Urbanisation and The Wire

July 21, 2009

The following is written as an agenda setting piece for some posts that I intend to produce over the next couple of weeks. It strikes me that within The Wire’s nest of interwoven story lines and social commentary, lies a neat summation of the current process of urbanisation / regeneration / gentrification. Certainly my local area, the friendly neighbourhood of Dalston, is undergoing huge cosmetic and infrastructural shifts as prescribed by the planners of London’s 2012 Olympic cavalcade. Now looming large over the area is a twenty story tower that looks like a 1980s representation of an intergalactic freighter. Now sclerotic, sprawling incongruously and presided over by a skeletal guard of white framed cranes.

So, we can touch upon David Harvey’s assertion that cities are modern repositories of capital surplus, specifically, that the property industry displays remarkable durability in its ability to absorb investment. Due to construction time it takes a number of years to come online from the point of initial investment, providing a time-delayed response to underlying problems of capital generation.

To be continued.

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