Ross Hetherington // Social Mix 1974 – 2013


Bournville was planned as a social city, probably the first community where a “fine grained” (Sarkissian, W and Heine, W p.13) social mix was planned from the start. From the outset George (Cadbury) wanted to create a mixed community, a mix of social classes and occupations. To what extent has this original planned intention survived in Bournville?

Social Mix: The Bournville Experience (Sarkissian, W and Heine, W 1978) is a study about the changes to the social mix from when the estate was originally built – a study of Englishness beneath the veneer of Bournville’s architecture. The results of this study showed that in general people were not concerned about social mix either positively or negatively but features of their environment such as attractiveness of their homes or their neighbourhood around them were important considerations for them.

The re-run of the survey is to look at whether there have been any changes to the social mix since 1974. In general as a society we have become more insular in the way we live – less associated with the areas in which we live and the people who are our neighbours. The internet has become the new social tool. Bournville has a model of social inclusivity, asking this survey again will give a broad basis to see if the original planning in Bournville is still as strong and consistent.

The two surveys are to be presented, with the age of the survey concealed on two large poster prints. The first print is information taken from the original survey the second from the re-run of the survey. This will allow the viewers to take away their own information from the raw information presented.


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