A social housing estate in Deptford of Lewisham, London, situated on the banks of the Thames, near a busy transportation route and an industrial site. It was previously the Royal Victoria Dockyard where British warships were constructed. It is characterized by the presence of a number of housing blocks, the completion of which resulted in winning a Civic Trust design award. The area has also been refurbished in recent times.

Primary site for background information on the location: ukhousing


The estate has faced a number of problems over time:

1. Physical and social changes accompanied with the newer development, of which the singleaspect blog gives a richer description here

2. Noise pollution from a scrapyard near the center of the estate. The Royal Docks nearby also suffer from noise pollution, but from airplane traffic from the London City Airport. This site is a shining example of citizen science and successful multi-stakholder collaboration at play. The citizens were assisted by the “Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities” by the London 21 sustainability network and University College London under the UCL-led UrbanBuzz Programme. London Sustainability Exchange, under the Environmental Justice programme provided the second pilot area. The citizens were taught how to use the noise monitoring devices, took their own measurements and made their own map.

Further, detailed information on the mobilization of the residents and the participation of the Mayor and Environment Agency can be found here  and here

3. Air pollution problems also arising from the same scrapyard and proximity to traffic routes, also analysed as part of the citizen science initiative through the London Sustainability Exchange. This time, the citizens took samples to analyse air quality using diffusion tubes for NO2 levels, Eco Badge ozone detection kits and a novel surface wiping method. The results were analysed through the Lancashire University and the results were translated into a series of maps. This contribution influenced the siting of air pollution monitoring units near the estate and it is hoped that the information will help with addressing the environmental quality concerns of the community.

Further details can be found with mappingforchange

The Pepys Estate area can be viewed here, with reference to the towers, transportation routes, metal and waste recycling plant, Pepys park and the community forum:


Zoom to view 200 ft for this image courtesy of Google Maps:

Remotely sensed image of part of the Pepys Estate through Google Maps (zoomed to 200 ft)
Remotely sensed image of part of the Pepys Estate through Google Maps (zoomed to 200 ft)


Note: Please let me know if there are any updates on the housing, noise, or air issue. 


Helpful Links: mappingforchange, and onourdoorsteps


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