15 December 2013 – SpitalfieldsPosted: December 15, 2013
I’d like to draw your attention to a new link in the blog-roll for Spitalfields Life http://spitalfieldslife.com/, written as a daily blog by the Gentle Author where he raises concerns about change and threats to local life in this part of central London. Not only is it full of stories and images of all kinds of local life – both now and how it once was – it also has a whole section on “Market LIfe’. I came back to this blog after reading an article in the UK Guardian that describes how local East End residents are taking action ‘to save an iconic area from rich vested interests and to revive local democracy’ through the East End Preservation Society. Campaigners are voicing how high-rise development is fast ‘stripping away the historical streetscapes, heritage and scale of the area and creating a legacy of social problems’.
As the article points out, much of the redevelopment that has already taken place has destroyed the area’s historic markets, including the western half of Spitalfields market and Columbia market. The arguments for new (high-rise) development, include new jobs and housing but local residents are asking how this benefits their communities, where local markets once played a central role.