Bristol, Brixton, Berlin and Brooklyn – all places recently visited by Wylde’s Harriet, all with one thing in common – gentrification. It’s the word on everyone’s lips, its scattered across social media and the news… This week we’re looking into the role of urban revitalisation and how gentrification could be addressed. The role of designers, architects and urban planners is to transform and adapt our city landscapes. Revitalisation, rejuvenation and renovation all have positive connotations, so why has the idea of re-birth had such a negative impact on communities in these new and improved areas?
Gentrification by definition is the process of changing a district so it becomes more appealing to higher-income occupiers which in turn raises the cost of living, rent and property values. The problem thereby isn’t in the improvement of buildings or introduction of new business – the problem occurs when the original occupiers of the area can’t afford to live there any more. Often, the much needed regeneration of a neighbourhood results in the pushing out of lower income communities. This is where the architects and urban planners have a role to play in securing affordable options for the existing communities in the districts that are being redeveloped.
Diverse neighbourhoods, enriched communities, intelligent urban planning, beautiful architecture and great design are all qualities that, individually, increase our quality of life. Revitalisation of run-down or neglected areas brings many positive changes – reduced crime rates, increased economic activity and new investment in buildings. Architects and planners have a crucial role to play in creating affordable solutions for the existing neighbourhoods.
As an interior architecture consultants we are often being briefed to rework spaces to bring new life to the space whilst incorporating the organisations brand identity, colour scheme and values. We believe in creating places that work for our clients and thoroughly believe neighbourhoods should be revitalised whilst bringing new benefits to the existing communities as well as the new occupiers!