Woodberry Down

An exploration of the Woodberry Down estate in North London, a microcosm of a wider issue across London – rapid gentrification. The area was once a flagship social housing community and has been home to thousands of families, but upkeep fell into decline from the 1980s.

Now the estate is under rapid redevelopment by Berkeley Homes where new flats sell between £500,000 and £1.2m, mostly to foreign investors, out-pricing the current residents and forcing them to leave the area, breaking up the communities that have lived here for decades.

The process can be marked by the decreasing number of illuminated windows at night – a sign that the properties are being vacated. Some buildings are lit only by the neighbouring work sites. The process has been described as “state-sponsored gentrification” by some, while others have described it as “social cleansing”.