Crystal Palace Project: Triangulating the Community: A study of social and community activity in Crystal Palace


We are currently working on a new project to explore grassroots social and community activity in Crystal Palace, South East London.

The aim of the study is to provide as complete a picture as possible of the people, groups and organisations involved in voluntary and community activity in and around the ‘Crystal Palace triangle’, a vibrant area located at the junction of five London boroughs (Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark). We will be looking at the population of groups and organisations in the area; why and how they have come into being; how they work; and what they contribute to the local community. This will involve:

  • carrying out an analysis of relevant documentation held by archives, libraries, local organisations and individuals;
  • developing a comprehensive ‘map’ of activities and the groups responsible for them;
  • talking to local people in order to get an idea about how they feel about their community – its benefits and its problems (vox pop interviews)
  • conducting in-depth interviews with key people, including the ‘movers and shakers’ of community action; and
  • undertaking a series of case studies of some important activities or groups.

In the initial stages of the research we aim to set the boundaries of our study; develop in more detail how we will collect data; and identify the informants. This will involve mapping some of the dimensions and principal features of the area to be studied and conducting initial interviews with some of those involved in different aspects of local social and community action.

For further details and to discuss the study contact