The Imagine Hillfields project, based in Hillfields, is part of a national project looking at the ways society imagines its present and future. Please visit the main website for more.
A team from Warwick University are working in Hillfields, Coventry, site of the first CDP project in 1970 and site of multiple regeneration interventions subsequently. Despite these regeneration projects Hillfields is thought of locally as a poor neighbourhood with a sometime bad reputation.
In attempting to answer our research questions we are asking how the various parties with an interest in Hillfields have imagined the future of the area, and how has this vision led them to take the decisions they did, going back to the 1970s. These insights may give us an understandiong of the past as shaped by community action and policy direction and the tensions and harmony therein.
For example, the CDP time (1970-1975) was also the time in which much of the music for which Coventry and Hillfields in particular became famous for began to be explored by the youths that eventually performed so regularly on Top of the Pops. Where did these now famous musicians congregate as young people, playing their instruments and experimenting with sound across racial barriers, against a background of racial tensions, presented at a national level by politicians such as Enoch Powell and played out locally by the National Front? What was it like for them at this time? What support was there, and how does this relate to their thinking about supporting young musicians and artists now?
Our research in HIllfields will involve looking at papers relating to public investment, but it will also involve charitable and voluntary sector activity over those years, the private sector and, importantly, the informal community sector, and, if there is one, the community action sector.
This website, and the blog posts attached, will be part of the attempt to document the project. Please have a look around and let us know what you think.