Project Details


This project examines the new political-economic formations emerging after the global financial crisis through a case study of Coexist. Coexist is a registered Community Interest Company based in Stokes Croft, Bristol. It was set up in August 2008 to manage spaces in which people can Coexist (verb – to exist in harmony) with themselves, with each other and the environment. Over the last three years Coexist has drawn together a diverse array of artists, crafts people, community groups, health practitioners and social enterprises in their effort to provide a base for innovative and ethical social organisations at below market rents. The broader vision includes building networks with a range of existent local groups and Bristol organisations. The expressed aim is to establish Coexist specifically, and the city of Bristol more generally, as a ‘beacon of good practice’ that will enable others to emulate this novel grass roots model of urban regeneration and social innovation.

How should we understand Coexist? Are there really alternative models to marketised, property-led, models of urban regeneration? Can Coexist’s model for fostering economically and environmentally sustainable futures avoid the trap of gentrification and subsequent socio-economic displacement? Why does Coexist want to build ‘inter-institutional relationships of mutual benefit’ when we already know the problems that arise when government agencies and universities ‘partner’ with NGOs and community organisations? More generally, how should we analyse initiatives like Coexist? Is this David Cameron’s Big Society? Why, as a scholar of neoliberalism, is it useful to examine this particular initiative more closely?
Effective start/end date1/09/10 → …


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