video 1 min 30 seconds looped 2012
focused at discussing the issue of 'other' within the gentrification programme at King's Cross
new social housing
is this it?
is this all we are?
is this all we offer?
power clears aways the debris
with its weaknesses and its gaps
until the new fabric begins to gape
the cycle resurges
the gap gapens
we deny those we displace
Nearly 30 years ago now, Holcomb and Beauregard4 were critical of the way that it was assumed that the benefits of gentrification would ‘trickle down’ to the lower classes in a manner similar to that hypothesised in the housing market. There is little evidence base for this policy of ‘positive gentrification’. As the gentrification research shows, despite the new middle classes’ desire for diversity and difference they tend to self-segregate and, far from being tolerant, gentrification is part of an aggressive, revanchist ideology designed to retake the inner city for the middle classes. In light of this, it is argued that these new policies of social mixing require critical attention with regard to their ability to produce an inclusive urban renaissance and the potentially detrimental gentrifying effects they may inflict on the surrounding communities.
So, on the one hand, we have a new source of supply of housing—improvable, affordable housing but on the other, this does nothing to address anxieties about identity and status, Gentrification offers a means for some people to resolve those anxieties by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by this new source of lifestyle engineering and upmarket housing. But in resolving their own anxieties, however, the gentrifiers create anxiety for others, whose identities they threaten, to whom they pose a ‘danger’.