On 21 April, Elizabeth met up with Clare Sheffield and colleagues at TfL for a workshop based on the DEMAND summer school event – on peaks, sites and cycles – which Nicola Spurling had designed. After a talk introducing some ideas about timing, infrastructures and practices – and some discussion of peaks, societal synchronisation, duration, sequence and flexibility – small groups of TfLers were sent out observe ‘practices’ at different sites: a hospital, a park, an office, a college at specific times (11.37am, 12.06 and 12.32). The groups returned, wrote up their field notes and compared them.
TfLers then distilled the insights and conclusions from this exercise and discussed their relevance for current work programmes and strategies. Some of the observations were about the different view provided by qualitative research; some were about the amazing variety of activities going on in such close proximity, and some were about the evident shift of what happens in any one spot over just an hour and a half. London is clearly not one place. Clare is going to produce a report for those involved, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of our findings: