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The Urban Renewal of London

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Was the urban renewal programme of the London docklands development corporation successful? Urban renewal is the planned upgrading of a deteriorating urban area, involving rebuilding, renovation, or restoration. It frequently refers to programs of major demolition and rebuilding of blighted areas. The London docklands is an area of in east London that has suffered from a declining economy since the Second World War due to severe bombing in the area. From between July 1981 and March 1998 a major regeneration programme took place reforming the docks from a huge derelict area into a desirable place to live. Huge corporations have set up in the dockland's canary wharf and many people have moved into the surrounding houses to work in the newly set up specialist jobs. Over the past 20 years, the population of the docklands has more than doubled and the area is now a major business and residential area housing many people who commute into central London daily. Also seeing as the Olympics will be held in the east of London come 2012 it is essential to reinstate the docklands to one of the integral cogs of British economy. Although its influence in the area was undoubtedly very strong, The London docklands development corporation powers were in practice limited. ...read more.


The situation was greatly complicated by the large number of landowners involved: the PLA, the Greater London Council (GLC), the British Gas Corporation, five borough councils, British Rail and the Central Electricity Generating Board. To address this problem, in 1981 the Secretary of State for the Environment formed the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) to redevelop the area. This was a statutory body appointed and funded by central government with wide powers to acquire and dispose of land in the Docklands. It also served as the development planning authority for the area. Over the past 20 years, the population of the Docklands has more than doubled and the area has become both a major business centre and an increasingly acceptable area to live. Transport links have improved significantly, with the Isle of Dogs gaining a tube connection via the Jubilee Line Extension (opened 1999) and the DLR being extended to Beckton, Lewisham, London City Airport, North Woolwich and Stratford. Canary Wharf has become one of Europe's biggest clusters of skyscrapers and a direct challenge to the financial dominance of the City. Further east, the Royal Docks are finally being regenerated most prominently symbolized the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. Although most of the old Dockland wharves and warehouses have been demolished, some have been restored and converted into flats. ...read more.


Better houses have been made available, and it is a place that the public want to live in. Urbanisation is staring to happen, and new housing blocks are quickly been filled. A success for sure, as people are moving back into the area realising it has more to offer. Before the LDDC took over the area looked ugly and run down, but now has been transformed. The LDDC received a total of 43 awards for architecture and conservation. Land prices within the Docklands also suggest success, before development land was available at a relatively cheap price. Now a one-hectare plot is worth over �2 million. In all aspects, the Docklands have been a success. From a run down inner city, it is now a city within a city. Docklands is a modern hidden community, which once was only run down land. With careful planning and consideration it has become transformed into what it is today. Nevertheless, as with all successes there are a few failures. Contained on London Docks, are the warehouses of the Tobacco Dock. This was redeveloped into a shopping centre, but with poor custom had to close. This was through the lack of planning, but lessons were learnt. With the Docklands having been significantly regenerated, in 1998 the LDDC finished its work in the Docklands. However, redevelopment continues to carry on the good work that the LDDC did. ...read more.

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