A feature series started today on theguardian.com about northeastern London’s Enfield. The sorry state of Enfield makes for an excellent read when it comes to understanding how bad a place can get. Enfield was once an industrial dynamo and seems on the edge of catastrophe now with the one-percenter’s London of bailed-out banks and high consumerism nowhere in sight. Crime, poverty and unemployment have wrecked the reputation of the area and driven off investment. Shades of Detroit, Michigan and Camden New Jersey, America’s moribund urban industrial centres emerge as Aditya Chakrabortty describes how his home turf fell down the basement stairs. Additionally, nearly every part of suburban poverty as known on this continent is found in Enfield, especially the frustrations of poor transit connections to the wider economy and the way that holds back recovery. The neglect and failure of this once mainstream part of London is almost complete for many of its people and now the future has truly arrived. It seems something radical, something experiemental is about the only thing left for Enfield, hence the name of the series.
The Enfield Experiment: London’s fortunes distilled into a single borough.
The Guardian’s senior economics commentator kicks off a new series looking at the challenges facing the London suburb where he grew up – and the ideas that might offer a radical fix
image: Stu Phillips via Wikimedia Commons