A2 Geography - London Docklands Regeneration Essay - Successful or not?

Essay that I wrote on how successful the LDDC was in regenerating the London Docklands area. Useful in terms of data and few key points etc.

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Jordan Akisanya
`'The LDDC's strategy has been to correct market failures and to create the circumstances
and infrastructure in which private investment would fund the economic regeneration of
London Docklands, while at the same time to improve the social infrastructure and public
amenities from their low base.''
Evaluate the success of the LDDC in meeting this objective. (40 marks)
The docks in London were built between 1700 and 1921. The area was the UK's hub for
international imports and exports. The Docklands flourished and were the most important
part of UK growth especially during the industrial revolution following on to the early 20th
century. During the Second World War the London Docklands were known to be the most
important infrastructure in the UK and so it was the prime target for destruction.
Approximately 2500 bombs hit the docklands destroying much of the area. The Docklands
were immediately rebuilt and again an economic boom occurred, however it could be said
that the post-war economic boom marked the end of the flourishing Docklands.
As international trade boomed and the quantity of imports and exports grew there was a
growing need for larger container ships which of course could not be sailed through and into
the narrow rivers of the London Docklands. The docklands were also no longer efficient in
terms of loading and unloading times and technology, the facilities were not updated,
storage warehouses were not large enough and transport links around the docks were
limited. The Thames became increasingly silted and as the boats grew larger they found it
very difficult to come to come that far downstream. This led to the shift from London
Docks to Tilbury docks which effectively had and offered everything the London Docklands
structurally couldn't and further downstream there was less alluvial resistance from silt.
Between 1961 and 1971 nearly 83000 jobs were lost in the 5 boroughs in the Docklands area
and the economic decline led to a population decline (approx. a 20% decrease). Not
surprisingly unemployment was high especially among blue-collar workers, who previously
worked in the London Docks. By 1981 the docks were closed and the area was in dire need
of regeneration and so the conservative government at the time decided to establish the
London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC). The LDDC's mission was to secure the
lasting physical, economic and social regeneration of the Urban Development Area (UDA).
With sweeping powers and controversial vision, the LDDC began regeneration of 8.5sq miles
of inner London. The way in which they thought was the most effective was by promoting
private investment, ultimately to improve the area's poor economic, environmental and
social situation. In 1981 60% of the area was derelict, vacant or under-used meaning that
there was so much room for development and opportunity in the area in terms of land
available, however a lot of the area was still affected by the bomb damage from the Second
World War. The vicious cycle of poverty is what the LDDC was really set up to tackle in
particular to improve the living conditions and prospects of the community of the London

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Jordan Akisanya
The LDDC had the power to buy land and then use the land in any way they saw fit to benefit
the area as a whole. There were also other organisations that helped the LDDC in the
planning and redevelopment of the Docklands. I believe the most beneficial organisation was
the government who created an Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone in April 1982, which offered
incentives such as grants, reduced rates to encourage private investment.…read more

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Jordan Akisanya
connectivity of the area, allowing for more people to travel to and from it. It opened in 1987
and has since seen 3 stages of extensions and improvements, though at the time the
service stopped in the evenings and had a limited service at weekends. The Corporation also
spent approximately £33 million in the area on social and community projects in the area.…read more

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Jordan Akisanya
fasting growing airports with passenger numbers constantly increasing. The main success of
the airport in terms of providing a benefit to the airport was the fact that it promoted
tourism in the area but also it had become a major local employer, which was crucial in
terms of improving economic regeneration of the area.…read more


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