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Why are cities in a constant process of decline and renewal? What social conditions drive regeneration? How significant is housing in the renewal process?

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Introduction

"Why are cities in a constant process of decline and renewal? What social conditions drive regeneration? How significant is housing in the renewal process? For most of the twentieth century inner cities have been the focus of economic and social decline. A major factor in urban decline is economic structural change. For example, the collapse of manufacturing employment in the 1970's profoundly impacted on the industrial north. Manufacturers abandoned traditional locations and skilled workers were forced to relocate and seek employment in new towns and cities. When employment opportunities decentralise so too do the workforce and urban decentralisation follows1. During the 1970's many large cities stopped growing and some lost population, London for example declined by about 20%. Those who remained were mainly unemployed, poor, sick, elderly or recent immigrants. The result of a decline in population, a downward spiral of worsening job prospects and decaying urban fabric has often been inner city decay2. Out-migration in some cities maybe balanced by in-migration so the problem is not necessarily out-migration itself but rather the nature of the out-migrants. ...read more.

Middle

3 Now in 2003 attention has turned to the regeneration and growth of the Thames Gateway. The focus on the Gateway for regeneration and growth evolved in the 1980's and 1990's as a safety valve for South East expansion. Historically, it has suffered from physical, social and economic neglect. Declining heavy industry, including shipping and associated docklands, left vast tracts of derelict and under-used brown-fill land. Now recent announcements by the new Cabinet Committee chaired by the Prime Minister have rejuvenated its profile as a focus for major regeneration and growth. Renewed emphasis on the urban renaissance and design quality combined with its strategic location between London and the Continent, point to an opportunity to create a high-quality linear city, acting as the gateway between mainland Europe and the UK1. Of perhaps the most importance for the ambitious building programmes in parts of the South East is the related problem of poor quality housing. The recently launched Sustainable Communities:Building for the Future2 possibly represents the most important housing policy statement. It provides a range of initiatives to improve the quality of life in deprived areas thereby stimulating housing demand. ...read more.

Conclusion

What makes a sustainable community is a flourishing local community to provide jobs and wealth. A diverse, vibrant and creative local culture with effective engagement and participation by local people to give them a sense of value, belonging and pride in their community. Only intervention can regenerate areas in decline. WORD COUNT 1015 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Bruce Marshall - The Real World The Forces that Shape Our Lives Houghton Mifflin Co 1991 Marcionis & Plummer - Sociology a Global Introduction Prentice Hall Europe 1997 The Urban Task Force - Urban Renaissance Sharing the Vision .01.99 Town & Country Planning - The Communities Plan Volume 72 No.3 Mar/Apr 2003 1 Bruce Marshall, The Real World - Understanding The Forces That Shape Our Lives 2 Marcionis & Plummer - Sociology a Global Introduction 3 Urban Task Force, Urban Renaissance - Sharing the Vision 1 National Maritime Museum - Greenwich 1 Reynolds & Rand Town & Country Planning - Sustainable Communities The Thames Gateway - the regenration challenge 2 Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London Feb 2003 1 Bruce Marshall, The Real World - Understanding the Forces that Shape Our Lives 2 Macionis and Plummer - Sociology a Global Introduction 1 Urban Task Force, Urban Renaissance - Sharing the Vision ...read more.

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