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Hackney

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January 3, 2009 by Kathryn Locke

In the suburb of Hackney, the large Stoke-Newington High Street divides at approximately number one hundred. South of this position, lower-priced apartments in large blocks and small businesses owned and run by migrant families dominate the streets. North of this line the gentrification is obvious. Small supermarkets, butchers and bakers become florists, restaurants, clothing boutiques and real estate agencies. Apartment blocks are replaced with town houses and loft apartments, all with significantly higher price tags.

Hackney

The changing socio-economiccondition of suburbs such as Hackney is not unusual. As populations increase and competition for housing heightens, the central sub/urban spaces become unobtainable for most. Spillage from wealthy, exclusive areas occurs and neighbouring suburbs are affected. The significance of Hackney, and several cities throughout America, Australia, Canada, Europe and Britain, is the economic and social motives that have spawned this new urban reshuffling. Spatial changes are often a visible indicator of a shifting economic or social condition.

The accumulation of global gentrification trends not only point to significant economic progression but also to noticeable social disparities. Contemporary gentrification is being made, and especially led, by a very distinctive pocket of the middle class. Within Hackney a specific group of young, moderately wealthy, predominantly homosexual individuals began to inhabit the area. The bistros, boutiques and bars that emerged subsequently drew more young professionals and middle class families to the area and the original residents of Stoke-Newington High Street moved further down the street. Demand for housing grew, prices sky-rocketed and the area, once renowned for being a poor, working class area, dominated by state housing, has become the next Notting Hill.

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