The regeneration of London is a project that’s ever going. The capital is such a vast sprawling entity that keeping it in good repair is a mammoth task that requires constant attention. Rather like the Forth bridge, it is a task that will never be completed: as one area rises to prominence again, another falls. Each time a new area is lifted up, hordes of people flock to it- shop owners, escorts, estate agents and entrepreneurs. They’re all looking to ride the wave until it crests, make as much money as possible, then get out whilst the going is still good, before the mass of water reaches its peak and crashes back down into the swirling abyss of the ocean.
The area so in vogue now is Stratford. The summer games helped boost the profile of the area exponentially, to the point where it hosts some of the greatest things in the capital. Much effort was made to improve the area. New travel links proved vital, and Stratford now boasts a high speed rail line, as well as one of the most spacious tube stations in the city. It’s a renovation of glass and steel that finds its perfection in the polished glint of the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre. Westfield hosts a huge array of shops, dwarfing all nearby centres and drawing in people from far and wide. It is the location of the only Liberty store outside of the original, a great honour indeed and a sign of what prestige has been brought to the area. It is also hosts one of the capital’s only branches of chic lingerie seller Victoria’s Secret.
Spare a thought for the areas whose time has passed though. They were once the up and coming places, the ones that would enjoy a new golden age, or so it was said. In places like Woolwich escorts quickly flocked to the area, as did the businessmen hungry to make a quick buck. Despite all the hype, things rarely went as billed. Instead many areas enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity, maintained it for a few years, then crashed. High streets were left devastated as shops that had opened, targeting the new markets, closed down in droves. As the boards went up, prices unfortunately didn’t always go down, leaving communities with inflated property costs and little to show for their trouble.
It can leave ghost towns behind, with actual residents priced out of the homes they have lived in for generations. This leads to the city expanding, as people are forced to move further out to avoid the costs. Greater London is at an incredible size now, more of a sprawling mass of towns than a single unified city. Woolwich was “transformed” but what that actually meant that it was moved half a mile down the road whilst the old area was gentrified and then largely abandoned by its new residents. This sort of boom and bust in property benefits only one group: those looking to make money, fast. The people whose lives are affected don’t get a say and many inhabitants wish that they had just been left out of the spotlight altogether. Everyone from butchers to Woolwich escorts agree that nothing much has really changed, yet because of what happened everything is still more expensive. The sad thing is that it will never stop: eventually the area will come back into fashion, and the cycle will start anew.
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