After WW II England had to rebuild. In the blitz, hospitals, schools and factories were turned to powder and the same was true for the city’s residential areas. When the Veterans returned home, the government was obliged to build estates in which they could live–not to mention all of thousands upon thousands dispossessed and without means to build new homes. So, all around London “council estates” were built.
Council estates were large groups of reasonable-rent housing that were run by a central council. Think of it as something like a condo-development and small town, which the residents run democratically.
However, with the decline in population that followed after the 50s, whole houses became empty, then whole estates. What’s left now is what the Irish coined as “Ghost Estates”, deserted cheap housing which are now the playground of the impoverished children of London. It used to be common, popular knowledge that East London (East Enders, the title of a British soap opera) were considered the location of London’s lower class. Now however, the scarily autonomous and evidently violent youth living around these estates have become the poster boys and girls of British poverty.
“Attack The Block”, directed by Joe Cornish, is set in front of this very backdrop. Interestingly, there are aliens as well. Watch the Trailer.