Hi to all my friends and visitors from the British Isles. This one’s for you. I ran across this article about housing trends in London. It reminds me distinctly of trends in US cities regarding population growth. A city starts out as a central hub, a downtown district if you will, and everyone lives here, at first. As the economy booms, those that have higher paying jobs, and wanting to capitalize on this fact, move further out of the city, creating another zone or area of living, time goes by, and those that were living in zone 2 move further out to zone 3, and those in zone 1 move to zone 2, leaving the center of the city open for new immigrants to the city and others that have ‘come to seek their fortune.’
This also manifests in the creation of, in the US, mostly white upper and middle class suburbs, and mostly immigrant or non-white ‘downtowners’ that live in the center of the city. The suburbs consist of newer homes and the inner city of people who are at the mercy of building owners, who charge as much as they can for the access to work that the city provides. Meanwhile, suburbanites pay more to commute and get more tax breaks by owning via a Mortgage rather than renting, thereby affording their commute.
The odd thing about our cities, though, is that sometimes, a developer will come in, buy a downtown building that is mostly habited by lower income folks, will pay them to move out, and renovate the building, creating 10 luxury multi-floor apartments, charging massive amounts of rent or selling them outright to the ‘super rich’ and artificially creating modern, rich neighborhoods where natural progression would have ordinarily been a culture-rich tapestry of various ethnic groups, smells, sights and sounds.
Has this happened in London yet? How about Dublin? Have you seen either of these trends in the cities where you live?