Mixed news for London’s urban renewal

  How to update the old and declining central city and make it look new again? It is a problem that countries around the world are trying to solve.
   Recently, the British media have focused on the typical case of urban renewal – East London.
   Different from the classical conservative West London, East London is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, with dense ports and factories, a large number of migrants and low-level laborers, and a mix of fish and dragons. killer of multiple women).
   After the 1950s, the manufacturing industry here declined, and the community fell into a dirty, messy and poor situation. How to renew East London and avoid it becoming a slum and crime haven became a thorny problem for the City of London at the time.
   The early renewal of East London relied on so-called “artistic”. There are a large number of idle factories there, with low rents, and under the promotion of the government, it has gradually become a gathering place for artists and fashion entrepreneurs. Famous painter Damian Hirst and designer Alexander McQueen came to the world from East London.
   But East London’s full-scale revival began with London’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics in 2003. The mayor of London at the time, Ken Livingston, made it clear that he wanted to “see the city as a city” – by preparing and hosting the Olympic Games, more funds and development opportunities will be introduced into East London, making it a new growth pole.
   Now, 10 years have passed since the London Olympics. Has the update of East London met the original expectations?
Isaiah City

   After successfully bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games, London jointly formulated the “2012 London Olympic Legacy Plan” with a number of departments, which clearly stated that the location of the London Olympic venues must be driven by the “troika” of economy, environment and society. – The rapid development of the East London area, which will also be one of the most important legacy of the London Olympics.
   10 years later, in numbers, East London has achieved its goal of being an “Isaiah City”.
   Figures from the London Heritage Development Corporation show that since the Olympics, East London has received huge investment in retail and major events. For example, Westfield, one of the largest integrated retail companies in the UK, invested £1.75 billion directly in East London to build its flagship shopping centre, creating more than 10,000 jobs.
  From the perspective of the city, East London has also been reborn.
  The Newham district in East London was once one of the most lagging areas in London, and the British government made it a key area for the Olympic Games to carry out a large-scale “update”.
  Today, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Newham is one of the most “trendy” landmarks in London. Well-known cultural institutions such as the BBC, Sadler’s Wells, London College of Fashion under the University of the Arts London and the East Building of the Victoria and Albert Museum are all settled in.
  The “Balloon Skirt” of the East Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will open in 2023, is a polygonal geometry that wraps the interior space with a special façade structure, integrating cafes, galleries, installations and creative collaboration spaces , shops, with direct access to the waterfront, is expected to become a new landmark in London in the future.
  An estimated 40,000 jobs will be created in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park alone by 2025, with an additional 125,000 jobs expected to be created in the surrounding area by 2030.
  On the 10th anniversary of the London Olympics, the International Olympic Committee praised East London’s economic development results: “The economic impact of the Olympic Games on East London has been huge, exceeding the pre-Olympic growth forecast by three times, and the number of local employment has increased by 40%. %, more than £400 million in investment in the region.”
“living environment + innovation environment”

  Another success of the East London update is that after the artistic and creative update, it has further attracted a large number of start-up companies to start their businesses here, becoming London’s “Little Silicon Valley”.
  For example, the 1.2 million-square-foot (111,500-square-meter) innovation hub “Here East”, converted from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic News and Broadcasting Center, is now Europe’s largest innovation center One of the parks is also home to the headquarters of many start-ups and multinational corporations, especially in the fields of esports, cybersecurity and creative industries.
  According to a study by Oxford Economics, one innovation center in “This Is East London” alone has created more than 10,000 jobs and 317 million pounds in wages. Nearly a quarter of employees live in East London, further driving local consumption.
  The well-known British real estate company Varcoles believes that the strong artistic and creative atmosphere of East London has boosted the entry of innovative companies, because innovation itself is often made by people with different professional backgrounds who meet and chat in “ubiquitous social media” ” produced in the process.
  The renewal of the old city should not only achieve the “city building on the city” in space, but also realize the sustainable return on investment.
  ”East London’s current achievements are based on bottom-up artistic renewal, top-down creative transformation, and multiple overlays built around the industrial soft environment. This ‘living environment + innovation environment’ The model not only achieves ‘building a city on a city’ in space, but also enables long-term sustainable development, which provides new ideas for the renewal and development of the old city.” Hua Gao Lai concluded.
The gap between rich and poor

  The achievements are obvious to all, but the British media also pointed out that the development of East London in the past 10 years also has serious shortcomings, especially the failure to effectively benefit local low-income groups.
  In the past 10 years, a large influx of investment and job opportunities has made East London house prices soar, rising at three times the rate of the average UK house price. Today, in some high-end properties in Newham, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is as high as 1,750 pounds (about 14,000 yuan), and the monthly rent for a penthouse is 4,000 pounds (about 32,400 yuan).
  Born and raised in Newham, Paul Amoch was one of the poorest and most overcrowded people in the area, with his three siblings and his mother crammed into a makeshift home with his parents divorced as a child.
  When London announced in 2003 that it would bid for the Olympics and transform East London, 16-year-old Amoch felt the time had come to change his fortunes. He devoted himself to mobilizing local residents to support the Olympic bid, and told neighbors that “this is not just a sporting event, it is more about our future – people like us may one day be able to rent or even buy it. house”.
  In 2005, after London won the right to host the Olympic Games, the then chairman of the Olympic Organizing Committee, Sebastian Coe, promised to build 30,000 to 40,000 new houses in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a large part of which will be bought by ordinary income people. affordable house.
  But 10 years later, only 13,000 new homes have been built in the area, and only 11 percent are affordable homes that the average person can actually afford. At the same time, there are nearly 75,000 families in East London on the waiting list for the government to allocate low-rent housing, and many families are in extreme poverty.
  It all “feels like a huge betrayal”, Amoch, who now works in community organisations at an NGO, told the Guardian. He still lives in an apartment in Newham with his mother and two younger brothers, and he and most of his friends still can’t afford to rent or buy a shared-title apartment.
  ”We thought the area was going to get better, but that’s not the case for most of the local residents,” Amoch said.
  An interviewee who has been involved in East London development told the Guardian: “The post-Olympic East London urban renewal is more about creating a new community, and there is a huge gap between this community and the local residents.”

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