Docklands: What Was All That About?

Top-down development imposed on a de-industrialised area with local people locked out of any possible benefits? Or a gradual process of new money coming in and wealth trickling down to already existing residents? Adiba Khatum and Hanna Mariam Chowdhury listened to the debate on Docklands: Thirty Years On.

Three decades have elapsed since the Tory government pressed ahead with plans for re-developing the largely disused Docklands area, vacated in the 1970s when London’s sea port moved downriver to Tilbury.

In the 1980s there was confrontation between community activists prioritising the interests of local people, and urban planners keen to import new money into the area.

Recently the two ‘sides’ came together at UEL’s University Square, Stratford, to discuss what had happened to Docklands since those far off days. The debate featured contributions from Professor Sue Brownill of Oxford Brookes University, and former top civil servant Ralph Ward, now a visiting professor at the Centre for East London Studies.