It is a highly deprived but vibrant area which has suffered in the past from poor planning decisions. There is a lack of affordable housing and open space. Some statistics on Dalston (source: Hackney Council) will provide some context to the area:
- There are approximately 10,400 residents in Dalston Ward, and the area's markets, shopping facilities, businesses and transport links mean that many more people pass through the area daily.
- 44% of Dalston's population are from ethnic minority communities (compared to a London-wide average of 30%).
- The majority of Dalston is within the top 10% of the most deprived areas in the country, and a number of smaller areas (super output areas, or SOAs) are within the top 5% of deprived areas in England.
- In April 2005, the unemployment rate in Dalston stood at 7.5% (compared to a London-wide average of 3.5%).
- The level of open space in Dalston is only one twentieth of the National Playing Fields Association recommended standard.
Dalston is changing. The extension of the East London Line to Dalston Junction in 2010, and the accompanying development, along with the developments around Gillett Square, means that Dalston looks very different in 2010 than it did five years ago.
Bootstrap Company wants to make sure that the local community becomes more prosperous as a result of these changes and that they are carried out in the most sustainable way. Hackney Council has adopted an Area Action Plan for Dalston, which will control developments in the future.
We have and will continue to input into this to make sure that it is a plan that brings environmental, social and economic benefits to existing and future residents and businesses in Dalston. Bootstrap Company believes that the most sustainable future for Dalston will be based around micro regeneration - small scale, bottom up improvements and developments that have wide ranging positive effects. This strategy has been informed by local concern about the proposed developments around Dalston Junction, and the creation of a viable alternative, but also by wider experience of what works across Hackney and East London.
We have drawn up a draft masterplan of how the area north of Dalston Lane could develop sustainably. We are keen to develop relationships and partnerships to take forward the key things we see as necessary to a sustainable future for Dalston. In April 2009 we hosted a month long community consultation event on behalf of OPEN Dalston. For more information, have a look at www.opendalston.net
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