are challenging 'Core Strategies' and submitting critical comment to the inspectorate. At another level trees are being planted, wild meadows are emerging in local parklands and derelict space is being occupied with plant life. And in the shadows abandoned building sites are turned overnight into public allottments, 'guerilla gardening' make gardens appear or walls sprout plants.

Public awareness of the transient seasonal face of the city and of nature is not only informed by national and local newspapers, TV and radio reporting daily on manifestations of "global warming" but also by what can be seen directly through our windows and through the information and documentary materials ArtZone Co-op produces as an ethical business working in the area of media and communication.