Regeneration 40 Marks Essay

Submitted By izzyfizz1256
Words: 1109
Pages: 5

­­­­­­With Reference to examples, discuss the overall effectiveness of urban regeneration in MEDCs (40 marks)

Urban regeneration is improving an urban area that was once in decline. An example is much of the East End of London, which suffered decline following containerisation, due to the increased use of air transport and also damage to the area which was bombed during the second world war. The schemes I will be using are both Stratford and also the London Docklands. Using these case studies, I can therefore look at the overall effectiveness of urban regeneration schemes, specifically from economic, environmental and social perspectives. Regeneration in Stratford in the London borough of Newham was driven by Stratford becoming the location for the London 2012 summer Olympics. It was largely funded by public money, and included the construction of the Olympic Park and the East village. Venues include the Lee Valley Velopark and the Copper Box arena. Private sector funding also led to Westfield Stratford City (an Australian company) and other local housing developments. The majority of improvements took place in the last decade. Regeneration in the London Docklands was controlled by the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) from 1981 to 1998. The aims were to regenerate physical, economic and social aspects of the area, and much of this was driven by building new houses. The LDDC was given planning approval powers above the local authority, which made building houses quicker. The board of the LDDC was mostly made up of local business owners and the funding was mostly private, with some public money. The effectiveness of urban regeneration in an MEDC can be looked at from an economic perspective. Prior to regeneration, there was high unemployment in both areas. In Newham in 2009, it was 7.5%, then the seconds highest of all London Boroughs. At its worst, unemployment was as high as 40% in the Isle of Dogs before regeneration. The Olympic games provided 11,000 temporary jobs for construction workers, and more than 100,000 for London as a whole. The developments around Canary Wharf provide 90,000 jobs for the area. Some of the housing built in Stratford was also affordable housing, meaning those that need to pay 20% lower rent per month. An example is the East Village development, where there are now 1400 affordable houses out of a total of 2800 for sale and rent. The provision of new jobs and affordable housing suggest that their schemes have been effective for tackling economic issues. However, in both schemes many of the jobs created were unstable for locals due to a skills mismatch. For example, most of the 90,000 jobs created in Canary Wharf were in Finance and the local residents struggled to compete with others for those positions as they didn’t have the necessary qualifications, with many from working class backgrounds. Similarly in Newham, around 20% of working age people had no higher education qualifications, with the average in London being 11.8%. The LDDC did try to address this however, as in the late 1980s it sponsored various training projects to improve the qualifications of the local population. More than £1 million was given to these projects. Moreover, the affordable housing in Stratford is still relatively expensive, and most minimum wage earners would struggle to pay even the discounted price. The effectiveness of the schemes can also be looked at from an environmental perspective. Prior to regeneration there was lots of dilapidated land in both areas, a famous example being “Fridge Mountain” in Stratford. Furthermore, much of the waterways were polluted and land was contaminated due to previous industrial activities. In both schemes the environment has largely improved. Much of the land was cleared and built on again as brownfield sites. Stratford especially made an effort to be environmentally sustainable. For example, East Village homes have been insulated to eliminate draughts and