There are many problems that can be clearly seen in the inner city. Problems such as crime, poor housing (perhaps slums), and unemployment are all apparent. However unemployment levels are gradually dropping. Lack of money gives rise to the problems so are often seen in the lower class areas of cities.
On the whole the perception of the inner-city areas has the image of poverty and overcrowding which faces many cities across Britain today in whatever proportion. The first as such it the Economic which inner-city areas have long suffered due to lack of investment especially after the 1940’s when a lot of money was put into New Towns. Many of the houses built were made from poor fabric and cheap materials which within time will make them liable to be damaged. This is the main problem arising from the issue of poor housing. Few Industries have built or for that matter expanded in an Inner-city location partly due to the environment, which surrounds it. Social Inequalities also play a part in British City the following characteristics are often present in many of them:
Lack of basic amenities, many houses of which lack any sort of bathroom
Overcrowding- large families may live in small houses, or families may live in poorly built high rise flats. On the whole we can say that there are high infant mortality and death rates
Families have a low income
Single parent families.
There are also the environmental problems which affect these areas- The Inner-city areas may suffer from noise and air pollution caused by heavy traffic and the few remaining factories; perhaps the visual pollution may add to the problems, i.e. derelict houses, waste land and in many cases rubbish.
Issues in British inner city estates
There is increasing evidence that poverty, unemployment and social stress are all now seen in British Inner Cities. There are many problems which the areas face, both physically and even in some cases mentally:
1. The physical fabric of the buildings, many originally built using cheap materials and methods, is deteriorating rapidly. However the councils are trying to upgrade these poor housing conditions gradually.
2. Many inner city areas include high rise buildings which have created feelings or isolation and stress related illnesses.
3. The low level or car ownership and high bus fares have increased the feeling of isolation from jobs, shops and entertainment.
4. Levels of unemployment often exceed 30%. There are also low income families; many elderly living on small pensions.
5. The environment quality of the areas are poor, often with the lack of open space.
6. The inner-city tend to have high levels of marital problems, drug-taking, petty crime and vandalism and low levels of academic attainment and aspiration.
We can see quite clearly from above the poor conditions that face Britain’s poorer people, these factors having to be dealt with.
However the young are partly to blame for the poor conditions (mainly sites) which surround the people. They play the part in theft, muggings and vandalism which seems all so apparent. Perhaps the fact that many of them do not go to school may be the cause. Single parents cannot really ‘influence’ them as well as the lack of money. To combat this problem, schemes have been set up which allow the young to take part in perhaps development, as an example, which keep them clear of trouble as well as at the same time the chance to earn money. Many of them go back to school after being taught the true advantages of doing so, employment wise. The problem of education may also play a part in the inner-city.
Government Policies-solving the problems
The problems listed above had obviously to be solved which took place in the late 1980’s. They were on the whole designed to make the inner-city a much better place in which to live and work perhaps most importantly the atmosphere. They were four main aims designed to combat the problems
1. To help people find jobs far more easily than previously
2. To bring land and buildings back into use
3. To improve housing conditions
4. To improve environmental qualities
London particularly suffered from the inner city problems which played such a big part in British cities. Such a large area was bound to face these problems so many of these schemes were progresses to a further extent with London. Many people found themselves unemployed or even without a home.
Different plans were set up in order to conquer these problems.
1.The Urban Programme- this gives 75 percent grants to 57 of the most needy local authorities who are trying to tackle underlying economic, social and environmental problems. Within the first year, over 9000 projects were funded.
2.Derelict land grants- areas of land once almost destroyed in some cases have been converted into offices or perhaps houses which will not only fix the high density housing problem but also the wages the people receive. For e.g., in Liverpool, the Edge hill railway sidings was converted into Ware tree Technology Park. Derelict mills, railway land as well as old housing can easily be converted into things far more useful to help the inhabitants that live nearby. Schemes to help them earn money are an example.
3. Enterprise Zones- were created to try to remove of certain tax burdens.
4. Grants for urban Development- this enabled investors to make a reasonable capital return
5. Urban Development Corporations- these were decided on the whole to fix the problem of derelict lands. The government would centre the areas which need substantial amounts of redevelopment. They have the power to acquire, reclaim and service land and to restore buildings to effective use. They promote new industrial and housing developments
And support community facilities. For example, London Dockyards and Mersey Side Development Co-operation were set up in 1991. By redeveloping area of housing, people then had the chance to move into them thus reducing the number Of people who were homeless of their house was unfit to live in.
6. Land Registers- this used unused and underused land. There are, however, problems which the government cannot prevent or find it hard to do so. As I have mentioned before, the young people, in many cases children, act as quite a large problem there, the main reason Vandalism which plays such a big part. Setting up Help schemes in many areas has proved successful, for example Newcastle
Where a large proportion of the children in the inner-city areas decide to work. These schemes expand the child’s, if you like, Knowledge, which proves beneficial in their later stages of life where employment takes its toll. Their experience develops (then leading to jobs) with, for example building which many inner-city areas now do, which can reduce the unemployment levels as well as the main factor, taking the children away from trouble, i.e. crime. After leaving these help schemes the young adults now have the prospect of a healthy future ahead of them. However not all children are willing to enter schools or in this case the help scheme. Single mothers, who live in houses on their own, now receive more money for the government to cater for their needs.
They also are helped; the mothers, not necessary single mothers, even men with the help of the government are helped to find jobs which in time will improve their living conditions and their way of life.
By building more houses, which the government is now doing, the inner-city becomes a nicer and more respectable place-because of this, more people will live there, the problem zones eventually disappearing to something far more substantial. Gradually these changes will take place until these problems are eventually combated. All the time redevelopment is taking place to buildings, hoping to help people in its work.
Combating many of the problems took place between 1946-67, during the post war period. By then inner cities were seen as places of physical decay and poor housing, the factors I have mentioned before. Phase One was out into action which set up a program of slum clearance and rebuilding aiming at making the inner city areas less congested and environmentally more attractive, thus more people living there. Because of this many properties were knocked down, and then newer buildings were erected.
The New Town Act and the Expanded Towns act encouraged the movement of urban residents to newer, smaller houses and settlements. Many of the new buildings were redeveloped, were on the whole tower blocks (picture) which were built to replace the slums however did not prove to be too popular. Instead ‘The Policy for Environmental Improvement’ was put into action which led to the Housing Act, once again where redevelopment took place.
Referring to the issue of housing, the council helps to give grants to actually building, in the case where people do not have enough money.
The London Dockyards Development Corporation
The object of this scheme was to secure the regeneration of its area, by bringing land and buildings into effective use, encouraging the development of existing and new industry, on the whole creating an attractive environment.
The scheme showed much success, many of which listed below.
1.600 hectares of derelict land reclaimed and ï¿½155m spent on land acquisition
2.90km of new roads, the opening of the Dockland Light Railway, the London City airport, and new bus routes
3. ï¿½142m expenditure on public utility services: gas, electricity, water, drainage
1.ï¿½120m public-sector and ï¿½8420m private sector investment
2. 2.5m sq m of commercial and industrial redevelopment completed or under construction with first stage of the Canary Wharf opened in 1991
3. The number of businesses had doubled from 1100 in 1981 to 2300 in 1990, e.g. several newspaper corporations and the Stock Exchange
1.15200 new homes completed, 5300 homes refurbished or improved, ï¿½72 m spent on improving local housing
2.resident population more than doubled from 39429 to 61500
3.new shopping facilities at Surrey Quays, Hays Galleria and Tobacco Dock; a new post-16 and a technology College
1.100,000 tress planted, 130 hectares of green space and 17 conservation areas
2.90km of waterfront The schemes came too late to prevent many previous inhabitants from leaving the area due to slum clearances and the lack of job opportunities. Many of the new homes are extremely expensive which puts them beyond the price range of local people and, by attracting the better off, has led to a sharp rise in the cost of loving and a destruction of the close knit Eastenders, as it were, community. Many of the new jobs are high tech and skilled. Residents, however, complain at the lack of hospitals and services for the elderly.
The LDDC is scheduled to complete its work in March 1998. In terms of physical regeneration, 728 hectares of land have been reclaimed, 84 miles of roads have been built or improved, the Jubilee line underground extension, which is now under construction, will link Docklands to the new city.
Benefits from the different schemes
We can say on the whole that the population decline of the inner city may have moderated, a more stable and balanced population structure may be emerging There are less marked contrasts of population and employment densities from the outer areas, compared with many years ago. IN the financial front, people are now more willing to support projects and to mortgage properties in the inner areas, and local plan authorities have become more flexible in their plan making. The public and private sectors are much more willing to improve enterprise zone and industrial improvement. New voluntary and community bases organisations have developed particularly concerned with environmental improvements and employment creation. The physical environment has been improved, with vacant land and buildings being put to new, and also the removal of some of the worst dereliction.
However the economic point of view in the inner city has deteriorated, with more unemployment and the closure of many firms. However unemployment will probably remain high, especially among the poorly educated and disadvantaged, which will, especially in children, lead to further problems.