brixton r e g e n e r ate d
the restoration and upgrading of run-down urban areas by affluent or middle class people resulting in the displacement of low-income, present residents.
since 2009, brixton is said to have become the latest london district to become gentrified. brixton has long been renowned for its bohemian, multicultural culture, but many argue that is has fallen victim to corporatisation, with big businesses are moving in and pushing out well loved brixton landmarks. one landmark that has been transformed during brixton's gradual gentrification is granville arcade, now known as brixton village. granville arcade was a popular indoor food market, that catered to brixton's afro-caribbean community. now that the well loved market stalls within granville arcade have been replaced with independent cafes and champagne bars, many wonder what brixton landmark will be transformed next. many refer this transformation as gentrification, but some brixton locals see this transformation as a positive change, bringing forth the debate whether it should be referred to as gentrification or regeneration. |7
champagne & fromage is the newest wine bar to open its doors to brixton residents. it's opening has been marred with frustration from longtime brixton residents, with the protests being held outside brixton village. brixton residents who are opposed to the opening of champagne & fromage argue that the bar caters to a specific audience, and is facilitating the closure of afro-caribbean foodstalls that used to be in its place. champagne & fromage is known for its affluent, middle-class audience, which stands out in brixton's bohemian cultural setting.
brixton village is a multicultural hub, home to several independent cafes and restaurants. the arcade building is a popular meeting place for brixton locals and londoners from further afield. while brixton village has attracted audiences from different backgrounds, brixton locals argue that it is catering only to a european market. brixton village was formerly known as granville arcade, until its rebrand in 2010. during its active years, granville arcade was an open market, selling a grand selection of afro-caribbean foods. now that this has been replaced by trendy eateries, many people, particularly within brixton's afro-caribbean community, feel that brixton village caters specifically to the needs of a new, younger, more middle-class generation leaving them feeling isolated.
outside brixton village, many parts brixton remain untouched by corporatisation taking place throughout the district. areas such as atlantic road, just off coldharbour lane, are still reminiscent of brixton during the 1990s; fresh food markets using basic technology to trade and several caribbean food shops playing vibrant, loud reggae music.
...“I’ve lived in brixton all my life. brixton has changed quite a lot, some of the changes are not for the community but for outsiders coming in and taking over. brixton village is a no-no for the simple reason that it has been taken over by a lot of cafes and restaurants, people pushing out smaller market traders. for the community that still live in the area, it’s hard to regularly get ethnic foods. brixton village now caters for a european market. at certain times of the evening, its a no go area for the ethnic community.”
...â€œI've been living in brixton for, like, 10 years now, and I think that brixton is quite changed now. in a good way. there is less trouble now, less bad people here now. there is very good service of police, there is plenty cctv cameras, it is really good. before, that indoor market, it was not very busy, but now that they have lots of different country's people here, and they have pizza shops and restaurants; they make brixton totally change. the community is totally changed. before there was a lot, a lot of...black people. now there is a lot of white people enjoying themselves. it is multicultural now. but it is really, really good.â€?
...“brixton’s changed a lot. there’s a few
improvements, like, there’s a starbuck’s now. they’ve changed up the front of the tube station. the place is generally a lot cleaner, it’s a bit easier to get around now. the housing’s much better. when I was younger we used to run around with all the bad boys, we used to cause a lot of trouble. but we’ve all changed and got bigger and older. I think some of the younger kids around the area, with the improvement in the housing and the way that the council looks after the place, you know, they’ve got better as well.”
“I work for foxton’s. brixton village has got great
variety. it’s a nice diverse area, you meet people from all over the world. I visit brixton village once a week. I love going to seven for cocktails. wishbone for chicken, obviously. go to mama lan! but do not go to happy dumpling, you will wait an hour for your food. apart from brixton village, I enjoy going to electric social for cocktails. apart from that, I’m mostly on the tube. I guess a large part of the appeal is that brixton used to be so dangerous, it’s very up and coming now.” | 35