Gentrification and displacement in Greater London : an empirical and theoretical analysis
The thesis involves an inquiry into the little explored nature of the relationship between the processes of gentrification and displacement in the context of the Greater London area. Scant work has been previously undertaken in this country on these processes compared to be the wealth of work conducted already on gentrification. Displacement has barely been acknowledged as a component of the British gentrification experience except through anecdotal evidence and acknowledgement of basic causal association. Three separate but related methodologies were used to piece together evidence to test whether gentrification was a displacing force. First, the 1981 and 1991 censuses were used to examine broad social changes in London at a ward level, second, the Longitudinal Study (LS) was used to examine the linkages between identifiably gentrified areas and the migratory trajectories of gentrifiers and displacees. Finally the use of grounded research was undertaken to look at examples of these processes in situ through interviews with tenant's representatives and local authority officers. The cumulative weight stemming from the use of the three research methods and the view that displacement is a necessary corollary to gentrification is evaluated along with the implications of findings on the need for the retention of affordable housing and the potential costs of urban social restructuring. The evidence suggests a need for a wider set of social and economic costs to be considered in view of the damage that may be done by gentrification. Accurate quantification in the future will not result without the identification and monitoring of gentrification and displacement activity by local authorities via the monitoring of the housing histories of the vulnerable. The work concludes that the study of gentrification and displacement is theoretically and empirically problematic but that the results of the work also form a positive introduction and lever into wider work on such processes in the future and that such research should be continued in the future.