Concrete Action is a platform to provide support for architecture and planning professionals and communities fighting for housing in London. This space is for those working in building design, planning and construction to anonymously provide advance information on proposed developments, to disseminate planning and development knowledge to communities and activists, and to link professionals who are willing provide educational and design services for those negatively affected by property development.

Resources

Resources for communities, architects and activists.

 

 

 

Map

Housing struggles, planned developments and campaign victories across London.

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Leaks

Securely and anonymously send us documents and evidence relating to regeneration malpractice, or to give communities early access to information so that they have time to get organised.

Any leaks sent to us will be uploaded to the Documents section. We will do our best to strip the material of metadata – but you should too!

Why leaks?

What we are doing is driven by a desire to create a level playing field in the realm of redevelopment. The planning process is widely touted as a public and accountable process – we do not believe that this is the case, therefore it is up to us to take matters into our own hands and try to force the process to become more public, more transparent and for the benefit of people living in affected areas rather than absent property owners, developers and investor conglomerates.

There is gradual progress in legal terms, however there are many communities who need information about what is happening to their area now, faster than an overhaul of the planning process or a freedom of information request.

Whistleblowing has a proud history of helping to create change! By speeding up the availability of information through direct action it creates pressure on the existing system – we are not against development in principle, but we want development for and with all residents of the city.

 

If you have access to information which you believe is being wrongfully withheld from the public, we are here for you.

 

How to send us information

Everything you do online leaves a trace, but there are things you can do to minimise these. If you would like to send us a document or documentation to publish it is your responsibility to decide what level of anonymity and security you need. We will do our best to support anyone who sends us information but we are not able to take responsibility for the consequences if you are put at risk in the process, so please read and choose carefully:

We have three methods of sending us information online, according to the level of anonymity you require.

If you have information the public ought to know, please get in touch. Do not send us information which has been obtained by criminal means, personal information about you or anyone else, or any other information which it would not be in the public interest to publish.

 

No security: Just email it to us

If you have relevant information that is not confidential and will not compromise you or your job, simply attach the document(s) to an email and send it to us on concreteaction [AT] riseup.net.

 

Medium security: Use a pseudonymous email address

Set up an email address under a pseudonym for moderate security.

DON’Ts

  • DON’T use a computer belonging to your employer, or a computer which you use to work remotely.
  • DON’T use your employer’s wifi or mobile broadband connection.
  • DON’T use your employer’s premises.

DO

  • DO use a computer that belongs to you.
  • DO set up a new email account in a fake name to communicate with us.
  • DO use a strong password for your email account.

Limitations

  • If legal action is taken to try to identify the source of the material you give us, your email provider might be forced by a court to disclose your IP address. That could reveal your identity.
  • Even if you don’t tell us who you are, we, or your employer might be able to work out your identity from the content of the documents, either because only a small number of people have access to those documents, or because of metadata embedded in files you send us. For example, pictures taken on a camera phone often include location data.
  • While we will make every effort to protect your identity and resist any attempt to uncover it, we might make a mistake. We might unwittingly divulge information which identifies you; our security might be flawed; our group might be infiltrated; we could be blackmailed or taken to court.

You could also be identified if:

  • you download data from your employer’s computer in a way which is logged.
  • you email us from a computer which is later lost or stolen.
  • your computer has a virus or catches one in the future.
  • you Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, visit the Concrete Action website at work, or otherwise incriminate yourself.
  • you are a known troublemaker and your employer is able to guess it was you.

Higher security: Use Signal

Use Signal to contact us

DON’Ts

  • DON’T use a phone or computer belonging to your employer, or a computer which you use to work remotely.
  • DON’T use your employer’s wifi or mobile broadband connection.
  • DON’T use your employer’s premises.

DO

  • DO message us on Signal on this number:  +44 (0)77 0691 5977  – we will then agree on best and most secure method to get the information out.

Limitations

  • Even if you don’t tell us who you are, we, or your employer might be able to work it out from the content of the documents, either because only a small number of people have access to those documents, or because of metadata embedded in files you send us. For example, pictures taken on a camera phone often include location data.
  • While we will make every effort to protect your identity and resist any attempt to uncover it, we might make a mistake. So do not unnecessarily reveal your identity, even to us.

You could also be identified if:

  • you download data from your employer’s computer in a way which is logged.
  • you keep a copy of the files you send us on your computer, and it is later lost or stolen.
  • your computer has a virus or catches one in the future.
  • you Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, visit the Concrete Action website at work, or otherwise incriminate yourself.
  • you are a known troublemaker and your employer is able to guess it was you.

About

We are an independent network of professionals working in architecture and related industries. In light of the recent discussions on the housing and property crisis in the UK, it is time to draw attention to the fact that there has been little mention of the architects and designers, without whose services much development and construction work would not be possible. The time has come for architects and designers take back the power which comes with their knowledge and design abilities. We hold all design and construction professionals to be responsible for the shaping of the city. Not all development has a negative effect. We believe that it is possible for the city to undergo improvement whilst retaining the fabric of existing buildings and diverse communities and providing decent homes and public spaces.
Due to the nature of their work, architects have an overview of the many stakeholders involved in the planning and design of our cities. Every architectural project involves negotiation between a number of equally legitimate forces which shape in the urban environment, including clients, government, residents and businesses. However, in recent times neoliberal politics encouraging homogenisation and privatisation of public space have caused a shift in the balance of power towards the financiers, leading to the prevalence of urban design which prioritises profitability.

Much of the information on prospective development is already available in the public realm, however it is not widely publicised nor in an accessible language or format. This causes an imbalance of power away from those who live in the city. We invite those who have access to information on development proposals to submit data, which can be carried out anonymously if desired. The concreteaction.net platform collates information on proposed developments across the city for use by communities and professionals alike.

What we provide:

  • The infrastructure to enable you to submit information anonymously to the concrete action website.
  • A searchable database and map
  • An online resource for professionals to view tactics to resist financially led design and planning issues when working with developers.
  • Educational workshops for communities on elements of the planning process. If you would like to request a workshop, fill in the form on the help page.
  • Translation of development proposals and planning documents into plain language. We can provide a workshop to do this- fill in the form on the help page.
  • Downloadable data visualisation for media, activist and community use.

What we can’t provide:

 

 

 

Video Library

Contact

If you want to get involved, are looking for help or advice, want to contribute to these resources or have any questions, simply send us a message using the form.

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