East Londoners have heard it all before. Regeneration, creative, inclusive – the buzzwords came thick and fast both before and after London 2012. Now there’s no more talk of East London and the Thames Gateway, what’s being talked up is the ‘City in the East’.
City in the East is a joint venture involving Transport for London, the Greater London Authority, local councils, the London Mayor and central government. The plan is to make best use of East London’s key locations and ‘opportunity areas’, resulting in new homes (200,000), new jobs (300,00) and new wealth creation.
So what do local people think? Are they jaded and cynical, or bright and hopeful that this time, maybe this time, such plans will be put into full effect?
Julia (26) from Beckton said: ‘It gives me hope that my son will have better opportunities than I did growing up in this area.’
Aaron (18): ‘I like that East London is now being spoken of in regards to developments and growth instead of what we used to hear before. It’s nice to know your area has something to offer, it makes you proud.’
These quick comments suggest that many people are still looking on the bright side.