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Home / Resources / News / Gentrify this – the impact of precarity on local communities

Gentrify this – the impact of precarity on local communities

After asking young people across Europe about their living situation, their basic standards we then explored what dreams they had about what they wanted to achieve in the future and what motivated their expectations, as well as the support they accessed to help hem make a living, we now move onto the impact their work situation has on their relationship with their neighbourhood.

It’s striking that for one in five young people, they have no relationship with their neighbours because they work so much they don’t have any time to meet them, let alone make friends…our Zombie Generation.

This is often because “I’m away almost all day long” and “don’t work where I live, I don’t have much time to explore my neighbourhood except at the weekends”. For others, it’s because they’ve “moved many times in last few years so I don’t have a real neighbourhood”.

For one in five young people, their work situation has no effect on their relationship with their community. They highlight that this is either because they don’t know their neighbours or are indifferent to the local area they live in.

Some interact more with the community than their neighbours, because they feel “pretty connected to my local community. I wish I made more time to connect with my immediate neighbours. Its partly a casualty of living in a big city like London”. They “try to act in a polite way when I meet my neighbours, but there are no local interactions. I do not know them.”Could supporting initiatives like @casserolehq and @goodgym help people to reconnect with their neighbours in fun and helpful ways?

Surprisingly, for only one in fifty, their income had an effect on what neighbourhood they could live in. Some chose to live in relatively poor neighbourhoods because of its lower rents. But others lived in cheap appartments in wealtheir neighbourhood, because they appreciate the quality of living.

As a result, a very small minority want to move to a better neighbourhood. If they had a “better work situation (well paid job) a could change my place of residence e.g. I could buy a flat in the more attractive district”. For some, getting out of the environment they live in has a deeper purpose. They’ve “got friends I’ve know since I was 18 months and there are other people I grew up with who I’ve left behind. I couldn’t live the live they were leading. You need to look at your social networks and look they they reinforce you and each other and where that’s going to lead.”

For a minority, they feel excluded from their neighbourhood: “The down side is the lack of contact, since the more people are wealthy at average, the more they would avoid strangers.” Others belong to marginalised communities and often feel ostracised. Their “work situation gives me again a sense of inferiority. It can create ideological division and sense of alienation.” Overall, the crisis makes young people more stressed and insecure about their future and this has an impact on their relationships with others. These are our Invisible Citizens.

This is why projects such as @thisisthematter are really important to help give young people a sense of belonging in their neighbourhoods.

The Matter Movie from The Matter on Vimeo.

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