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Gentrification in London — Modes of middle-class establishment in a Global City

Chapter

Abstract

The last quarter of the twentieth century saw the emergence of gentrification (‘the up scaling of previously working class housing in inner city areas’) in many of the world’s major cities – generally those with a developed services economy. The gentrification of large metropolitan centres has differed quite significantly from that in other cities. This chapter focuses mainly on the gentrification of inner London over the past quarter of a century but draws some contrasts with the emergence of gentrified areas in other major cities elsewhere in the United Kingdom. It is argued that London’s gentrification, and its distinctiveness, is largely driven by its cosmopolitanism as a global centre for services, culture and knowledge. As such, it acts as a kind of benchmark by which emerging middle-class neighbourhoods elsewhere in the UK compare themselves.

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