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The London Docklands Inner city renewal. Wall Street on the Water?. Why did the Docklands decline?.

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The London Docklands

Inner city renewal

Wall Street on the Water?


Why did the Docklands decline?

  • The River Thames became increasingly silted and as the boats became progressively larger they found it difficult to come this far downstream (look at your atlas to check the position of the Docklands on the Thames). Therefore the docks moved downstream to places such as Tilbury.
  • Containerisation meant that fewer dockers were needed.
  • A general decline in manufacturing meant that portside industries, such as food refining, closed down.
  • Sub-standard and low quality housing such as tower blocks were built in the 1950s and 1960s. These were built to replace the bomb damaged housing from the Second World War.

What impact would these factors have on the migration to and from the London Docklands?


Decline of the Docklands

High unemployment

How are the statements below connected?

Draw a diagram to show these connections.

Vicious Circle of Poverty

The local council invests less in housing, roads and education.

People have less money to spend on goods and services.

Less taxes and business rates are paid to the local council.

Young people leave school with fewer qualifications.

High unemployment

Petty crime often increases.

People have more time and less money and opportunities.


People have more time and less money and opportunities.

Petty crime often increases

High unemployment

Young people leave school with fewer qualifications

People have less money to spend on goods and services

Vicious Circle of Poverty

The local council invests less in housing, roads and education

Less taxes and business rates are paid to the local council


London Docklands Development Corporation (1981-1998)

Aims of the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC)

1. To economically regenerate the area by primarily attracting private investment.

2. To physically regenerate the environment of the Docklands to aid the above.

3. To improve the living conditions and prospects of the community of the Docklands.


LDDC Timeline




Enterprise Zone in Isle of Dogs

Jubilee Extension approved (completed 2000)

End of the LDDC

LDDC set up

IRA bomb


City Airport


Docklands before the LDDC

  • 1970-1980 30,000 jobs lost
  • 1981 50% of Docklands derelict (over 1000 hectares)
  • unemployment 21%,
  • male unemployment was 24%, twice the national average
  • one third housing unsatisfactory for human habitation inadequate infrastructure of roads, rail, telephone and cable lines
  • (the Docklands was kept deliberately inaccessible to protect the goods that were being stored)

Success or Failure?

You are in charge of urban planning in Carsmouth and are considering regenerating the inner city dock area. You have decided to evaluate the LDDC urban renewal to see if you can learn from the successes and failures of this scheme. Using the evidence on the following slides, decide on the advantages and disadvantages of the LDDC project.

Divide your answer into the following categories :-




Local community


Environmental Change

The creation of an attractive environment was an essential part of the LDDC brief.


1) Derelict land and docks were regenerated.

By 1988, 600 hectares were reclaimed.

2) Parks and river/dock side paths were developed.

3) Old houses were improved and new houses were built.

4) £300 million was spent on improving utilities.

Millwall Docks..

Before the 1980s McDougall’s flour was processed here!



Docklands Housing -The Facts

*Over 50,000 new homes have been built since 1981.

*8,000 local authority homes have been improved since 1981.

Silvertown Urban Village

Housing (built by Wimpey) comprises of 917 homes ( mostly two and three bed houses and some combined workplace homes). The development also includes 140 social housing units for rent for the Peabody Trust.



What does this graph tell you about the type of housing that was built in the Docklands after 1981?


Cabot Place Shopping in Canary Wharf

Although shops in Cabot Place were originally exclusively geared towards the business person, the shops now include a wider range of high street stores such as ‘Gap’ and ‘Dixons’. The complex also includes various fast food outlets such as ‘Burger King’ and the supermarket ‘Tesco Metro’. The only other supermarket on the Isle of Dogs is ‘Asda’ near Cross Harbour DLR.


The London Docklands – Local Community

Look at the graph showing some of the changes in the structure of employment in the Docklands.

Describe the change in employment structure.

What could ‘other services’ include?


The London Docklands – Local Community

Only a small proportion of the original Docklands community are employed in the financial sector. Why?


The London Docklands – Local Community

The LDDC did partly respond to the criticism that there was a mis-match of skills between the established docklands population and the jobs created. In the late 1980s the LDDC sponsored various training projects to improve the qualifications of the population. The LDDC spent £30 million on community and environmental projects.

80 Groups share more than £1million in LDDC grants

Activities backed by the grants include education and training, childcare, youth work, sport, the arts and support for the homeless and work with ethnic minorities.

‘We are delighted the Corporation is able to carry on supporting the local community’.

Bob Pringle, LDDC Executive Director of Community Infrastructure.

Autumn 1995


The London Docklands – Transport Improvements

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

The DLR opened 1987. It cost £73 million. This railway now operates a full service. However, in the late 1980s, the DLR service stopped in the evenings and had a limited service at weekends.

Why did many local residents complain that the DLR wasn’t built for them?

Why was it important for the LDDC to improve the transport in order to attract new businesses to the Docklands?


The London Docklands – Transport Improvements

London City Airport

(STOLPORT…short take-off and landing) opened in 1987. It is situated in the Royal Docks.


The London Docklands – Transport Improvements

Roads - The Limehouse Link

The Limehouse Link, which cost £450 million, was built to connect the Docklands to Central London. However, some communities were disrupted during its construction. For example, in 1990, some of the housing in Ropemakers’ Fields, Limehouse was knocked down by the construction of the Limehouse Link Tunnel.


The LDDC constructed bridges across the docks to improve accessibility.

West India Dock


The London Docklands – Transport Improvements

The Jubilee line extension was proposed. However, the line was subject to delays and was finished in 2000.


West Ham






Green Park

Canada Water




London Bridge

Jubilee Line




The London Docklands - Business

Canary Wharf, only three miles from The City, was conceived in the 1980s as a solution to rising rents in central London. The LDDC job was to attract private investment by improving the environment and infrastructure of the area. In the 1980s, the LDDC attracted £10 of private investment for every £1 they spent.

Cabot Square in Canary Wharf


Enterprise Zone (1982-1992)

West India Docks

The Enterprise Zone was set up on the Isle of Dogs to attract new business investment. Companies that moved to the Enterprise Zone were entitled to 10 years’ rate free and a fast track planning procedure.

Many of the newspaper companies, moved from Central London to the Isle of Dogs in the 1980s.

Millwall Docks

What impact did this migration of companies have on parts of Central London?

Enterprise Zone

approximate area


The London Docklands - Business

In Canary Wharf, the 5.9 million square feet of office and retail space are now leased. 28,000 people work in the whole of London Docklands (11/2000) and it is estimated that by 2005 Canary Wharf alone will have 100,000 workers.

However, much of the office space in Canary Wharf remained empty until the late 1990s. The completion of the Jubilee Line in 2000 has certainly encouraged new investment in the area.

View from One Canada Square towards The City


Ogilvy & Mather

Financial Services Authority

Credit Suisse First Boston

Barclays Capital

Businesses in Canary Wharf


Why would many of these jobs not suit the established population?

West India Quay DLR

One Canada Square-

The Independent

Telegraph Group

Trinity Mirror


Canary Wharf DLR

One Canada Square

Cabot Square

Jubilee Line



Heron Quays DLR

London Underground Ltd

Morgan Stanley

Barclays Capital


New Developments

  • Two new towers, either side of One Canada Square, one for HSBC and the other for Citigroup, have been built.
  • A 30 storey building next to the Jubilee line station has been built. This is to be filled by Clifford Chance who is to move their 2,500 employees from The City to the Docklands in 2001.
  • A five storey shopping centre facing Canada Square Park is planned for 2001.
  • Headquarters for The Northern Trust Company, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter are to be located near Heron Quays DLR.
  • The Royal Docks will receive £2billion of investment in the form of new homes, retail and leisure facilities.
activity 1
Activity 1

As there are limited places for people to work, jobs are being lost, people are moving away and areas are becoming less desirable...

How could this city be turned around?


Changes can benefit some people but cause problems for others...

Elderly People, Young Married Couple, Local Council, Financial Company, School Leaver, Social Worker, Factory Worker, Local Shopkeeper.

Who are the Winners/Losers?

in the city
In The City...

Factories closed due to goods arriving in containers loaded and unloaded by cranes.

This meant that people were not needed.

Workers moved away to find jobs.


“City development is a very complex process”.

Why do you think this is?

What things need to be considered and why?

activity 2
Activity 2

UsingEssential AS Geography P305-307, answerthefollowing…

  • Whatweretheaims and objectives of UrbanDevelopmentCorporations?
  • Summarisetheactivities and achievements of the LDDC.
  • Evaluatetheactivities of the LDDC.
  • Look at Fig. 8.58 and explainwhetherornotyouthinkthecartoonreflectsthework of the LDDC.