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“We want the South Woodford Design Code to be an exemplar, and blueprint, for what a community can create. A Design Code that is truly community-led will have lasting positive impacts for all residents.”

Jo, Founder & CEO of AzuKo

Creating a Community-led Design Code

South Woodford, London

meet ...



Our why
South Woodford is a diverse neighbourhood in northeast London, with areas of deprivation and barriers to housing and services. It has poor provision of parks, public spaces and amenities. Local residents, represented by the South Woodford Society, decided that a Design Code (introduced by the government in 2021 as part of neighbourhood planning) would enable them to develop a community-led vision for development. Design Codes tend to be prepared by local planning authorities and supported by ‘big businesses’, with little connection to the community and so fail to be representative.

Our Idea
We intend, instead, for the South Woodford Design Code to be truly community-led. Created by residents, and championed by South Woodford Society, we want it not just to have lasting positive impacts for all current and future residents, but to become a blueprint for what a community can create. Already in draft form, it will set out a big vision for South Woodford, the ‘roadmap’ to achieve it and how residents can be directly involved.

Our vision is to transform South Woodford into a green and active neighbourhood, which inspires people to walk and cycle, filled with opportunities for the community to socialise and with an inviting public space and community hub within a 10 minute walk.

With Footwork's support ...


Jo will develop a digital map of community assets through data collection; supporting a community-led vision for the South Woodford neighbourhood and setting an exemplar code for other communities to follow.


Azuko is an architecture charity. Their aim is to alleviate poverty through sustainable development by working alongside disadvantaged communities in the UK and Bangladesh to improve living conditions.

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