Suburban London: Trouble in Metroland

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How India got its funk

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Suburban London


London’s suburbs and commuter towns are suffering from the growing gravitational pull of the inner city



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CROYDON, on London’s southern fringe, has never been chic. It is known for the “Croydon facelift”, a painfully awkward hairstyle, as well as for being the setting of “Peep Show”, a TV sitcom featuring painfully awkward characters. The town has nonetheless seen better days. Between 2001 and 2011 it lost 20,000 jobs, or around 15% of the total. Its house prices remain 9% lower than they were five years ago. Though its leafy southern parts are full of affluent commuters, the northern half of the town increasingly resembles a poor part of inner London: discount stores and payday lenders predominate. Riots there in 2011 were as bad as anywhere in the city.
Across London’s suburban …

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