Underground lairs have hollowed out London. One of London’s must unusual luxury trends might be its gigantic basements. Professor Roger Burrows and his coauthors collected data on every basement construction project in from 2008 to 2019, and mapped it. They found more than 7,000 basement additions had been built. A combination of historic preservation laws, rapidly ballooning property values, and changing tastes have led to a boom in basement building.
This construction hasn’t been without complications. Many of the existing residents see the constant construction as a “plague” that’s hollowed out the city, contributed to air pollution, and even changed the acoustics of their homes. Burrows sees it as a symbol of increasing wealth inequality in the global city.