Friday, January 19, 2007

Rental Barracks

The Tomb on the relentless rise of the City, and its determined pushing up of rents and pushing out of people all over London. The fascinating, if obviously deeply worrying point is how this is increasingly achieved via sheer physical expansion: a financial district that once genuinely occupied a square mile now stretches itself as far West as Holborn, North all the way up to Angel, while the new Broadgate tower pokes its way East up to Shoreditch- and all while a whole other area in the Isle of Dogs becomes overrun/'redeveloped'. A possible future in which the entirety of London zones 1 and 2 are uninhabitable to anyone on under £50,000 a year clearly awaits...


Anonymous Owen said...

This is definitely a vision shared by a lot of people, from New Labour councillors to bankers and all the 'design and build' speculators, but as bad as things are getting there's still a long way for them to go. There's a whole tranche of land near me they want to get their hands on, running from the north side of Burgess Park up to the Elephant and Castle. They're making a good start on the E&C area, but there's a long way to go yet. The sheer scale of the ethnic/social cleansing that is necessary to achieve the kind of yuppified zones 1&2 that they dream of is going to take a long time, even if resistance from the 'vibrant local communities' is minimal.

One interesting aspect is the role of the state. However much money might be floating around in the city these days you can't imagine capital actually paying out for the redevelopment of these areas with 'potential'. They'll only come in and develop the big luxury blocks with massive state aid. (Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here.)

10:25 pm  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

That's one of the most maddening things about it, really- like with PFI, the state actually ends up spending massive amounts of money to have its own power emasculated...

3:53 pm  
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6:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:19 am  

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