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What is the "inner city problem", how has it changed since the mid 1960's and for whom is it a problem?

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Introduction

WHAT IS THE "INNER CITY PROBLEM", HOW HAS IT CHANGED SINCE THE MID - 1960's, AND FOR WHOM IS IT A PROBLEM? "The problems of the inner city cannot be understood in isolation from the rest of the conurbation, nor in isolation from the overall economic and social structure of society."(The Inner City Working Group, joint centre for Regional, Urban, and Local Government) Problems with inner cities have been around as long as inner cities have. However, in the past years they have assumed an important, even central place in the hierarchy of contemporary ills. More recently governments have also realized the importance of urban economics. In this essay I will look at what the inner city problem actually is and how it has changed since the sixties. Population in the inner cities declined massively in the 60's, by 17% in Liverpool for example. Jobs in manufacturing sector fell as well, for instance in London this was 15%. In 1976 over 40% of all the unemployed lived in the seven major metropolitan areas of the United Kingdom. Inner cities suffer from poor amenities and over crowding; these symptoms of decline have been officially recognized for many years. ...read more.

Middle

that could demonstrate 'special social need'. The programme involved positive discrimination in favour of selected groups or areas and typically took the form of small scale projects emphasizing experimentation, self help, co - ordination of existing services and the promotion of rapid results. The prime criteria for the approval seem to have been race; visible effect at the lowest cost; and the enthusiasm and commitment of the relevant central government department: in other words a laissez faire approach with little direction. Suggesting that the centre had little or no idea of what the problems were or what it wanted to achieve. It could be argued that race was a central issue, but it was played down until at least 1973. From the early 1970s in academic circles, and from the mid- 1970s within central government, there has risen an orthodoxy based on the received wisdom that the urban problem is becoming worse. To a Labour Secretary of State, for instance, by 1976 it appeared that the diminishing demographic and economic bases of the cities were creating severe and worsening inner city problems. It was clear also three years after when the Conservative who replaced this gentleman, found also that many young, qualified people were leaving the inner cities, thus causing urban decay and also wasting resources. ...read more.

Conclusion

In order to do something about his problem it was seen best that a area based policy would be the way of dealing with it. However, there came another problem the local authorities and central departments had problems with dealing how much to whom? Funding was small scale and the CDPs were badly managed, and the UP lacked any real control from the centre or local. There was also clear confusion at the top as well, between The Department for Environment and the Home Office. No new legislation was passed; this was mainly because the two departments believed that the problem was small and not enormous as the found out later. There was a clear 'crisis' in the 1970s. However there were some other reasons as to what helped the crisis seem bigger. There were many economic and political changes at the time. As from 1973 British capitalism entered into a state of severe structural crisis, where both unemployment and inflation were rising. The economy was experiencing 'negative - growth' something known as 'stagflation' (Altvater, 1973). It was into this clod climate that the lessons and results of the early urban initiatives emerged, and it was this climate that determined the limits and possibilities of action for any government which intended to act on the new structural diagnosis of urban problems. ...read more.

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