noun gen·tri·fi·ca·tion \ˌjen-trə-fə-ˈkā-shən\
“the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses”
Since my news story and, consequently, my modified narrative were based around the subjects of ‘Housing Crisis’ and ‘Gentrification’, it was important that I started Part II of this briefing by researching these concepts. Here’s what I found:
- Housing Crisis: Squeezed out of the property market, an article discussing home-ownership and the rise of prices in the property market;
- Houses, anno 2013, shows some lovely illustrations for a magazine article drawing on this theme;
- London Housing Crisis, a university project for a Graphic Branding and Identity course about London’s housing crisis and the effects it has on Londoners;
- NO PLACE TO CALL HOME, a ‘simple animation for busy politicians’;
- Temporary housing in the context of crisis, a final project for a MA degree which, as the title suggests, consists of a design proposal for temporary housing in the context of a crisis (e.g. shelter for refugees).
I found ‘The Guardian’ particularly resourceful when it came to different articles about London’s housing crisis. These are a few of the ones I read:
- House price growth at a standstill in October, says Nationwide;
- Sadiq Khan research brief recognises need for overseas investors;
- The Britain that Theresa May is trying to build has unstable foundations;
- Wave of prefab homes planned to tackle UK housing crisis;
- Floating homes: a solution to flooding, crowded cities and unaffordable housing;
- Our society has lost control of housing – here’s how to get it back;
- Peabody given approval to build 1,500 homes in south-east London;
- Angry student judges refuse to pick winner of accommodation awards (this last one was my favourite, I found it amusing and very interesting).
As a sort of ‘introduction’ to gentrification, I found this very helpful article, explaining the causes and effects of gentrification, along with some facts and possible solutions: ‘What Is Gentrification, Anyway?’
In general, what I found for ‘Gentrification’ was more visually appealing than what I had found for ‘Housing Crisis’. These projects below felt more artistic opposed to illustrations made for economy magazines.
- Untitled/Brixton: a publication exploring the gentrification of Brixton in South London through the application of Jan Van Toorn’s dialogic approach to graphic design (made by an LCC student);
- Europan 10 – Warsaw: Competition Winning Entry is not recent (2009), so it was not as applicable to modern London as the other projects I’ve found; still, the visuals were interesting;
- Dear London, I _ _ _ _ you. is a poster which works as a love/hate letter/ode/rant to London. Based around a 3057 word written piece by Michael C Place, mapping the city through Build’s 15 year stint in the capital. The poster was screen printed and displayed at the Ground Floor Space gallery in Bermondsey, SE1 3HX during The London Design Festival, 2015.
Although I am mainly against gentrification, I thought it was important to read about its advantages and the good results it sometimes has on a community.
- In Defense of Gentrification is another article, this time defending gentrification. “The prevailing narrative ignores an abundance of evidence that relatively few low-income neighborhoods get gentrified—and when they do, there’s much less displacement than is commonly assumed.”
- Understanding Gentrification, a short animation explaining the concept;
- Is Gentrification Turning London Into A Ghost Town?, a short documentary drawing on the effects of gentrification in London, particularly in Shoreditch;
- What It’s Like To Get Kicked Out Of Your Neighborhood, a very interesting documentary following a boy who got kicked out of his neighborhood, describing the differences between what the neighborhood is now and what it used to be when he lived there (USA);
- Gentrification and what can be done to stop it | Loretta Lees | TEDxBrixton, a TED Talk by Loretta Lees discussing gentrification in London and possible solutions;