Causes of Urban Decline

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Economic Decline

  • since 1950s - suburbanisation, counterurbanisation and deindustrialisation have all meant employment has moved away from urban areas. This has been further enhanced as more people can commute due to increase in car ownership.  
  • 1960-1981 = 1.6 million jobs lost due to deindustrialisation
  • This means there is less rural-to-urban migration, so that while urban areas are decreasing in population, rural areas grow.
  • With less people living in urban areas, there is less demand for services such as shops and less investment leading to decline.
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Population Loss and Social Decline

  • Between 1951 and 1981, the UK's largest conurbations lost 35% of their population due to suburbanisation and counterurbanisation
  • Often the more skilled workers were the ones to move away from urban areas leaving a less skilled workforce behind.
  • Without high disposable income groups in the urban area, there is less profits to be made for businesses thus leading to a spiral of decline. - higher crime rates, poor education...
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Poor Physical Environment

  • slum clearance schemes of the 1960s and 1970s saw the creation of unsightly estates.
  • graffitti, vandalism, lack of green space etc. all add to the poor environment of the area
  • Investors and businesses are unattracted to the area and so the area continues to decline both economically and in relation to its physical environment.
  • high rise flat developments are common in the inner city.
  • These wer very unpopular with residents due to their poor design, having little community spirit, poor ventilation, expensive heating systems and high crime rates.
  • These were originally meant as a way of regenerating the area but weren't successful 
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Political Problems

  • inner cities have the lowest election turnouts in the UK
  • They will often vote for people from far-right parties such as Ukip and BNP due to a feeling of neglect as they are often overlooked by governments despite prevalent problems such as poor housing and poor physical environments.
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