The emotional and psychic impacts of London’s ‘new’ urban renewal

2020-02-24T10:47:25Z (GMT) by Loretta Lees Phillip Hubbard
Removing people from their homes in the name of regeneration is something that potentially impacts on their mental and physical well-being, but this is rarely explored via an experiential perspective that focuses on people’s own understanding of how their life-world has been disrupted. In this paper we consider the emotional and psychic impacts of recent council estate renewal on those displaced, or being displaced, from six London council estates. Our paper reveals what it feels like to be displaced, and how these feelings – of losing one’s home and community - affect individuals’ psychological and indeed physical health. We conclude that displacement is often experienced as a form of slow violence which entails periods of waiting and uncertainty that cause multiple conflicts and anxiety, and that suggest that the benefits of renewal may never outweigh the costs for those who are displaced.