Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Historic development and concentrations of affluence

After doing my PhD on neighbourhoods with a concentration of deprivation, I've now turned my attention to affluent neighbourhoods. Just like poverty generally, we only get areas of concentrated deprivation because we have areas of concentrated affluence. Through my Twitter feed I came across the fantastic Addressing History site the other day, done by the lovely people at Edina. Noting that you could search by profession, I thought of the most quintessentially upper-middle class Scottish profession - advocates. And it's quite interesting. Just as the New Town in Edinburgh was coming into being you can really see that Edinburgh was still a very concentrated, mixed city. A lot of these advocates are in the Old Town to be near their work:

Sixty years later and the New Town is in full
fettle and we seen a rather sudden swing as it becomes, as one Labour politician put it to me, "basically a middle class scheme". There's a few hanging on in there in the old town and a couple out in darkest Merchiston, but the concentration is striking:

Now by the end of the century the New Town's hegemony as a neighbourhood is complete. You now can't be middle-class and not live there. Even the chap out in Merchiston is left on his own now:

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