A book is a long-in-the-making thing. This book emerged over eight years, pulling into its pages an invaluable compendium of people and places. My thanks begin with those I have worked most closely with, in the appreciation of the long hours, extended discussions, and varied city walks that have convened our practice of making work together. On Rye Lane our research team comprised Nicolas Palominos, Adriana Valdez-Young, and Sadiq Toffa, with subsequent contributions from Thomas Aquilina, Hamza Siddiq, and Antoine Paccoud, as well as Sophie Yetton, who crafted the Ordinary Streets film. They set a baseline for bringing the visual and the social together, enriching our dialogue between architecture and the social sciences. The “Ordinary Streets” project was generously supported by a Research Fellowship at LSE Cities—my thanks to Ricky Burdett and Philipp Rode for providing a convivial place to work. In Cheetham Hill, Narborough Road, Rookery Road, and Stapleton Road, I worked closely with Julia King and Robin Finlay as well as Ajmal Hussain and the crew at Social Life: Nicola Bacon, Emma Nielson, and Faraz Hassan. Julia King, the queen of drawing, shaped many of the illustrations in this book and continues to inspire with her Trojan horse approach to infiltrating the strictures of planning. I am immensely grateful to the ESRC for their funding of the Super-diverse Streets project, which allowed us to do our research in Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester, and Manchester. Across these streets so many individuals gave their time to talk with us, and I am deeply thankful for their contributions and what they shared. Special shout-outs to Aftab Rahman, Mo Rasul, and Eileen Conn. And to Patria Román-Velázquez and Michael Edwards for their bold and fundamentally human approaches to activism in planning. Toward the end of making this book I began to work with Huda Tayob, Henrietta Nyamnjoh, and Liza Rose Cirolia, and our explorations of a wider world of epistemological inspirations filtered into this book. The Philip Leverhulme Prize has given me the luxury of time in writing the last parts of this book, an inestimable gift amid the full-throttle pace of London life.
I work with a fabulous group of friends and colleagues at the London School of Economics, who are a source of inspiration and a refuge for care and commiseration—David Madden, Fran Tonkiss, Sara Salem, Myria Georgiou, Deena Dajani, Ayça Çubukçu, Monika Krause, Chetan Bhatt, Irit Katz, Nabila Munawar, Clive James Nwonka, Adam Greenfield, Haneen Naamneh, Alejandro De Coss Corzo, Austin Zeiderman—thank you. Oren Yiftachel, Aidan Mosselson, Ian Patel, and David Madden were kind enough to read portions of this book and to offer insightful and considerately pitched direction. Nicholas De Genova read the entire manuscript, and his acute comments, much like his exceptional work, have been elemental to thinking through the responsibilities of writing about migration in our brutal present. In this vein, I am so privileged to have worked with Pieter Martin, Susan Clarke, Anne Carter, Rachel Moeller, and Mike Stoffel at the University of Minnesota Press, copy editor Jonathan Lawrence, and indexer Doug Easton. It has been a comfort to learn the extent to which academic publishing holds firm to an intense commitment to ideas, as steady as the path we require as authors to write about them is convoluted.
My home, a space that spans near and far, is a place for making work, and my beloved John and Sam have filled it with making photographs and drawings, within which there is room to write. Gusta and Jonny bring humor and wine, and my parents connect with phone calls from South Africa, asking, bemused, “Is the book finished yet?” It is.