Tomorrow today streets

If you’re trying to imagine what a FabCity means, what it could look like, you could start by heading to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, to discover the Everyone. Everyday. initiative, led by the Participatory City Foundation. Here’s what that looks like:

Every One Every Day is a network of 1000s of people living in Barking and Dagenham who are working together on different neighbourhood projects around the borough to make everyday life better for everyone.

The EE team has launched (and keeps launching!) a series of inspiring hands-on projects getting people together around the sharing of skills, spaces and resources, families working and playing more together, batch cooking and community meals, food growing and tree planting, and trading, making and repairing.

Kickstart “allows young residents to become trainees, developing skills and a collaborative brand that makes beautiful, essential items to sell.“

The Valence library is being transformed into a community hub and getting locals involved in the repair and making of some of the furniture needed.

In 2021 they are planning the Bare Essentials pop-up shop to bring “eco-friendly, sustainable yet affordable items” to the local high street; co-designing a food subscription service based in the Borough; as well as a bulk buying cop-op in Barking.

Amongst the many, many other projects; rewilding and adopting trees, collaborative business programmes, a live-streaming cooking and trade school, and an ecology center.

Perhaps our favourite, the Tomorrow Today Streets presents 24 kits for projects neighbours can select and work on together. Some of the kit include a street party, open table, open orchard, play street, story box, shared childcare, a seed and plant exchange, and even a beehive. The Rewilding Trees & Birds, for example, includes things like CNC (computer numerical control) pre-cut birdhouses, bird feet, gardening gloves, promotional material to get people involved, training, eight trees.

Finally, to learn a bit more about this great initiative, the CEO of Participatory City Foundation, Tessy Britton, wrote this article a few days into the pandemic which gives interesting insights into how they work, mutual aid, being digitally connected, everything they will be able to do better down the line, and how it’s also an opportunity to strengthen the community and build on the new relationships recently fostered.

The time is right to make every effort possible to give people the micro-infrastructures and tools to make neighbourliness much more permanent. Simple projects which make everyday life better and create enjoyable ways to build friendships and relationships are key to making that happen.

More: By the way, there’s also the Participatory Canada initiative you should check out.