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THE CREATIVE UNDERCLASS IN THE PRODUCTION OF PLACE: EXAMPLE OF CAMDEN TOWN IN LONDON

Authors


Galina Gornostaeva, The University of Greenwich, E-mail: g.gornostaeva@btinternet.com.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Camden Town in London is a mature cultural quarter with a contradictory mix of affluent middle class and homeless; Starbucks and street markets; counter-cultural groups and tourists; participants in the night time economy and shopkeepers; media corporations and the “creative underclass.” There is a tension between the various stakeholders with their different powers. The patterns of cultural production and consumption in the area are complicated and have deep historical roots. The creative underclass has contributed to the Camden Town scene, which is gradually transforming from a liminal city fringe to a gentrified part of London's center. This paper provides insights into the process of this transformation. Decision making related to urban renewal also contributed to the complexity of the place and its contested nature, added to the existing tensions, and accelerated the transgression of the place from “authentic” to “spectacular.”

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