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Transcript of Londons Docklands
What attracts people to London´s Docklands?
by Leonard Rasche Revitalising the waterfront
A global phenomenon The Docklands' history Revitalising the London Docklands Recent developments Conclusion Introduction The London Docklands, area of the former London cityport, became derelict during the 1970s. Quick reuse,that was beyond question....But how? The 1979-elected conservative Thatcher administration was first to initiate a massive revitalisation. The conversion progress was accomplished upon the former conservative party maxim of a “market-led economy”. This proceeding was temporarily harshly criticised, both on national and international level. Central questions: What is the actual state of affairs?
Have the critics’ apprehensions come true? The phenomenon of applying a new utilisation to derelict cityport areas is not limited to London or Europe, but a global phenomenon. Several “pull-“and “push-“factors forced the port out of the cities during the 1960s and 70s. Radical structual changes of the whole port industry made the seperation of port and inevitable Pull-factors: Required expansion areas are too expensive/not available Installing the required high capacity transport connections to the inland is difficult/expensive Push-factors: The public reputation of cityports suffered from several circumstances
The public opinion of the value of intra-urban waterfront-areas changed London has already been an important seaport in Roman and medieval times. At the end of the 18th century, the old docks eventually became undersized because of a growing trade volume and were no longer able to meet the requirements of the colonial trading companies. The docks were surrounded by an innumerable amount of warehouses, trading offices and service providing businesses of different nature. Besides some highly specialised engineers, most of the workers did not even have an education. In the start of 19th century, the workers and their families still lived next to wealthy traders and ship owners. During World War 2, the German Luftwaffe destroyed over half of the warehouses and harbour facilities of the Docklands. The London cityport, was not able to meet the requirements for a modern harbour any longer and became uneconomic in every respect. The harbour of Britain’s capital city became so important because Great Britain is an island, consequently trading had to be proceeded by sea. During the 1950s the docklands provided more than 30,000 jobs, in 1980 there were only 3,000 left. Revitalisation of the Docklands was unavoidable for London’s administration, if they wanted to keep their relevance as one of the world’s economic headquarters. Giving priorities The Docklands’ importance for London The Thatcher administration decided to give priority to the settlement of a new, wealthy population and big companies in the Docklands. Procedure of the regeneration until 1998 In order to ease the situation the abandoned space was declared an Urban Development Area which was administered by an Urban Development Corporation. Based on several, extensive studies the LDDC decided big parts of the Isle of Dogs, especially the former West India Docks, to become the centre of future developments. The Problems Many investors turned against the LDDC during the 1980s, in worry about the quality of the area surrounding their property and therefore about its value. Over the years, also the neglected-feeling local population became a problem. The 1990 emerging worldwide real estate crisis caused a stagnation of construction activities in the Docklands. New millennium’s
developments The LDDC’s behaviour during its final years of charge did play a big role in calming down the situation; they approached several of the mentioned problems. Financially strong people who were attracted by the Docklands’ prosperity tended to replace the old-established population Commensurate to a prospering global economy from 2001 to 2007 further people were attracted by the Docklands. Early history Structure and expansion Economic Development The workers Social Development Second World War The end The Docklands in the subprime crisis What attracts people to the Docklands nowadays? In 2008, it seemed like the crisis would bankrupt the Canary Wharf Group. According to Welt Online, “(...) the skyscraper range made of steel, glass and concrete, located in the southeast of London has always been presumed to be a mirror of economy.(...) " The Docklands have become an attractive urban residential district. The Docklands feature plenty leisure time- and shopping facilities , comprehensive cultural offerings and an exquisite gastronomy. The Docklands' exceptionally good transport connection is a big advantage. Regenerating the Docklands was the Thatcher administration’s political aim and not a civil movement. I assert that the Docklands’ revitalisation mainly was not a matter of the citizens’ interests and welfare accompanied by a successful urbanisation, but of a gain in money and prestige. Urban development is always a political question. I assert that during the last 30 years the Docklands have become a modern urban district, yet among others at the expense of the former local population.