London’s Tale Of Two Cities: Inequality Worsens In Europe’s Booming Metropolis

Boris Johnson will meet political leaders and business chiefs during his six-day visit. He will also share a platform with Chancellor George Osborne at Peking University. Mr Johnson said: “China’s recent economic growth is nothing short of staggering and the opportunities that this presents for London are huge.” Chinese firms have recently made big investments in the city. ‘Vital trading city’ Earlier this year, developer ABP announced a 1bn deal to redevelop the Royal Albert Dock in east London and this month the ZhongRong Group said it would be investing 500m to rebuild The Crystal Palace in south London. Last year 104,000 Chinese tourists visited London, according to the office of the Mayor of London. That is up 28% from 2011 and up 100% since 2009. Mr Johnson said: “As China moves on to its next stage of development there’s massive potential for London businesses to export their expertise and to set up shop in this economic powerhouse. “We are a city that is open for business and, with 33 opportunity areas dotted around the capital, there is enormous scope for Chinese investors to get involved, helping to create jobs and growth in the process.” John Biggs, from the Labour Group on the London Assembly, said it was an “excellent idea” to build ties with potential markets as London is a “vital trading city”. But he added: “When Boris first came in as mayor he closed offices in Beijing and Mumbai claiming they were a waste of money. “We welcome his conversion but he should have seen the potential of these foreign markets in the first place.” More on This Story 29 MAY 2013, LONDON From other news sites

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As a new business owner coming here, I think its a good thing, says John. Adam Skidmore, a 43-year old artist and Brixton resident since 1997, says that while some of the developments have been good, the demand for fashionable Brixton has left many people behind. Im a typical Brixton local, I cant afford to sit in a wine bar and drink $8 glasses of wine every day, says Skidmore looking over at the champagne and cheese shop. Stefano Frigerio, the owner of Champagne + Bubbles, says however that he hopes to challenge locals perceptions of his shop as a posh champagne bar and that he chose Brixton because his business is a family business that is unique and affordable, like the area. This question of affordability is on the mind of many Londoners; a poll from Ipsos Mori and the Chartered Institute of Housing in June revealed that four in ten Londoners are worried they will not be able to meet their rent or mortgage payments in the next year. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics last month revealed that London house prices had increased by 10% in the last year, making the average house price in the capital almost twice the national average. At a time of austerity where incomes have either been stagnant or falling, the prodigious rise in property prices has unsettled many across the city. Rowland Atkinson, an urban studies expert from the University of York, says that although London has always been another country in terms of property values compared to the rest of theU.K., concerns are intensifying about neighborhoods being bought up by the super-rich who pay little property tax and dont spend time there. Taking account of housing costs, London has a 29% poverty rate, the highest in England. The Smith Institute, a London-based think tank, agrees that foreign investors buying expensive property have caused Londons housing market to become distorted and dysfunctional. Paul Hackett, the director of the Smith Institute, estimates that overseas buyers capture around 85% of new-builds and 38% of re-sales, with many purchasing property as an investment rather than a home to live in. Yolande Barnes, director of residential research at property agency Savills, disputes this notion: The story of foreign owners leaving homes empty is exaggerated. Irrespective of whether these buyers are staying in these homes or not, research from Savills suggests that London has changed as a result of their purchases. Barnes says that because the super-rich see London as a wise investment for property and given the citys limited size, the wealthiest central neighborhoodswhere average prices per home are over $1.1 millionhave grown to include larger swathes of the capital. The net effect is one of gentrification and displacement, as witnessed in Brixton. While the wealthy expand the pricier central neighborhoods from the inside out, those on middle or low incomes have been pushed into down-market areas further away from the centre, in turn pricing out the poor in those neighborhoods. This phenomenon is common across major cities like Paris, New York and Berlin, as globally more and more people gravitate to cities.

London Mayor Boris Johnson on trade visit to China

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The NFL announced Tuesday it will stage another regular season game in the British capital in 2014. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders will each host a home game at Wembley Stadium next season. A regular season game was first played in London in 2007 but, for the first time this season, two games were scheduled on the opposite side of the Atlantic. The NFL’s global strategy Luck: NFL is ready for gay players The Minnesota Vikings played to a sell-out crowd in September as they finally ended their season drought with victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Read: Europeans learn to love American football The Jackonsonville Jaguars face the San Francisco 49ers on 27 October. Both NFL games at Wembley Stadium sold out within hours. “Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Both of this year’s games in London sold out quickly. The fan enthusiasm for our sport continues to grow. “By playing two games in the UK this year, we are creating more fans. We hope that with three games in London next year we will attract even more people to our game.” The sport is hungry to increase its global profile and the appetite for American football in London suggests the feeling is mutual.