MyLondon investigates impact of gentrification on capital communities

MyLondon journalists have explored the impact gentrification of parts of the Capital are having as part of a new series by the news website.

Led by chief reporter Zak Garner-Purkis, a team of three reporters producing features on how communities around the Capital had changed over the years.

Zak looked at how parts of Wembley had become more like Shoreditch, with builders yards replaced by bakeries, exploring in the process whether the changes were good or bad.

Callum Cuddeford spent time in Deptford, where a typical home in 2000 cost £200,000 and now would cost £900,000. While there, he met shopkeepers worried by the fact new people to the area don’t use their services.

Anna Highfield reported from areas of North London including Tottenham Hale, where rapid development is, worried locals said, pushing them out of the area.

Ayokunle Oluwalana looked at both sides of a debate over whether changes in Hackney Wick had been a good or bad thing — with a wide-range of opinions on what the impact of changes have been.

Wembley has been transformed — but MyLondon explored whether it was a good thing

The initial series has led to a flurry of follow-ups, editor Andy Worden said, including stories from people who confirmed gentrification had meant their communities had become too expensive for them.

He said: “Our gentrification articles came about through a desire to create some series of features that would combine high quality journalism with the potential for high page views.

“Over the past few months gentrification was a topic that came up time and again when we visited different parts of London.

“We were clear from the start that we wanted to go into each piece with an open mind and report what we found as it’s clear it’s a complex topic that splits opinion and often leaves individuals divided as it can have pros and cons.

“Our chief reporter Zak Garner-Purkis has led the project, offering guidance to three of our reporters so we could produce four well researched, thorough pieces.

“Each feature involved the reporter visiting the area more than once and on at least one occasion arranging for someone from the local community to show them round the area so we could get as fair a representation as possible of the differing views on the subject. They were also accompanied by our photographer Facundo Arrizabalaga so that each piece looked really good when finished.

“I hope each reporter will have learnt a lot from the project as these were slightly different features to what we do day-in, day-out.

“It’s also enabled us to visit parts of the city that we don’t get to as much as we’d like.

“It has proved successful in terms of readership figures, with the pieces averaging around 40,000 page views each.

“We have now extended the project and are now also involving the team’s local democracy reporters in it. At the moment we are going to keep it going as a weekly feature for the foreseeable future.

“And it has inspired us to attempt an ambitious project for 2023 — currently titled London 365 — where we will visit 365 different neighbourhoods across London to produce a different feature every day on the big issues facing one corner of the city.”

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