How mixed is your neighbourhood?
The Challenge is launching a new campaign, London – nowhere off limits.
London is becoming ever more diverse. Yet London is reported to be one of the most segregated places in the UK. This diversity is one of the things Londoners most rate about living here – but research indicates that contact between people from different backgrounds isn’t keeping pace with growing diversity. In fact, a recent poll by The Challenge found that:
- White Londoners were more likely to trust white neighbours.
- Poorer Londoners were less likely to trust their neighbours than rich Londoners.
- Poorer Londoners were more likely to feel like outsiders in their own neighbourhoods.
Why is this a problem? Well, we know that when people from different backgrounds don’t meet and mix, there are negative impacts on health, wellbeing, and prejudice. Building a more socially mixed capital is essential to creating a stronger, safer London.
So we’ve developed our London Mix Map to show how mixed London’s local neighbourhoods are. 130 years ago social reformer Charles Booth mapped out London’s poverty and brought it to the attention of politicians and policymakers. This map hopes to do the same for social integration.
Using 2011 census data, we measured ethnicity, age, first language, level of education and household ownership, awarding neighbourhoods points when they were reflective of London’s diverse social mix. This is the first time this has ever been done, and shows some interesting results. White, working-class parts of outer London tend to score lower on the index, suggesting that perhaps people from non-white ethnic backgrounds have more cross-age and cross-class interaction. Despite metropolitan south London being overall fairly reflective of London’s mix, it’s also home to one of just two areas which scored zero overall – Dulwich Village.
We hope that this map will start to provoke conversation among policy makers and everyday Londoners alike. But we also hope it will give Londoners the chance to have their voices heard in this important debate. The statistics don’t show the whole picture. Even in the most diverse areas, we can be at risk of not getting to know people from different backgrounds. That’s why we’re calling on Londoners to share local opportunities for getting together with neighbours from different backgrounds. Whether it’s a summer fete, a volunteering project, an annual street party or even your local pub that gets people together – we want to hear about it! If you’re outside London you can still take part – we want to know what goes on in other cities to bring people together as well.