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In the run up to the 2015 general election, a war is going on for the right to live in London. Rapid gentrification – praised as “regeneration” by local councils and property developers, derided as “social cleansing” by critics – is breaking up established communities. In some cases, families who’ve lived in London for generations are left homeless; in others, they are forced to move across the city or out of it completely. Meanwhile, the real estate opportunities are making lots of people – many of whom do not actually live in London – very rich.
For the first time, MIPIM, the international property trade show, comes to London and Daisy dresses all fancy in an attempt to schmoose Boris. Like Eliza Doolittle, she pronounces her t’s and drinks champagne whilst meeting Heads of Regeneration and finds out what the big cheeses are planning to do with the London skyline.
Read: Meeting London’s Lollipop Men and Women Before They All Disappear –
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hate this area look at what what is that you knock on that you'd hurt your head you knock on that and they'd feel you knocking from like upstairs with counsellors dates quickly becoming prime real estate I wanted to go to the decision-making epicenter to try and meet some of the big dogs who have the power to turn council housing into glossy maggot hours today is the day of Nippon which is the property trade fair in Kensington Olympia there's going to be a keynote speech by Boris Johnson like Kickstarter Olaf there's going to be property developers there so I'm getting my guards on I feel like Eliza Doolittle from my cell ad and I'm going to get in their little push and then I'll drink champagne suddenly that fall over on a table it's gonna be so fun waiting her from UK roughly 2014 was the first year Nippon usually held in can was hosted in London this is where developers counselors and investors Network and strike deals outside there was a counter hashtag blocked Boris demo led by different housing action groups to try and stop the conference from going ahead outside you can already see that hashtag drop forest campaign basically all the people that I've met so far they're all out there there's people from lucky 15 lines and carpenters estate and Bastion and on the inside it was like a completely separate world like a boozy property Disneyland basically they're obviously trying to buy my luck because every storm there's something delicious railroad thank you yeah there is a kind of great fan to improve improve to look at these areas that have traditionally been pretty surely bring it up so London is 21st century describe the hate rate quite a quite a dangerous place to be over over the years and certainly at the end of its marble the like make something bad well a large estate a large piece of land might need to be propped up quite valuable uses and that valuable use might be private residential it might be office space in my retail space a restaurant so it's whatever makes the most money at that particular point was bruised up for Boris I took my seat for his while rehearse salmon the Mayor of London Boston's good morning everybody I'm delighted to see you here in London as our host is very kindly said already of the property capital of the world I thought Mitchum a committee amis was it men in property in the Mediterranean or meet me in the pool in a minute I thought was what was what let him sniff in the stands walk and then listening outside as well as in silly head they are all prices across London have gone up by 20 percent in the last year according to the Financial Times and I think you'll agree that is in many ways a compliment to London it's a sign of success isn't it and I just say finally to all those slight leagues and a phobic left wing commentators some of whom seem to be assembled outside apparently I've seen it is in the you know when I turned up I don't want necessarily to kick I did what at all to expel any oligarchs from the planet zorg and I stressed most of my relatives turn out to come from Zog anyway London thrives on being an international city we need to welcome international investment to our city Boris wasn't alone in getting excited about foreign investment in capital soaring house prices mean that London property is now considered a safe investment all over the world it's estimated that around two-thirds of new homes in the city are bought up by foreign investors this brings heavy competition to the buyers market making land value skyrocket to record levels London is our world city people want to be here it's one of the economic drivers of our country if you need an income of a hundred thousand or more a year as is now the case if you want to be a first-time buyer and very soon people will just not be able to afford to live here the consultants the lawyers we've got to build homes for hundreds of thousands of people the hundreds of thousands of people actually make this city work and on whom the economy of the whole of the UK depends cogency you're trying to get in so they've had to close down the shutters there's a line of police across the fraud a lot of people are kind of looking like people investing outside Oh Randy wear anything like I wouldn't but I feel so strongly from experience for those people and I understand and emphasize where they're coming from on the outside a lot of people I know it's really hard to be standing on the inside schmoozing and these drinking from across the room I spotted Stephen plants he'd recently led a controversial eviction of the hey gayest a terms of regeneration wives is here I think it is a beer of change and it's a fear of you know and I think when you proposed change quite rightly resident businesses people impacted by those change are very resistant I've worried about how it will impact on their lives people in the profession have to x-play what the benefits of regeneration is that it's not just that shiny buildings and increased property prices we've got to make sure we've got our rehousing offer right so enables people to actually stay in the area and anything from the regeneration and to be quite honest I don't think the offers being stronger than it now so we have to explain about the real regeneration is completely central to London's ability to reinvent itself and recreate itself it's not the idea of regeneration that's the problem it's the way that we've done it and the way that we've allowed the wealthy to walk away with the spoils are not invest in insuring that we also have affordable homes for ordinary people who need to live and work in London at the end of the day I've spent hours schmoozing discussing the future of London and it's very easy from both sides of the story to kind of create these two-dimensional figures but I think the people in here need to realise the realities of when they kind of talk about these fancy new regeneration which they're probably really proud of it doesn't mean that they couldn't empathize with people outside and then outside it's very hard to emphasize with the people inside because you just think that I think it's about like having conversation and bringing a sense of realism back to these very two disparate sides one which is making money and one which is fighting for people's homes you