London Docklands Inner City Redevelopment case study

Level: , Topic: Urban Environments, World Cities

Case study of inner city redevelopment: London Docklands

During 19th Century-port of London busiest in the world. Surrounding the docks were many industries using imported goods and high-density, poor quality housing (typical old inner-city area).
 In the 1950s-ships become bigger = unable to reach London’s docks.
 By 1970s, area became derelict, with few jobs, few services and poor living conditions. Many people forced to leave area to look for work + better quality of life. The was because traditional jobs in docks were lost (manual, unskilled, unreliable and poorly paid) and most housing was substandard-lacking basic amenities (services e.g. water, sewerage, electricity..) and located in poor-quality environment.


Amenities definition: A desirable or useful feature/facility of a building/place. e.g. basic services in housing like electricity, water, sewerage…
 In 1981, the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was set up to try to improve social, environmental and economic conditions of the area.
LDDC was given 3 main tasks:
1. Improve social conditions by creating new housing, creating new recreational facilities and improving shopping facilities.
2. Improve economic conditions by creating new jobs and improving the transport system (to and within area).
3. Improve environmental conditions by reclaiming derelict land, cleaning up the docks, planting trees and creating areas of open space (people like parks and peaceful green surroundings).
Derelict land: land that is damaged or abandoned and cannot be put to use until damage is repaired 
Reclaiming derelict land is: to recover land that has lost its productivity and to make it usable again
What improvements were made after 1981?
Social Improvements
1. Housing: 22,000 new homes created (many are former warehouses converted to luxury flats). 10,000 refurbished former terraced houses (Refurbish: to renovate and redecorate something esp. a building).
-In 1981 population= 40,000
-In 2000 population= 85,000
2. Services: several huge new shopping malls, a post-16 college and campus for new University of East London and leisure facilities: watersports marina, national indoor sports centre.

Economic Improvements1. Employment

number of jobs increased, In 1981= 27,000  In 2000= 90,000.

-many new firms and financial institutions e.g. Stock Exchange, ITV Studios, newspaper offices.

-many high-rise office blocks, esp. at Canary Wharf.

2. Transport

-Docklands Light Railway links area with central London.

-Jubilee Line Underground extension.

-City Airport.

-Many new roads, including M11 link.

Environmental Improvements
-750 hectares of derelict land reclaimed.
-200,000 trees planted.
-130 hectares of open space created.
However, remember that not everyone was happy about the changes, because not everybody benefited:Negative effects on the local people:
—New jobs went to people living outside the area, as local people did not have the technical skills (a lot of new jobs created were in finance/media industries–using high tech equipment–local people not skilled enough to do these types of jobs).
–A lot of new housing far too expensive for locals.
–More money was spent on providing infrastructure (expensive offices + houses) and a clean environment for office workers; than on services (e.g. hospitals and care for elderly, health + educational facilities for local people).
–Noise + air pollution (dust) from the building.
–Prices in area generally increased (e.g. in shops, bars etc.) –Newcomers were wealthy, causing local shop and recreational prices to rise.
–Newcomers did not mix with local people–tension–causing a breakdown of East Ender’s community.


Leave a Reply