What was initially a small settlement grew tremendously in the late 19th Century with the arrival of railway links with London. Large Victorian terraced houses were built during that time, and Electric Avenue became the first shopping street to be lit by electricity.
For many more recent years Brixton became synonymous with rioting and violence. Nowadays, however, it is one of the most up and coming areas in London. Indeed, Brixton’s edginess and bohemian vibe has so far attracted mainly young professionals and first time buyers. The Windrush square development project completed in 2010 is just one example of the fresh, can-do attitude of those who live and invest in the area. Currently, Brixton is still 5 to 10 per cent cheaper than more upmarket Clapham, however this gap is closing. Planning rules prohibiting ¨the conversion of Victorian terraces into flats means that property in Brixton is now finite, and prices are therefore destined to rise. Between 2011 and 2012, prices already rose 15 to 20 per cent.
In Brixton, local community initiatives abound. Brixton Green is currently lobbying for the redevelopment of one area, and the building of a theatre, and nurseries. It is initiatives like these that won Brixton the the Great Neighbourhood Award 2013, granted by the Academy of Urbanism.