Tuesday, 24 April 2012

London's 100 Poorest Areas

The theme for this post follows on from some work I did recently which looked at the increasing level of deprivation in Outer London, as reported in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago - see also the maps on the Guardian datablog. It's true that housing market pressures (among other things) are helping to push poverty away from Inner London but the majority of London's poorest are still within the inner city, and Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham in particular. In order to provide a clearer picture of where exactly the very poorest (most deprived) areas are, I produced a map and animation of London's 100 most deprived areas. 

The results are not at all surprising. Of the 100 most deprived LSOAs in London, according to the 2010 Indices of Deprivation, the Borough with the most areas is Tower Hamlets (18), followed by Hackney (17), Newham (13), Haringey (12) and Brent (10). Deprivation is increasing in Outer London relative to the past and I was particularly taken today by the news that Newham Council were looking to re-house poorer residents in Stoke (more than 150 miles away). That's taking the suburbanisation of poverty a bit far! 

Some work I did with Ed Ferrari last year looked at residential mobility patterns amongst the richest and poorest sectors of the population in England. What we found surprised us at the time. Our analysis showed that it was often the poorest areas which were associated with the longest residential moves. We didn't have enough fine-grained data to make more of this but it was an interesting insight into what might be happening more broadly.

Taking the 100 most deprived locations is of course arbitrary but the point here is that despite debates about whether 'the poor' should live in 'rich areas' the fact is that many of the poorest people living in London are in areas which in recent years have changed considerably so that they are now experiencing very high demand, inflated rents and severe socio-economic inequalities. This represents an intensification of existing processes rather than something entirely new but it does mean that policy makers need to think carefully about what to do about it...

Monday, 9 April 2012

Blog spring clean

I've decided to give my blog a little spring clean by changing some of the fonts and headings and adding a new header because I was getting tired of it. At the same time, I've been checking out my Google analytics stats for the blog - an extract is shown below for a recent period in early March 2012...

Not everything I post on here is directly related to my academic research (and some isn't really at all) but the value of blogging for academics is very clear to me, for three main reasons. 

1. As someone who produces a lot of visuals (usually maps) in my work, the printed page is not always a good medium for publishing because of the costs associated with colour printing and the limited pages you are assigned within a journal paper. Basically, it's much easier and more efficient to publish spatial visualisations here; 

2. Since I began blogging I've been contacted by countless researchers and students from all parts of the world either seeking to share their knowlegdge, borrow some of mine or just simply to say they are working on similar things too. Given that what I work on can be quite 'niche', this has been a really useful development; 

3. By putting some of my work on here I'm able to make connections with the outside world in a way that is not possible with journal publications - since they're usually locked behind a paywall and they are normally published 18 months or more from when they were written. The immediacy of blogging is hard to beat (even if it does allow a lot of unstructured, unmoderated content to appear!) and it's also quite therapeutic.

It does take a time and effort to keep it going but most of what I put on here is directly related to my ongoing research and represents a kind of 'snippet view' of what I'm working on at any given time or just an insight into what I find of interest.