Loft conversion and gentrification in London: from industrial to postindustrial land use
It is argued that many major Western cities have seen the conversion of centrally located commercial and industrial property to residential uses in recent years. This is seen as part of a wider process of change from industrial to postindustrial land uses and is a physical counterpart of the economic and occupational class transformation of these cities towards the growth of professional and managerial workers working in financial, business, and creative services. The paper focuses on loft conversions in Clerkenwell, adjacent to the City of London which are shown to be initiated by changes in the commercial property market, particularly the rise and fall of the secondary office market and the need to find alternative uses for commercial property. The apartments have been marketed in terms of their architectural distinction, their centrality and the social attributes of city-centre living. Their residents are professional and managerial workers with a strong orientation towards centrality, many of whom see themselves as pioneers of a new form of city-centre living.
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