Not a Listed Building

Today I visited the Heygate Estate at Elephant and Castle in South East London, as part of an Open House London 2012 guided walk of mobile and guerilla gardens. The Heygate Estate was completed in 1974 and comprises 23 housing blocks with a total of 1260 apartments that once housed over 3,000 residents. Today there are 2 left. When they leave, the estate will be demolished to make way for market related development. For an excellent analysis of this social crime click here.

During the process, underway since 2004, evacuation, neglect and nature have transformed urbanism into vast canyons of space occupied by a forest of 450 trees and hosts of mobile activities like guerilla gardening, pop-up theatres, graffiti and resistant community activism.

What interests me though is what will happen to the housing blocks when they are demolished. They are full of asbestos, so much so that, as rubble, they are totally inert; not even weeds will grow on them. Where will this rubble be deposited? What new geological processes will it instigate? More to follow after further investigation …

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