- improved housing as wealthier residents renovated/improved many properties (restoring original features)
- New businesses opened e.g. Wine bars bringing money and jobs to the area
However, in some respects it didn’t combat the decline as:
- it increased house prices from £130000 to £430000 making it difficult for people on lower salaries to live there; many original residents forced out of area or into social housing (social housing = 50% in 08)
- There was a wealth gap between the richest and poorest residents (richest 20% more than £60000 and poorest 20% earn less than £15 000 a year.) 07 - 8th most deprived area in England and a high crime and unemployment rate.
- Businesses replaced with businesses targeted at newcomers e.g. Traditional pubs
- However these negative points have attempted to be managed by projects aiming to tackle deprivation including Islington businesses being encouraged to pay all their staff London living wage (8.30) giving low skilled workers larger incomes and helps them cope with high cost of living in Islington. Charities also work in poorer neighbourhoods to improve education EG Light project run adult classes in maths and languages
- Overall, gentrification has helped to tackle urban decline at a cost which jeopardizes the standard of living of the original residents. However through local government schemes and educational schemes this has the potential to be greatly reduced.
6. Partnership schemes:
- DESCRIBE: involve local councils working with businesses and local communities to come up with regen plan. Often try to improve the economy and environment in area. Aim to make social improvements e.g. Community centres.
- SCHEME: one partnership scheme ‘city challenge’ aimed to regen urban areas. 31 CCPS ran in deprived areas between 92-98 and Government provided 1.14bn and they attracted a total investment of 7.5bn. Cities competed with each other for funding which aimed to regen deprived areas by improving physical environment, economy and QoL
- CASE STUDY: Hulme CCPS: in the 60’s cleared for redevelopment after it became overcrowded with people living in poor quality houses; locals moved into flats which had problems with pest infestation and poor heating. Families moved out with flats being unlivable and the area suffering with unemployment and crime; in 92 HCCPS formed and Mancs worked with companies to design a 37.5m regen package. The aim was to create a strong community feel by building a mix of housing businesses and shops and community spaces and improving transport links.
- COMBAT DECLINE: in some respects HCCPS did combat decline:
- tower blocks were demolished and a variety of new housing was erected with a mixture of council owned houses and private ones to encourage people to move in; was more aesthetically pleasing - population grew by 3.3% in 10 years.
- The main shopping area was refurbished to include a range of shops covered market hall and supermarket
- Creation of the zion centre which is an arts venue and a community centre running art projects for local people providing stimulation.
- Business park to encourage private investment. Several high profile businesses occupy the offices creating jobs - unemployment fell from 32% to 6% due to 400m public and private investment.
However as with all partnership schemes it was criticised for creating some problems:
- house prices increased making private housing unaffordable to people on low incomes leading to economic segregation
- Unemployment is still high in comparison to the rest of manchester and it is still a very poor area with 47.5% of the pop living in social housing.
- Overall, the benefits of partnership schemes as in Hulme outweigh the weaknesses, and we can see the changes purely as a result of the scheme; it would promote future changes if it continued. It is also a good scheme to help communities get together and put forward their views and attitudes for the future giving cities a good community feel.
- Property led regen:
- DESCRIBE: involves building or improving property in an area in order to change its image and improve the local environment. These changes encourage further investment and the return of people and business. They’re set up by UDCs who plan and coordinate development.
- CASE STUDY: the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation is a 10 year programme that was set up in 2005 to regenerate the North and East of London. It aims to ensure land and buildings are being used and are not left derelict; to encourage existing and new industry and businesses to develop in the area and create an attractive environment. It also aims to improve housing and social facilities so that people want to live and work in the area
- COMBAT DECLINE? Some major improvements to the London Docklands:
- renovation of schools and improvement in education - no of pupils getting A*-C improved from 29-46% in one year. £40m renovation of St Pauls Way Trust School improved science drama and sport.
- Sustainable housing development and Barking Riverside to provide 10,000 homes along with health centres, leisure facilities, green space (ecology park). Barking train station and local roads were upgraded and existing bus routes will serve the area improving accessibility.
There has also been criticisms
- accused of not listening to residents’ opinions e.g. Gave planning permission for a temporary nightclub to be erected close to the Olympic Park despite objections from local residents. There were objections to a proposed tower block at Virginia Quay which local councillors thought didnt provide enough affordable housing leading to overcrowding, lack of parking and loss of open space.
- In regard to combatting causes of urban decline this scheme seems to help develop areas in regard to social, economic and environmental issues and invited a huge number of people back to the area. Also the opening of the Olympic Park contributed greatly to the rearrival of people to the area and some of it has been converted into affordable housing. Despite having the downfall of local authorities not listening to locals unlike partnership schemes, the benefits seem to greatly outweigh this by taking into account the needs of the locals.
8. Conclusion: there are many different schemes that local authorities can use to help redevelop their area and this provides a means for people to get involved and suggest ideas of what’s needed. These case studies provide evidence that urban decline can be combatted to an extent but factors such as the reputation of an area, the money they have to redevelop and the means of redeveloping all affect to what extent these schemes will be successful.