Brixton today, Croydon tomorrow?
Esiah Levy, who Tweets as @croydon_oldtown, has come up with a very handy little guide to how to judge whether a neighbourhood is being gentrified.
Levy’s “A to Z of signs that your area is about to move ‘upmarket'” includes:
A: Artists everywhere, Apple MacBooks being used on the trams, Antique stores
B: Barratt Homes, Boutiques, Buy to Let signs, bicycles with a basket and bread
C: cupcake shops, Costa coffee, council sell offs…
It has taken more than 30 years since their area’s riots of 1981, but as this short Guardian video hosted by the award-winning novelist Alex Wheatle demonstrates, the once notorious Brixton has been utterly gentrified and has embraced cafe society as thoroughly as the likes of Camden or Islington.
Some of the “village people” of Broad Green may see PR agencies conducting rebranding exercises and Brixton’s transformation as a template for progress in Croydon, but Wheatle reasonably poses some important questions about the costs of such change, as local people are priced out of the housing market, and local traders see their long-established businesses by-passed and eventually struggle for survival in the changing marketplace.
It is not unreasonable to ask, after Croydon’s own 8/8 riots in 2011, whether denying local businesses and residents their compensation for more than two years just might be a deliberate policy of malign neglect, to speed up the “clearance” process to allow in the developers and buy-to-let investors?
- Londoners being priced out of London by social cleansing
- MP asks Prince Charles to intervene over riot compensation
- Portas Pilot has been a flop, admits scheme’s ex-chair
Coming to Croydon
- Friends of Ashburton Park meeting: Sep 11
- Three plays in a pub: The Ship, Sep 24
- Have a cup of coffee and help fight cancer: Sep 27
- Rent at the Secombe Theatre: Oct 9-12
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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