Manchester's Front Line: N/4 the Northern Quarter

Gentrification and renewal in an urban core:
a digital tour in support of the Odyssey group 2004 symposium on
Migration, Identity and New Information Technology

Last updated 06 September 2006

The Northern Quarter of Manchester is a compact area close to the recently re-furbished Piccadilly Gardens and flanked by the Rochdale Canal and Metrolink tram system.

See the map provided by Papillon Graphics' Virtual Encyclopaedia of Greater Manchester .

A short on-line tour has been provided by Aiden O'Rourke and Eyewitness in Manchester.

The contestation over the future development of this area is being played out in an electronic as well as a physical space as the inward migration of wealthy residents creates pressure for an outward movement of current occupants.

This "micro-migration" is a familar process but here is rendered more visible by the new technologies.

Intra-urban displacement may bring into conflict the least advantaged established residents and the least advantaged incomers.

Nineteenth, twentieth and twentyfirst century construction

N/4 streetscene

The Northern Quarter Network has received European and other funding to emphasise the role of this are in the development of creative industries in Manchester

The Manchester Institute for Popular Culture has contributed research to this enterprise and the Northern Quarter Gallery in Thomas Street represents the direction of development promoted by Northern Quarter Arts.

Warehouse conversion
Piccadilly Basin

Many smaller craft businesses were displaced from the former Corn Exchange, badly damaged by the 1996 IRA bomb and re-launched as the Triangle, full of high cost shops with an international flavour. The Northern Quarter's Craft Centre is one of the alternative venues found by these businesses.

However, the high-pressure to develop inner city accommodation and related services intrudes on the area.

Piccadilly Lofts
Piccadilly Lofts security measures

Piccadilly Lofts, Dale Street, is a typical conversion from a Grade 2 listed former cotton warehouse. It will provide 63 luxury apartments and penthouses on four floors.

The danger is that of an extension to the existing city centre leisure development as evidence by the Sugarvine.com view of the area.

The insertion of new developments into the area is a potential threat to the existing mix of activities

From fringe car park to desirable property
Factory to ???

Manchester City Council has set out a regeneration policy in conjunction with a culture strategy with updates forthe N/4 area.

Links to comparable areas in other cities

Christiana, Copenhagen http://www.christiania.org/

Metelkova, Ljubljana http://www.metelkova.org/indexe.htm

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This page is maintained by
Stephen Little
little@stephenelittle.com