The inner city areas of many Global cities have an image of decay with poverty, pollution, crime, overcrowding, poor housing conditions and unemployment. Such problems are more prevalent in inner-city areas than in other areas of the city. Deprivation has been caused by old industries closing down and increasing the unemployment levels which are not tackled due to the old workers not being skilled enough to work in these new factories or line of jobs. This happens more in MEDC’s compared to LEDC’s where overpopulation and urbanization have cause the problems in the inner city.
Counterurbanization has been another problem within MEDC’s as it has left houses derelict and the people would rather commute than live in the inner city. This has then led to out of town shopping centers being set up. In MEDC’s the inner city initiatives for reversing the decline of the inner city started back in 1945 with comprehensive redevelopment. This program involved large-scale clearance of old terraces in order to provide space for new housing and inner city environmental features. Over twenty years 1. 5 million properties wee knocked down in the inner city.
Elswick and Kenton in Newcastle were two areas embarked for comprehensive redevelopment. Existing residents were moved either into new towns of Cramlington or to extensive council houses estates built in areas such as, Byker. Many local authorities followed identical planning and soon the landscape of the inner city was transformed with huge concrete and glass tower blocks separated by flat expanses of grass. At the time these high-rise flats were a great success architecturally however the policy failed due to redevelopment underachieving demolition. This gave a housing shortage and vast spaces of derelict land.
This policy that lasted till 1967 also failed to tackle the social and economic problems. 1968 saw another scheme come into action; the Urban Aid programme gave grants to local authorities to expand services in deprived areas and to establish community development projects using self help. This scheme was a great deal more localized and it was unfortunate that the economic downturn limited the funds and therefore by 1977 the scheme had finished. The next year the new towns policy was abandoned in an effort to stop decentralization of people and businesses.
For the first time inner cities were officially declared problem areas. In 1988 Margaret Thatcher introduced the “Action for cities” policy. From 1991 onwards-Local authorities were able to bid for funds for specific urban projects. An example is Sunderland; the money was used to redesign parts of the city center with a new shopping precinct. And bus station. A single government department, the end of the 1990’s had created the Urban Regeneration Agency. In Greater Manchester 4. 5 hectares of the city were destroyed with 30,000 homes left damaged form the bombing of World War II.
By the end of the war 70,000 homes were deemed unfit for living mostly in the high density Victorian inner center. The plan for Manchester was launched in 1945 with the aim of clearing all Victorian housing. Following the repair of the war the Manchester Slum Clearance Programme restarted in 1954. Over five years 7500 properties were demolished mostly in the Miles Platting area. In 1961 the policy of comprehensive development took place with the clearance programme expanding in four main areas: Hulme, Beswick, Longsight and Harpurhey.
Over 55,00 new houses, a mixture of low and high rise were built to replaced the cleared terraces reducing the housing density and population by up to 50% in some areas. The Hulme area was a typical Victorian area of Manchester and was tightly packed with terraces. Conditions were overcrowded and polluted with few housing having toilets. After the demolition of the terraces, shopping facilities were introduced in three areas. By 1972 the redevelopment of Hulme was completed with 5,000 new houses being built.
Problems did arise with new properties leaking and then the heating bills were too high for the residents and many found the accommodation inappropriate. This area fell into a spiral of decline with growing unemployment, drugs and violence along with eh deteriorating environment. The Hulme city challenge was launched in 1992. This plan involved building of 3000 new homes, shops, roads, offices and community facilities to replace existing properties in a 60-hectare area. The funds of i??200 million came from the government, local authority and private finance.
Manchester faced other problems form the closure of the nineteenth century industries that left 24,000 jobs unavailable between 1974 and 1984. Plans included 2000 new houses and 375,000 square meters of industrial and commercial floor space to provide 10,000 jobs. In 1988 central Manchester was given n UDC to regenerate 200 hectares of land and buildings in the southern part of the city center. This area included six conservation areas, over ninety listed buildings, three universities, the Granada Studios Tour and the Museum of Science and Industry. However these were the areas of contaminated land, derelict warehouses, mills and canals.
The IDC ended in 1996 and in the eight years of operation invested i??420 million. Urban deprivation in the LEDC’s have been tackled in many ways however there have been schemes that have proven to be a lot more successful than the others. In Chennai there has been a rapid increase in population due to the rural to urban migration and the high birth rates. About one third of the population lives in the slums, mostly shantytowns. The planning solutions began with the building of four to six storey blocks however these largely failed due to high maintenance and lack of uptake as the tenants would be unable to afford the rent.
If the rent were reduced the scheme would lose money. After this initial failure The Board took up a new idea of upgrading the slums. The aims set were providing one bath and one toilet per ten families; one public fountain per twenty families; one street light per forty meters of road and one pre school per two hundred families. Other initiatives required self-help financing after an initial investment had been made either by the World Bank or welfare organizations. These schemes encouraged greater community involvement.
Some of the start up loans were gave to families to build their own homes. Site and service schemes were implemented with finance provided for the acquisition of land; purchase of building materials, road building and the provision of basic services such as, water and sewage. New owners were then responsible for building the property on their allocated land. The upgrading after that often led to the sale of homes to higher income groups. The generated some money for the poor families and allowed the Board to re-invest in new schemes.
An area in the southern outskirts of Chennai was the location for a site and services scheme known as Velacheri. It provided fourteen hectares of land to house 2,640 families many of whom were being forced out of Chennai. Waiting for the new residents building their homes would have caused a delayed the rail building so contractors were used to begin the building of properties. Along with the roads, water supply, streetlights and many other services. These services did face problems with many being left unfinished and extra floors being added without regulation.
Some families sold their home for profit and the poorest were unable to afford these houses. These are some example of the initiatives being taken in order to solve the problem of urban deprivation. However there have been many other schemes and one of the most successful was that of the Favelas in Brazil redevelopment that won several prizes such as, the famous Habitat Award from the United Nations. These have been more successful as it didn’t break up the families and kept the community spirit and the families could continue to access their place of employment.
The similarities between the initiatives of the MEDC and LEDC worlds that have been undertaken for there reduction of urban deprivation are not all that similar. This is due to the fact that the MEDC’s have more finance so there are able to use other schemes to tackle their problems. Also the fact that the problems they face are of a different cause. In the LEDC’s it tends to be shanty towns are therefore have to look to house these people unlike the MEDC it not so overcrowding but unemployment due to the decline of the Industrial Revolution and recently Counterurbanization has left old Victorian buildings derelict and an eye-saw.