180 degree community
Tomorrow I’m giving an undergraduate lecture on the regeneration of seaside towns. Despite not liking the sea (irrational fear of sharks), I often find myself drawn back to this topic. I spent some time working in seaside towns in Kent, mainly, with unaccompanied minor refugees between 2000 and 2003, which gave me an insight into the ways in which coastal areas have developed since the collapse of British seaside tourism from the 1960s, espeically in terms of how their housing and hotel stock has been converted into social housing. I then did some research last year in Folkestone, which I presented hereand which is going to be published later this year, examining the community impacts of a cultural regeneration scheme in Folkestone in Kent. A lot of that research was based on interviews with artists who were also local residents, one of whom made the observation that Folkestone, in common with other seaside towns, was a ‘180 degree community’, with its back to the sea. This is something I’ve been thinking about ever since. What effects could this spatial arangement have on community identity?