The Docklands in London

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 01:09 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, London
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Canary Wharf from Thames © S nova

Canary Wharf from Thames © S nova

Docklands is the semi-official name for an area in east and southeast London. It forms part of the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham and Greenwich. The docks were formerly part of the Port of London, at one time the world’s largest port. They have now been redeveloped principally for commercial and residential use. The name London Docklands was used for the first time in a government report on redevelopment plans in 1971 but has since become virtually universally adopted. It also created conflict between the new and old communities of the London Docklands.

Following post-war rebuilding they experienced a resurgence of prosperity in the 1950s. The end came suddenly, between approximately 1960 and 1970, when the shipping industry adopted the newly invented container system of cargo transportation. London’s docks were unable to accommodate the much larger vessels needed by containerization and the shipping industry moved to deep-water ports such as Tilbury and Felixstowe. Between 1960 and 1980, all of London’s docks were closed, leaving around eight square miles (21 km²) of derelict land in East London. Unemployment was high, and poverty and other social problems were rife.

Efforts to redevelop the docks began almost as soon as they were closed, although it took a decade for most plans to move beyond the drawing board and another decade for redevelopment to take full effect. The situation was greatly complicated by the large number of landowners involved: the Port of London Authority (PLA), the Greater London Council (GLC), the British Gas Corporation, five borough councils, British Rail and the Central Electricity Generating Board.

To address this problem, in 1981 the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, formed the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) to redevelop the area. This was a statutory body appointed and funded by central government (a quango), with wide powers to acquire and dispose of land in the Docklands. It also served as the development planning authority for the area.

Docklands Museum © flickr.com - Gordon Joly/cc-by-sa-3.0 Shadwell Basin © Dave Pape Royal Albert Dock looking west to Canary Wharf © Suzanne Knights Greenland Dock © Cnbrb Canary Wharf from Thames © S nova Millennium Dome from Greenwich Docks © Tharnton345
<
>
Royal Albert Dock looking west to Canary Wharf © Suzanne Knights
Another important government intervention was the designation in 1982 of an enterprise zone, an area in which businesses were exempt from property taxes and had other incentives, including simplified planning and capital allowances. This made investing in the Docklands a significantly more attractive proposition and was instrumental in starting a property boom in the area.

The massive development programme managed by the LDDC during the 1980s and 1990s saw a huge area of the Docklands converted into a mixture of residential, commercial and light industrial space. The clearest symbol of the whole effort was the ambitious Canary Wharf project that constructed Britain’s tallest building and established a second major financial centre in London. However, there is no evidence that LDDC foresaw this scale of development and nearby Heron Quays had already been developed as low density offices when Canary Wharf was proposed, with similar development already underway on Canary Wharf itself, Limehouse Studios being the most famous occupant.

The LDDC also contributed to the development of London City Airport, opened in October 1987 on the spine of the Royal Docks. Over the past 30 years, the population of the Docklands has more than doubled and the area has become both a major business centre and an increasingly desirable area to live. Transport links have improved significantly, with the Isle of Dogs gaining a tube connection via the Jubilee Line Extension (opened 1999) and the DLR being extended to Beckton, Lewisham, London City Airport, North Woolwich and Stratford. Canary Wharf has become one of Europe’s biggest clusters of skyscrapers and a direct challenge to the financial dominance of the City.

Although most of the old Dockland wharfs and warehouses have been demolished, some have been restored and converted into flats. Most of the docks themselves have survived and are now used as marinas or watersports centres (the major exception being the Surrey Commercial Docks, now largely filled in). Although large ships can – and occasionally still do – visit the old docks, all of the commercial traffic has moved down-river.

The revival of the Docklands has had major effects in run-down surrounding areas. Greenwich and Deptford are undergoing large-scale redevelopment, chiefly as a result of the improved transport links making them more attractive to commuters.

Read more on MuseumOfLondon.org.uk – Docklands, Royal Docks London, London Docklands Development Corporation History Pages and Wikipedia London Docklands. Photos by Wikipedia Commons.








Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Anchorage in Alaska

Anchorage in Alaska

[caption id="attachment_152317" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Anchorage and Chugach Mountains © flickr.com - Frank K./cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost city in the United States with more than 100,000 residents and the largest community in North America north of the 60th parallel. With an estimated 299,000 residents, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's tot...

[ read more ]

Dunvegan Castle, seat of the chief of the Clan MacLeod

Dunvegan Castle, seat of the chief of the Clan MacLeod

[caption id="attachment_23575" align="alignleft" width="590"] Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, home to the MacLeod family for over 800 years© Dunvegancastle/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Dunvegan Castle is a castle a mile and a half to the north of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, situated off the West coast of Scotland. It is the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. A curtain wall was built round the hill in the 13th centur...

[ read more ]

Marfa in Texas

Marfa in Texas

[caption id="attachment_232868" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Presidio County Courthouse © Talshiarr/cc-by-sa-2.5[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Marfa is a city in the high desert of the Trans-Pecos in far West Texas, between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park. It is the county seat of Presidio County, and its population as of the 2010 United States Census was 1,981. The city was founded in the early 1880s as a water stop; the population increased during World War II, but growth has stalled and reversed somewhat since...

[ read more ]

The seaside resort of Brighton

The seaside resort of Brighton

[caption id="attachment_153851" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Brighton Promenade © David Iliff[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) in East Sussex on the south coast of Great Britain. For administrative purposes, Brighton and Hove is not part of the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex, but remains part of the ceremonial county of East Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex. ...

[ read more ]

Auray in Brittany

Auray in Brittany

[caption id="attachment_153734" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Port of Saint Goustan © Varus111/cc-by-30[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Auray is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in northwestern France. Inhabitants of Auray are called Alréens. The city is surrounded by the communes of Crac'h to the south and west, Brech to the north and Pluneret to the east. It is crossed by the Loch, a small coastal river which flows into the Gulf of Morbihan. The town is high on the west bank of the river Auray on the edg...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Moscow - The Lubyanka Building

Theme Week Moscow - The Lubyanka Building

[caption id="attachment_5861" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Lubyanka Building © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/GFDL"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Lubyanka is the popular name for the headquarters of the KGB and affiliated prison on Lubyanka Square in Moscow. It is a large Neo-Baroque building with a facade of yellow brick designed by Alexander V. Ivanov in 1897 and augmented by Aleksey Shchusev from 1940 to 1947. The Lubyanka was originally built in 1898 as the headquarters of the All-Russia Insurance Company....

[ read more ]

The frigate A.R.A. Presidente Sarmiento

The frigate A.R.A. Presidente Sarmiento

[caption id="attachment_152981" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Rodrigo Menezes/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]ARA Presidente Sarmiento is a museum ship in Argentina, originally built as a training ship for the Argentine Navy and named after Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the seventh President of Argentina. She is considered to be the last intact cruising training ship from the 1890s. She is now maintained in her original 1898 appearance as a museum ship in Puerto Madero near downtown Buenos Aires. The ship was ...

[ read more ]

The Europa

The Europa

[caption id="attachment_152636" align="aligncenter" width="590"] MS Europa at Sylt © Elbe1[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The MS Europa is a cruise ship owned and operated by the German company Hapag-Lloyd. It is the 4th ship to be named Europa in the company's history. For twelve years in row, the MS Europa was awarded the title "best cruise ship in the world" by Ward-Ranking and Berlitz. Being designed as a luxury ship, all of her cabins are described as suites. There are 204 suites. Out of the 204 suites, 168 have their own priva...

[ read more ]

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Southeastern France

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Southeastern France

[caption id="attachment_238581" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Mathieu BROSSAIS/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (Occitan: L'Illa de Sòrga or L'Illa de Venissa) is a town and commune on the Sorgue river in Southeastern France. Politically, the commune is in the arrondissement of Avignon within the department of Vaucluse, in the région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The small town is famous for its many antique shops and hosts antique markets most Sundays. It has many waterside cafés an...

[ read more ]

Trinity Buoy Wharf in London

Trinity Buoy Wharf in London

[caption id="attachment_218874" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Bow Creek Lighthouse © Grim23/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Trinity Buoy Wharf is the site of a lighthouse, by the confluence of the River Thames and Bow Creek on the Leamouth Peninsula, Poplar. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The lighthouse no longer functions, but is the home of various art projects such as Longplayer. It is sometimes known as Bow Creek Lighthouse. In 1803, the site began to be used by the Elder Brethren of T...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© Alessandro Vecchi
Lazise on Lake Garda

Lazise is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Verona in the Italian region Veneto, located about 120 km west...

Belfast Lough - Tall Ships 2009 © geograph.org.uk - Aubrey Dale
The tall ship HMS Bounty

Bounty (popularly HMS Bounty) was an enlarged reconstruction of the original 1787 Royal Navy sailing ship HMS Bounty, built in...

Sculpture of Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle by Chantal de la Chauvinière-Riant outside the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Berlin © Adam Carr
50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty

Élysée Treaty also known as the Treaty of Friendship, was concluded by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer in the...

Close