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Tottenham’s Trojan Horse?

Dr Mark Panton researched the impact of football stadium-led regeneration projects for his PhD at Birkbeck and has now turned his thesis into a graphic book.

Detail from cover art, Tottenham's Trojan Horse?, illustrated by Amanda Lillywhite

Dr Mark Panton has turned his PhD thesis into a graphic book about the regeneration plans for the north London district of Tottenham, entitled Tottenham’s Trojan Horse?

Dr Panton completed his PhD at Birkbeck’s Department of Management where his research focused on the impact of football stadium-led regeneration schemes and the influence that local communities can have on these projects. 

He became particularly aware of the issues affecting the Tottenham community after Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was granted planning permission for a new stadium. A walkway to the stadium is included in the planning proposals, which would require the demolition of 297 properties. This has sparked significant protest from local home and business owners who may see their properties forcibly bought through Compulsory Purchase Orders.

The graphic book provides insight into this regeneration project from stakeholders on every side including local residents, Haringey councillors, Members of Parliament and Tottenham Hotspur FC managers. It also provides useful context on the effects of budget cuts on councils, the consultation process between local politicians and residents, and the history of Tottenham, including the 2011 riots.

Dr Panton said: “In Tottenham, these are real people in danger of losing their homes, their livelihoods and their connections in the community linked to developments associated with the new stadium. Their views were included in my thesis through interviews and participant observations, but I felt there would be a benefit in trying to give them a louder voice.

“My partner is a designer and illustrator. The idea of using a comic format to develop the Tottenham case study seemed interesting to both of us. It was an important factor that members of the community groups in Tottenham I spoke to were enthusiastic about the idea of the book.  They have also assisted with checking details in the book, which will provide opportunities to discuss the issues at future events. The aim is to make the book comprehensible for as broad an audience as possible.”

An impact grant from the Birkbeck School of Business, Economics and Informatics has made it possible to produce the book, which will be officially launched at an event at Housmans Bookshop on 4 April, with a further celebration event as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre seminar series in the summer term.

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