Problems in the inner city
Poor educational achievement
Poor quality housing
Very few jobs
Crime – loss of income
The inner city – Housing issues
Part of the demand for housing will be satisfied in inner-city areas. Successive governments have had a variety of strategies to improve living in inner cities since 1945 – most infamously the building of cheap, high-rise blocks of flats in the 1960s and early 1970s as a ‘quick fix’. Over the years, strategies have changed and there has been a greater involvement of private funding and the local community.
Urban Development Corporations (UDCs) were a major strategy introduced in the 1980s, with London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) and Merseyside Development Corporation (MDC) being established in 1981. Even more UDCs followed. These were large-scale
projects where major changes occurred with the help of both public and private investment. Although the LDDC ceased to exist after 1998, the areas has continued to develop and change. During its lifetime, £1.86 billion of public money was invested along with £7.7 billion from the private sector. Changes are
continuing today, with further improvements in the transport system (such as the eastward extension of the Jubilee Line – underground), and the building of further skyscrapers at Canary Wharf (Heron Quay, North Quay) and other locations.
Strategy 1 – UDCs – 1980’s
The London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC)
The LDDC was at work for 17 years. In its final annual report in 1998 it headlined its achievements as follows:
· £1.86 billion in public sector investment
· £7.7 billion in private sector investment
· 431ha of land sold for development
· 144km of new and improved roads
· the construction of the Docklands Light Railway
· 2.3kmsq of commercial/industrial floorspace built
· 762ha of derelict land reclaimed
· 24,046 new homes built
· 2,700 businesses trading
· contributions to 5 new health centres and the redevelopment of 6 more
· funding towards 11 new primary schools, 2 secondary schools, 3 post-16 colleges and 9 vocational training centres
· 94 awards for architecture, conservation and landscaping
· 85,000 people now at work in London Dockland
Strategy 2 – City Challenge – 1990’s
City challenge was a big initiative of the 1990s. It had a holistic approach to regeneration, where local authorities, private companies
and the local community worked together from the start. The focus of the projects varied. The Hulme (Manchester) City Challenge Partnership sought to improve the housing that had been built in the 1960s to replace old terraces that had once stood there. Integral to this was an attempt to enhance the environment, community facilities and shopping provision.
What they did?
· crescents were built in the 1960s and demolished in the 1990s
· through City Challenge, Hulme received £37.5 million
· some old buildings were retained
· homes were designed to conserve water, and be energy efficient and pleasant
· there was a return to a traditional layout – Stretford Road (at the end of which is Hulme Arch was rebuilt after demolition of crescents (original course was through the middle of these
· local schools and a new park have been built
· the views of local people have been taken into account
Strategy 3 – Sustainable Communities – BedZed – 1990s-2000s
Strategy 4 – New deal for Communities (NDC) 2000’s
NDC was launched by the Labour Government in 1999 as a way of helping struggling inner city areas. It identified 39 of the most-deprived inner city areas in the country. The local communities in those areas were involved in helping to find solutions to the problems they were facing.
Aston, inner city Birmingham, was identified as one of the 39 NDC areas. The scheme that was set up there is called Aston Pride. It covers three key areas:
· Health and regeneration – £400,000 has been spent setting up the Aston Pride Community Health Centre
· Employment and business – local young people have been giving help to enter the world of work through a work-experience programme and a dedicated guidance team
· Education and lifelong learning – broadband centres have been set up to give local people internet access
Some parts can suffer from a bad ‘image’. People don’t want to live there – and companies won’t move there – so the whole area suffers a downward spiral into deprivation. Rebranding an area involves giving it a new image, so that it attracts development and employment and leads to an upward spiral into success.
Eastside in Birmingham, is going through this sort of revitalisation (putting new life back into something). The area is being rebranded as a ‘learning and technology quarter’ because a lot of colleges and university sites are located there, e.g. Aston University and Matthew Boulton College. Eastside will also have new leisure and cultural attractions, such as a large new city park and a revitalised canalside area, including new housing. The hope is that a positive and modern environment can be created and advertised that will attract new businesses to the area and boost employment opportunities.