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Regeneration in London and the Effects of the Olympics

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Over the last century, we have seen cities develop and prosper in numerous ways. Cities like Tokyo have become industrial superpowers. If you take a look on the bottom of most toys, you will see “Made in China”. This just shows how China has established its manufacturing prowess, travelling from a LEDC (Less Economically Developed Country) to an NIC (Newly Industrialised Country). Companies choose to set up factories in LEDC’s due to cheap labour costs.

In England, most of the jobs are in the tertiary sector (service sector) of industry. But this was not the case 400 years ago. 400 years ago, most of the jobs were in farming (primary sector) and Britain was a large producer of crops. However, due to the Industrial Revolution, there was a drastic change in jobs; from the primary sector to the secondary sector (manufacturing). Thriving farming villages were left deserted due to people moving near to the factories. The factories encourage whole families to move into social housing surrounding the factory. As more and more workers came to work in the area, the area grew and grew. In the Industrial Revolution, the city of Birmingham grew rapidly into a major industrial centre and the town prospered.

These towns which were created around the factories were dirty and the air was filled with fumes. In order to provide areas of greenery with clean air for the factory workers, National Parks were created. This is why National Parks are usually near to, what were major industrial towns during the Industrial Revolution. During the nineteenth century and up to the early 1950s, London was the busiest port in the world. The London Docklands were home to vast amounts of factories including the names like Tate and Lyle. At the height of the Revolution, the Docklands were the heart of the manufacturing world.

It provided many jobs to the people of London. However, due to a series of changes, many of them because of improvements in technology, the dock were virtually abandoned. One of the reasons was mechanisation. The work done by ten workers could now be done buy a machine. Also they realised that products could be made in countries where labour is cheaper and then imported to sell in England. By 1981 larger ships could no longer reach the port of London, and containerisation did away with the need for large numbers of dockers.

By that time the area had very few jobs, the docks had closed, over half the land was derelict, many of the nineteenth-century terraced houses needed urgent repair, transport was poorly developed, and there was a lack of basic services, leisure amenities and open space. The waterways in the area had suffered from years of neglect: water quality is poor, river walls are in a bad condition and the landscape is scarred with rubbish strewn along the river channels. Since 1945, British governments have tried to encourage industry to move to areas of high unemployment.

They did this by offering tax relief on new machinery or rent-free periods. They also offer subsidies to keep firms going which otherwise would close down. The first Enterprise Zones came into operation in 1981. They were planned for areas in acute physical and economic decay. They created conditions for industrial and commercial revival by removing certain tax burdens and administrative controls. Urban Development Corporations were created by Act of Parliament in 1980. UDCs were an attempt by the government to rejuvenate areas, often in the inner cities, which had undergone economic, social and environmental decay.

Four of the main tasks were to reclaim and secure the development of derelict and unused land, to provide land for industry, housing and leisure, to build roads and improve the quality of the environment and to encourage private investment to protect existing jobs and to create new ones. The London Docklands was one of the first examples of a UDC , set up in 1981 London 2012 Olympics bid was based around regeneration. The 2012 Games will help to revitalise this part of London and open the east of the capital to development opportunities.

The new shopping area at Stratford City will be an important part of this growth. The creation of one of the largest new urban parks in Europe in 150 years will bring new homes for Londoners, vastly improved transport links and world-class sports facilities available for the local community. The development of the Olympic Park will deliver numerous benefits. These include more jobs being created, more affordable housing being provided. It will turn what was a derelict wasteland, to a clean and pretty environment. The Olympic Village will provide thousands of beds for athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Along with the accommodation, it will have shops, restaurants, medical, media and leisure facilities. After the Olympics, the Village will become part of the overall Stratford City regeneration scheme, including a new regional shopping centre with additional leisure, office and residential areas. It will be transformed into up to 3,000 new homes, with a mix of affordable housing, and accommodation for sale and rent. However, the Olympics has had some bad effects to. For instance, as soon as it was announced that London was holding the Olympic Games, house prices in the surrounding area were driven up.

This means that some of the Londoners can’t afford to continue living in the same place. Also people who have lived in estate for years, have been evicted because it was going to be demolished in order for the Olympic Park to be built. Also, small businesses have been forced to move and sometimes, the businesses have to move out of the whole area because they can’t find a plot of land. Overall, the Olympic Games will provide jobs and therefore money to those who are most in need, redevelop an area of urban decay, and create housing for the people of east London.

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