The Romans in Europe; Vikings in Iceland, Greenland and Canada; The Moors in Africa, Southern Europe and the Middle East; British, Spanish, French, Dutch and Portuguese colonisation of India, Africa, Asia and the Americas: As each new migrant community arrives it imports a memory of home, and exports a received image of the New World in goods, produce, buildings, ideas and people, and through the exchange each culture is assimilated and transformed.
This year our focus on Vauxhall in South London and Marvila in Lisbon, Portugal will reveal the legacy of ever-moving communities brought together by skills, religion, poverty, fashion language, opportunity and necessity, shaping and reshaping the urban fabric in response to each successive migrant culture.
Which all this raises the obvious question: “What’s next?” Can cities continue to evolve without losing identity? Is there an alternative to gentrification and the seemingly inevitable Airbnb invasion? How can a city become more affluent AND more culturally and socially diverse? And is Architecture relevant to these questions, and if so how should it respond?