I am returning to the same spot where I left it two years ago. And so much has changed. It is actually hard to take it in somehow. You knew this area would become the epitome of change eventually and the signs of change have been popping out in a very subtle manner since I last visited it. But then what has happened in those 2 years is just incredible and there is a lot more coming. When I first visited this area in the late 90's you would call it the Lea Valley and most specifically Hackney Wick if you referred to the flea market. The industrial area would be known as Fish Island. Today the main residential area below the Hertford Union Canal is called Fish Island Village. But the whole area is also called Wicked for the alternative scene I presume. The area has taken off and is already heaving with people in March in Covid times. I can't imagine what it is going to be like this Summer!
I have tried to summarise the changes I have experienced in the last 15 odd years with a map. BLUE is for the new developments ORANGE is for new lands acquired for more developments CORAL is for new developments built after the Olympic Games YELLOW is for the potential of later developments BLUE DOTS are for new Hub created at the time of Olympic Games RED DOTS are for new Hubs PINK ARCS are for new pedestrians bridges (Bare in mind that this map is a personal interpretation)
Coming back to Hackney Wick and witnessing that change makes me realised that the future I anticipated more than 10 years ago is almost there. The gentrification has taken this whole area in the 21st century and made it look like any other suburban landscape. Looking back at my first series "Arteries of a new East" and comparing it with the new context, it is evident that London has finally linked with or absorbed Stratford. The East End is no more wild and unexpected landscape, it has been tamed. The new towers of the City are looking at Fish Island Village via the canal as neighbours.