The edge of cool – Why we should care about creative and cultural displacement in cities

It begins: an area near the city centre is less developed, artists and independent businesses move in, culture and creativity thrive increasing the area’s visibility and desirability. At which point a less fashionable (but richer) crowd arrives, rents and prices rise and the artists/independents, and original inhabitants, get forced out. Many of us intuitively feel there’s something troubling about this, and it has been a focus of much debate in London in particular, but our reasons for caring about it are often not entirely clear – which isn’t to say we shouldn’t care. Read More

Brick Lane in Numbers

Stuart Aitken, Head of Content at DigitasLBi, introduces a new piece of research which demonstrates what social media can tell us about places. ‘Brick Lane in Numbers’ was first presented at the Social media, policy and place event hosted by DigitasLBi, which explored the ways that commercial companies, researchers and policy makers can use social media data to understand interactions with place.

“During the time I spent looking for it, Brick Lane changed for ever” – Rachel Lichtenstein Read More

Welcome to Where We Live Now

Bham occupancyIn this inaugural blog post, Fiona Reynolds and Deborah Lamb discuss the aims and activities of the Where We Live Now project.

Throughout our careers, we have seen first-hand how powerful and meaningful people’s connections to place can be. Their connections to place permeate all aspects of their working, family and social lives, and often have profound connections to wellbeing.

Decisions that affect people’s lives, however, are often rather determinedly disconnected from the places they care about. The ‘scale’ of decision making remains national, sometimes supranational, yet the scale of people’s experience is profoundly local. Read More