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London Docklands - Decline and Re-Generation.

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Alex Calloway November 03 London Docklands - Decline and Re-Generation The docklands decline was a process of cumulative negative causation as surmised earlier; the economy was shattered by the closure of the docks. The population fell by 20% between 1971 and 1981, during which time, the unemployment rate was as much as 17.8%. 10,000 jobs had been lost in total, and 60% of the area was derelict; a horrendous situation. In the face of such severe economic and social problems, the then conservative Government set up a group to supervise and formulate a plan to regenerate the Docklands, named the "London Docklands Development Corporation" - LDDC, established in 1981. The stated aim was "1...to correct market failures and to create the circumstances and in particular transport infrastructure in which private investment would fund the economic regeneration of London Docklands, while at the same time to improve the social infrastructure and public amenities from their low base". In essence, to drag the Docklands out from the poor state of unemployment and poverty and decline. ...read more.


The second major development alongside transport links was to change the environment of the area. Previously, there had been a policy of filling in the docks, to reclaim sparse land in central London, but the corporation stopped this process, and began a process of gentrification along the waterfront. They opened them up to the public, and by 1998, 31 miles of waterfront was available to the public. Water sports facilities are available on every dock, and installations of new shopping centres, entertainment facilities, such as clubs and pubs, and restaurants and bars, as shown at Salford Quays in the previous picture, made the area attractive to the public and it quickly became much visited location - now the third highest in London. The scheme installed a large number of new commercial developments on the reclaimed Brownfield sites, which, coupled with the improved environment and infrastructure, made the Docklands an extremely popular place to work, with a massive amount of pull factors. These commercialised developments were centralised on the Isle of Dogs, which had been designated as an "Enterprise Zone", reducing business taxes for any business based there. ...read more.


Un-employment dropped massively as the new infrastructure, improved environment, and heavy private investment encouraged business to set up there, and employees to desire to work in this new pleasant environment. Following the increase in employment levels, the population of the docklands almost doubled, from 1971, and is still growing to this day. Looking back on the LDDC's scheme in terms of figures, and a massively improved environment, seen in the couplets of before and after pictures throughout this article, the scheme was a success, but ultimately, this decision can only be made by the residents of the area. Because of this, I have tried to find the opinions of the residents using the results of a Mori Poll, taken from their Website www.morri.com, shown in the following graphs: They clearly show the residents believe the scheme has been a success, so to conclude, I believe the process of re-urbanisation of the docklands has been a huge success, and that the gentrification of the area has helped to solve a multitude of environmental and social problems. 1 Taken from the LDDC re-generation statement (1981) ...read more.

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