Case study: urban regeneration in Stratford, London

After the closure of many of London’s docks in the 1960s, thousands of people lost their jobs. People left the area to look for jobs elsewhere. Between 1981 and 1998, the London Docklands underwent urban regeneration and continues to improve to this day. Canary Wharf is a part of the London Docklands where expensive apartments, exclusive shops and large company head offices are now found.

The Docklands are located in east London, next to the Thames.

Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley lies to the north of the London Docklands. It had one of the most deprived communities in the country, where unemployment was high and levels of health were poor. There was a lack of infrastructure and the environmental quality was poor. The 2012 London Olympics bid was partly successful on the understanding that Stratford would be used during the games and regenerated for local people to use after the competitors had left. After the Olympic Games were over, the park was named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Benefits of the Stratford regeneration

  • Social - by 2030, more than 10,000 new homes will have been built in the park. Five new neighbourhoods, with lots of green spaces planned in, will be built and around a third of those houses will be affordable. A new academy has been built, which is used to educate around 2,000 pupils between the ages of 3 to 18.
  • Economic - Stratford is now a well-connected area of London, which allows commuters to travel to work easily. New jobs in construction and tourism have created a multiplier effect. It is estimated that over 20,000 jobs could be created by 2030, bringing more than £5 billion into the area.
  • Environmental - the Olympic bid was partly successful on the basis of sustainability. The park is sustainable in a number of ways, eg walking and cycling routes, the provision of public transport, the water-efficient design of homes and the protection of green spaces and natural habitats.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford