Local people contribute ideas for new street and space names


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IMAGE: Year 5 students from Redriff Primary School present their findings 

We’ve very much enjoyed meeting the hundreds of people who came to our “Naming What’s New” workshops, where we asked for your input to help inspire ideas for the names of new streets and spaces across the development. 

In the first phase of the project, Discovery Workshops were held in places across the area ranging from the Finnish Church to Time & Talents Pub Club to Rod Kitson’s art group. We held more than 20 sessions and engaged with over 700 people of all ages, asking them what makes a good or bad place name, what’s great about the neighbourhood, and how they would envision future generations enjoying the area and whether the qualities people see in Canada Water today would remain long into the future.  

You told us how Canada Water is a hidden gem, and the people here genuine and authentic. People of all ages are proud of the docklands heritage, value how the area is so well connected and also so close to nature, and say it has a calm and peaceful village feel.  

Among other things, you told us street and place names should be unambiguous, evocative, inclusive and fun, and shouldn’t be political, boring or hard to pronounce. Six big themes emerged to inspire names for new streets and spaces: Our Place/History; Our Community; Our Culture; Our Identity; Our Wellbeing; and Our Secret. 

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IMAGE: Local people discuss what’s important to them about the area 

In the second phase of the project, we collated the insights gathered and presented them back to the local community at two Findings Workshops, to make sure we’d correctly interpreted what we had heard. As we refined what we’d learnt, we uncovered some locally relevant historical terms, and attendees expressed a keen interest in the natural environment. 

We were glad to engage local primary school children in the project through two sessions that involved Year 5 pupils at Redriff Primary School. The students developed their own research methods, engaged their peers in their research, then shared what they’d discovered at the Findings Workshops. The children’s main messages for us were that young people place a high value on fun, friendship, community, relaxation and self-care.  

We’re now in the process of collating the findings from these workshops into a document that will serve as a framework for us to use to inform the naming of each new street and public space as they come forward. We’ll create a pool of names and select some from that to submit to Southwark Council who will engage the emergency service among others.  Southwark Council ultimately have the final say. Keep an eye out for this document in the coming months. 

For more information on ‘Naming what’s new’ and the wider project, please email [email protected] to be added to our mailing list, or keep an eye on our social media channels and www.canadawater.co.uk/whatson 

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