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Topic 13: Gentrification and Housing Contemporary London

The final session will consider some of the contemporary housing problems accompanying London’s success as a global city. The lecture will outline and critically access how gentrification – a term first coined in reference to London in 1964 - has morphed from being the isolated product of the residential choices of certain middle-class professionals to being embedded within urban policy across London.

Two hour-length episodes from the BBC documentary series The Tower (2007) will be screened. These provide acute observations on the stark polarising impact of Berkeley Homes’ purchase and upgrading of Aragon Tower in an area of public housing in Deptford, southeast London – directly opposite Canary Wharf.

Further Reading:

Atkinson, R. 2000a: Measuring gentrification and displacement in Greater London. Urban Studies, 37 (1) 149-165. Butler, T. and Robson, G. 2003b: London calling: the middle classes and the re-making of Inner London. Oxford: Berg. Davidson, M and Lees, L. 2005: New-build ‘gentrification’ and London’s riverside renaissance. Environment and Planning A, 37 (7), 1165-1190. Edwards, M. 2002: Wealth creation and poverty creation: global-local interactions in the economy of London, City 6 (1), 25-42 Glass, R. 1964: London: aspects of change. London: MacGibbon and Kee. Hamnett, C. 2003: Unequal city. London: Routledge. Harrison, P. 1983: Inside the inner city: life under the cutting edge. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Martin, G. 2005: Narratives great and small: neighbourhood change, place and identity in Notting Hill. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 29 (1), 67-88. May, J. 1993: Globalization and the politics of place: place and identity in an inner London neighbourhood’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 21, 194-215. Munt, I. 1987: Economic restructuring, culture and gentrification: a case study of Battersea, London. Environment and Planning A, 19, 1175-97. Pitt, J. 1977: Gentrification in Islington. London: Barnsbury People’s Forum Raban, J. 1974: Soft City. London: Hamish Hamilton. Tindall, G. 1971: A street in London. New Society, 14th January, 52-56. Wright, P. 1991: A journey through ruins: the last days of London. London: Radius.

Useful Web Resources:

Bibliography on London: www.librarycatalogue.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Charles Booth Online Archive: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/

Government of London: www.london.gov.uk

Guardian Unlimited maps, resources and stories about the 2001 Census:


London Plan: http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/strategies/sds/index.jsp

Migration experiences: www.movinghere.org.uk

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