Edge City: Croydon

Image of NLA Tower

A National Trust celebration of post war politics, place-making and pride.

In July 2016, National Trust London explored the contemporary heritage of Croydon and cast a spotlight on the borough as one of the most important examples of the post-war ambition to build a new society. Following hot on the heels of openings of the Balfron Tower and Southbank Centre, the project's aim was to change the perception of heritage from simply country houses and coastlines, and celebrates the real places in which people live, work and play.

Often referred to as an ‘Edge City’ – a city-sized development on the outskirts of a city – this project is a riposte to Croydon’s ‘Crap Town’ reputation. Everywhere has its own unique spirit of place, and many Croydonians feel tremendous pride for their town. As it begins another wave of regeneration, the National Trust is seeking to spark a debate about what is special and cherished about suburban places like Croydon, which are as awash with heritage, green space and beauty as anywhere else.

Places like Croydon are the ordinary places in which people live, work, and play. The National Trust wants to reveal how they came about, explore how they took their current form, discover what people love about those places, and establish how we can maintain and develop them for future generations.

In 2017, as part of Croydon Heritage Festival, National Trust London revived Edge City: Croydon and ran tours around some of Croydon’s most iconic buildings and the surrounding ‘new town’ area.