Monday, 12 March 2012

Case study of inner city redevelopment: London Docklands

You can refer to page 168-169 of Key Geography for GCSE textbook.

During 19th Century-port of London busiest in the world
Surrounding the docks were:
  • many industries using imported goods
  • high-density, poor quality housing (typical old inner-city area)
1950s-ships become bigger = unable to reach London's docks
By 1970s, area became derelict, with few jobs, few services and poor living conditions. 
Many people forced to leave area to look for work + better quality of life.
  • traditional jobs in docks were lost (manual, unskilled, unreliable and poorly paid)
  • most housing was substandard-lacking basic amenities (services e.g. water, sewerage, electricity..) and located in poor-quality environment
When textbooks talk about amenities, they mean:
Amenities definition: A desirable or useful feature/facility of a building/place. e.g. basic services in housing like electricity, water, sewerage... 

In 1981, the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was set up to try to improve:
  • social
  • environmental
  • and economic conditions of the area
LDDC given 3 main tasks: 

1. Improve social conditions by:
  • creating new housing
  • creating new recreational facilities
  • improving shopping facilities
2. Improve economic conditions by:
  • creating new jobs
  • improving transport system (to and within area)
3. Improve environmental conditions by: 
  • reclaiming derelict land 
  • cleaning up docks
  • planting trees
  • creating areas of open space (people like parks and peaceful green surroundings)
To clarify if you're confused: 
Derelict land: land that is damaged or abandoned and cannot be put to use until damage is repaired 

Reclaiming derelict land is: to recover land that has lost its productivity and to make it usable again

What improvements were made after 1981?

Social Improvements

1. Housing

  • 22,000 new homes created (many are former warehouses converted to luxury flats)
  • 10,000 refurbished former terraced houses (Refurbish: to renovate and redecorate smth esp. a building
-In 1981 population= 40,000
-In 2000 population= 85,000

2. Services
  • several huge new shopping malls
  • post-16 college and campus for new University of East London
  • leisure facilities: watersports marina, national indoor sports centre 

Economic Improvements

1. Employment

  • number of jobs increased, In 1981= 27,000  In 2000= 90,000
  • many new firms and financial institutions e.g. Stock Exchange, ITV Studios, newspaper offices
  • many high-rise office blocks, esp. at Canary Wharf
2. Transport
  • Docklands Light Railway links area with central London
  • Jubilee Line Underground extension
  • City Airport
  • Many new roads, including M11 link 
Environmental Improvements
  • 750 hectares of derelict land reclaimed 
  • 200,000 trees planted
  • 130 hectares of open space created

However, remember that not everyone was happy about the changes, because not everybody benefited:

Negative effects on the local people: (in descending order of importance to me, others may be more important for you, but structure your answers in an exam so that you write what's most important first!)

  • new jobs went to people living outside the area, as local people did not have the technical skills (a lot of new jobs created were in finance/media industries--using high tech equipment--local people not skilled enough to do these types of jobs)
  • a lot of new housing far too expensive for locals
  • more money was spent on providing infrastructure (expensive offices + houses) and a clean environment for office workers; than on services (e.g. hospitals and care for elderly, health + educational facilities for local people)
  • noise + air pollution (dust) from the building
  • prices in area generally increased (e.g. in shops, bars etc.) --newcomers were wealthy, causing local shop and recreational prices to rise--
  • newcomers did not mix with local people--tension--causing a breakdown of East Ender's community


  1. Thank you helped us alot with our case study!

  2. This was so helpful ! I have my exam in the morning an lost all my notes on this case study !

  3. thank you so much! this was really helpful!

  4. very useful information, thanks, adds a few hundred words to my dissertation lol!

  5. Great, really helped me with my homework :D

  6. cheers helped me because i forgot about our homework

  7. Michelle, I'd like to ask you about geography.

  8. Nice piece of work :-) Thank you.

  9. really useful, can't wait to look through other pieces of your work!



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Note: This blog will no longer be updated as I finished IGCSEs in 2012. Sorry! :( If you are interested in buying IB notes though, please contact me. :)