Lack of nightlife shields Lewisham from gentrifiers' unblinking eye

The phantom of gentrification is retreating from this borough, according to new research by Cambridge University, which found that areas like Lewisham with high deprivation scores and relatively few visits by strangers are the slowest to gentrify.

This area's fabled "hidden gem" status grants it some immunity to the dread forces of microbreweries and sour dough pizza restaurants.

The Telegraph reports:

Researchers compared half a million tweets and Foursquare check-ins across more than 40,000 London locations, with area deprivation scores.

They found that less economically well-off areas that were frequented by a diverse group of strangers as evidenced by social media were the boroughs most likely to gentrify.

In other words, if a neighbourhood was often visited by groups of people who didn’t live in it or know each other, it was more likely to become more middle-class - especially if it is currently underdeveloped.

The study is arguably invalidated by the use of data from Foursquare - the lamest of all social networks, which visitors to Lewisham have the good sense to eschew. It also seems that Lewisham's strong hyperlocal scene have fostered may have skewed the data.

But if the Tabs are right, then the gentrifiers will look elsewhere before they reach our shores. Ultimately, the data seems to be saying that "things to do and places to go" attract people to live in the places that have them - which is a reminder that the only real cure for gentrification is for a place to be dull and unappealing.

Thanks to Joe for the tip-off.


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