Initiatives And Re-Generation Schemes Essay, Research Paper
EXAMINE THE REASONS FOR INNER CITY INITIATIVES AND RE-DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES (10)
The widest definition of an Inner City is An area found in older cities surrounding the CBD, where the prevailing economic, social, and environmental conditions pose severe problems
Although the inner city areas have been identified as having problems for many years, it was not until 1988 that Margaret Thatcher put forward the Action for Cities campaign. She realised that something had to be done to improve the conditions, and took the problems found in the inner cities as the reasons why the re-development schemes were necessary. When launching the scheme Thatcher said In partnership with the people and the private sector, we intend to step up the pace of renewal and regeneration to make our inner cities much better places to live, work, and invest . The inner city programme specified 6 aims:
- to enhance job prospects and the ability of residents to compete for them
- to bring land and buildings back into use
- to improve housing conditions
- to encourage private sector investment
- to encourage self-help and improve social fabric, and
- to improve environmental quality.
The Government also set up programmes which would help these aims to be met, such as the Urban Development Corporations (e.g. LDDC London Docklands Development Corporation) and the availability of grants for urban development.
The inner cities had many problems all of which linked together to form a less affluent area which was very hard to improve as to help with one problem often meant having to solve another one too.
Housing in inner city areas was poor quality and in a 1991 census it was found that over 1 million homes in the inner cities still lacked the basic amenities of bathrooms, WC s and hot water. The occupants have low incomes and are often elderly, young
Or consist of very large families leading to a high population density and over crowding. Large quantities of ethnic minorities are often found in the inner city areas such as Tower Hamlets in East London which has a very high percentage ( )
of Bangladeshi inhabitants.
The environment in these areas is also poor. There is very little open space and a distinct lack of trees and recreational land. There are many derelict buildings and sites, which may be unsafe and therefore dangerous, especially for children.
The areas often have a high crime rate and vandalism is common. This may be partly due to the lack of entertainment and places to go for youths. Traffic is a major problem in inner cities, which needs to be improved. The narrow, unplanned streets are often congested causing air and noise pollution. There may also be air pollution from the few remaining factories.
There is usually a high unemployment rate in the inner city areas as the inhabitants are often low skilled and cannot compete for new jobs in the growing hi-tech industries. They are forced to take lesser skilled, low paid jobs in the nearby factories, and in traditional industries. Even if they may be semi-skilled it is often the case that the people can t afford the travelling costs to the city for work, and also the inner city often has poor transport links.
There are very few offices in the inner city. If the government built some then congestion in the CBD would decrease and business would more than likely have room for expansion. This was a push factor for the redevelopment of inner city areas because it would benefit the City.
By improving the inner city the government hoped to be able to stop the segregation of ethnic minorities due to their health, education, status and quality of life etc. They were hoping to close the gap between the classes .
The inner cities suffered from a lack of investment after 1945 when the money was instead channelled into the New towns e.g. Stevenage, while the old towns were left to decline and fall into disrepair.
The inner city needs economic investments but few new industries want to locate here partly due to the environment, and partly because the former labour force often lack relevant skills needed in the new hi-tech and service industries. So by regenerating the inner city areas they are hoping to attract new investors to locate there. These improvements are also expected to bring back some of the more affluent people who moved out to the suburbs as they could afford to commute.
It is for these reasons that the inner city has been identified as an area in need of outside help. The problems found in these areas have sparked off the launch of redevelopment schemes, which aspire to improve the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the area.