Successes and failures of urban regeneration

Stratford in London

Urban regeneration schemes are not always successful. Often though it is not as clear-cut as success or failure. One scheme may be deemed a huge success by some but a failure by others.

Stratford in London is a case in point. As a result of the Olympic Games being held in the East of London in 2012, huge investment was made in the area. Although major benefits have resulted, have those benefits been shared by all?

Below is a collection of resources to help students consider the extent of success relating to the regeneration of Stratford as part of the London 2012 games

VIDEO – Urban Regeneration – The 2012 London Olympics

Views on the regeneration two years on

More views on the regeneration of the area

London’s Olympic legacy three years on: is the city really getting what it needed?

London’s Olympics legacy faces early disqualification

Shops boarded, buildings gutted and streets in a mess: The sorry side of Stratford that Olympic chiefs don’t want you to see

East end regeneration: Factsheet

The impact of regeneration on the Carpenters estate

GEOCASES – Urban Regeneration: The London Olympics 2012

Olympics legacy: Did the Games succeed in rejuvenating East London? 

The Olympics and Urban regeneration in the East End of London – all good? 

‘Stratford: The Vital Statistics’ is a report produced by the Stratford Renaissance Partnership (SRP). It illustrates how the area has changed as a result of the investments made in the area. An overview can by viewed here on the ‘Stratford Rising’ website

VIDEO – Locals say Olympics redevelopments have done little to improve neighbourhood

VIDEO – Building the Olympic dream? Not everyone is convinced

In this Guardian article from August 2016 it is claimed that ‘London Olympics has brought regeneration, but at a price locals can’t afford’

Source – The Guardian

Surviving in the slums

BBC Three series in which a group of young people are put through their paces as they embark on a crash course in urban survival in some of the world’s biggest slums.


Episode 1 – Lagos

In Lagos, Nigeria, three British mechanics are guided and challenged for ten days by extraordinary slum dwellers who use dedication, passion and guts to succeed. Being the best here is tough; the environment is brutal and the work relentless. It’s an explosive combination of frustration and success for our three mechanics, but do they have what it takes to call themselves Slum Survivors?


Episode 2 – Jakarta

Three trainee chefs swap their clean UK kitchens for rat-infested street food stalls in Indonesia’s toughest slums. For ten days they live and work with locals who started with nothing, but through hard work and dedication have become successful street cooks in Jakarta. They need to keep a lid on their tempers and show passion and flair if they are to impress the slum’s most demanding customers. But will the punishing hours, menial work and weird local dishes stand in their way of learning the skills to turn their lives around back home?


Episode 3 – Mumbai

Three plumbers get down and dirty in some of India’s most notorious slums where they learn to plumb the local way in the open sewers of Mumbai. It’s back to basics for this enthusiastic trio who don’t know themeaning of hard work and soon realise that being a slum plumber is much tougher than it looks. But can they return home with newfound skills and the confidence to call themselves Slum Survivors?

When urban areas decline

Year 12 Managing Urban Change
Homework – Urban dereliction, social problems and inequality

Detroit – the ruins left behind when a city loses half it’s population

Watch the video about Detroit. what evidence is there that urban decline has taken place:

Claymore, Sydney – Australia
The social housing experiment that went wrong

Watch the programme below and answer the questions – You do not need to watch the whole programme. Start at the beginning and watch the first 3 minutes, then skip forward to 18:40 and watch up to 19:35

  1. When was Claymore created?
  2. Where in Sydney is Claymore?
  3. How many people live there?
  4. Between 01:15 and 01:28, what evidence do you see of urban dereliction?
  5. What happened in 2010?
  6. What is this process called?
  7. Why so you think a mixture of private and public housing was proposed? How would this help?
St Louis – The city divided by one street
The city of St Louis, Missouri, remains one of the most segregated cities in the US. But one street in particular has been known to residents as the “dividing line”.

Delmar Boulevard, which spans the city from east to west, features million-dollar mansions directly to the south, and poverty-stricken areas to its north. What separates rich and poor is sometimes just one street block.
  1. What evidence is there that the south of Delmar Boulevard is better off than the north?
  2. What might explain this disparity?
  3. What problems exist on the northern side?

Tourism booming in Favelas

Until recently, Favelas in Rio (Brazil) have been rife with drugs and crime related violence. However, things seem to be changing in some areas as the shanty towns are becoming part of the tourist trail in Brazil. This follows a concerted effort by lawmakers to stamp out criminal activity in the illegal settlements.

The first peace-keeping police unit arrived in 2008. As a result, local business owners have seen an upturn in trade, as more and more locals and tourists use the bars and restaurants. However, this has led to a new challenge for the local business owners as new fast-food outlets are now being attracted to the area to take advantage of this change.

Watch the full BBC News report here