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Part 2 Project 2013
Joshua Green
Royal College of Art, UK
In December 2012 a Daily Telegraph headline announced that fracking (the procedure of extracting onshore shale gas) could ‘permanently affect 60 per cent of the British countryside, despite safety fears’.

This project is an exploration of the potential future effects of the fracking industry on a site in Croydon, examining British Shale’s status as a national industry influencing the masterplanning of a single town and it’s subsequent implementation through a piece of ‘greenwashed’ infrastructure: the dairy farm.

From the present day until 2025, energy requirements throughout the entire world grow exponentially, while civil unrest penetrates deeper and deeper into oil-rich countries. Faced with the unavoidable necessity for a self-sufficient energy industry, the UK turns to the fledgling onshore gas industry of British Shale (FTSE:BS); helping brand UK nuclear as ‘unsustainably privatised’ and traditional renewables as ‘subsidised money pits’.

Exceeding all expectations, test sites prove that national shale reserves are above and beyond what had been previously imagined. Rapidly expanding communities surround the multiplying drill sites, supported by international energy investors, creating boom ‘megalopoli’ throughout the UK. Glasgow, Swansea and Blackpool prosper as economic trade centres within their localised reserves; in the south of the country, Croydon sits at the tip of the ‘Gatwick Diamond’; a highly evolved BID at the centre of London-Brighton’s massive gas fields. Seeing an opportunity, Croydon jumps on the shale bandwagon to reinvigorate the outer edges of it’s deprived borough, using British Shale’s masterplanning to establish the town of New Addington as a shining example of the industry’s expansion.

Under constant scrutiny from public and government, the British Shale masterplan resorts to extreme measures to establish a reputation as the ‘backbone’ of a new British Industrialism. From this, the farm is reborn, normalising the industry through reappropriating displaced agriculture within British Shale’s system; re-inventing and incorporating the British landscape into the fracking infrastructure. Through playing upon the public’s fracking fears by masterplanning ‘canary in the cage’ infrastructures, British Shale ensures the ‘greenwashed’ survival of their ‘too big to fail’ megalopolis; the blueprint for a new British ‘suburbiside’ vernacular: Jerusalem.

Joshua Green


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