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Gentrification in Barnsbury

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Gentrification in Barnsbury Josh Bicknell Index Chapter one: Introduction 1. Burgess Model 2. The Historical Development of Barnsbury 3. Location of Barnsbury 4. The process of Gentrification in Barnsbury 5. Hypotheses Chapter two: Data Sources 1. National Census 2. Electoral Register 3. Questionnaire 4. Visual Survey 5. Residential Environmental Quality Survey 6. Interviews Chapter three: Results 1. Electoral Register 2. Housing Quality Survey 3. Hypothesis Results Chapter four: Conclusions 1. Views 2. Links 3. Evaluation 4. Improvements 5. Area 6. Interview 1 7. Interview 2 8. Summary Gentrification in Barnsbury Josh Bicknell Chapter one: Introduction Aim: To study the process of gentrification in London, Islington Gentrification is an unusual social process. It had not happened before the 1960s and even now it is quite rare. It occurs when middle class people move into a working class area. Most areas decline in social status over time. We say that they filter down the social hierarchy, i.e. when people move out of areas, poorer people usually replace them. The inner city in many UK cities was largely built from a Victorian middle class, now many of these areas are run down. An example of this is Hackney in London. Burgess Model: Over time people move further and further away from the centre. The area becomes worse and decreases in stature. The rich tend to move to the suburbs where new development takes place on the edge of the city. To demonstrate this we can use a model to show a simplified version of reality. E.W.Burgess, whilst staying in Chicago developed something called a concentric ring model. At the time Chicago was rapidly expanding, as many citizens from the South were moving north. There were also people moving to Chicago from Europe and other places outside the U.S.A. This diagram is what Burgess came up with to explain what was happening in Chicago. Burgess identified five rings of land use that would form around the CBD (central business district.) ...read more.


In 1971, the greatest percentage was that of rented private, with 68% and the second largest was owner occupied with 23%. Rented council had 8% and other had just 1%. In 1981, owner occupied was now the greatest class with 40%, and rented private had dropped to 31% and was now the second greatest class. Rented council was still the third greatest however its percentage had now risen to 28%. Other was still last and its percentage had stayed at 1%. By 1991 owner occupied had increased its percentage to 55% and was now the greatest class by far. Rented private was still second and rented council was still third however the percentages were very close. Rented private had 23% and rented council had 22%. Other had dropped to 0%. Going into 2002, owner occupied was still the greatest with 62% and rented private still had the second greatest percentage with 38%. However now rented council and other both had 0% of the population. Looking at the results for owner occupied through the years, it is clear that there has been a steady percentage increase of around 15% per year. This strongly supports gentrification as it shows the upper class moving into the area buying up the houses. Also the fact that the results involve a steady increase suggests that gentrification in this area has been gradual as more and more houses become gentrified. The results for rented council are a little more erratic. We would expect these results to gradually decrease through the years however from 1971-1981 there has been a 20% increase. This may be because of municipalisation, which is where the council buy houses for people to rent. From 1981-91 the results are more predictable with a decline of 6% as the working class population are getting forced out of the area. In 2002, although this result does not go against gentrification with a percentage drop of 22%, it seems rather large and unrealistic as it is unlikely that there are no longer any properties in Barnsbury rented from the council. ...read more.


Summary: From the data collected, the interviews and my personal experiences I think it is clear that gentrification has definitely played a prominent part in the development of Barnsbury over the last thirty or so years. Rod Cullen made a valuable point when he said he didn't think gentrification was still happening in Barnsbury but rather, middle class people were being attracted to the area because of its status and the attraction of other rich people in the area. Melinda Phillips in her interview made a similar point to this where she said gentrification was greatly helped by the housing associations carrying out improvements on the houses. Here she is basically saying upper class people are only attracted to desirable areas. This is what happened in Barnsbury, once gentrification started, it was like a run away train that just got faster and faster. The house prices in Barnsbury have always been expensive in comparison to London prices, however recently they have become almost exclusive. This is an example of the desirability of the area now and this is what attracts rich people to the area. In some ways this is a good thing because the area is now clean and safe and attractive, but as Rod Cullen pointed out, it means also that the minorities are frowned upon because they may bring down house prices or damage the streets reputation. The hostel along Barnsbury road has made some of that area more diverse with its different ways and cultures, and more schemes like this are needed in Barnsbury to make it more accessible to people that don't have excessive amounts of money. I personally think that Barnsbury is still being gentrified because along some of the main roads like Offord and Barnsbury Road, there are many houses that are certainly unimproved. However at the rate Barnsbury is going, soon every house in the area will be owned by the upper class and there will no place there for anyone else. Unless something changes the divide between the rich and the poor will only grow and grow. ...read more.

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