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Loft Conversion and Gentrification in London: From Industrial to Postindustrial Land Use


  • Chris Hamnett
  • Drew Whitelegg


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Hamnett & Drew Whitelegg, 2007. "Loft Conversion and Gentrification in London: From Industrial to Postindustrial Land Use," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 39(1), pages 106-124, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:39:y:2007:i:1:p:106-124

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    Cited by:

    1. Henning Füller & Boris Michel, 2014. "‘Stop Being a Tourist!’ New Dynamics of Urban Tourism in Berlin-Kreuzberg," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 1304-1318, July.
    2. Tom Slater, 2008. "'A Literal Necessity to be Re-Placed': A Rejoinder to the Gentrification Debate," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 212-223, March.
    3. Madureira , Ana Mafalda, 2013. "Physical Planning in Place-Making through Design and Image Building," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/37, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. Gordon L. Clark & Roberto Durán-Fernández & Kendra Strauss, 2010. "'Being in the market': the UK house-price bubble and the intended structure of individual pension investment portfolios," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-359, May.
    5. Tim Butler, 2007. "Re-urbanizing London Docklands: Gentrification, Suburbanization or New Urbanism?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 759-781, December.
    6. Peter Howley & Mark Scott & Declan Redmond, 2008. "An examination of residential preferences for less sustainable housing," Working Papers 0824, Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    7. Yoonku Kwon & Shinha Joo & Soyoung Han & Chan Park, 2017. "Mapping the Distribution Pattern of Gentrification near Urban Parks in the Case of Gyeongui Line Forest Park, Seoul, Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-17, February.

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