How the London Docklands have been regenerated
The London docklands have been through many changes over the past couple of hundred years. They went from being the centre of all goods transportation (see figure 1) to a derelict wasteland (see figure 2) over the small space of 14 years (1967-1981). Although it was officially 14 years, the main causes for the closure of the docks had been growing in importance for many years before that. The docklands are situated in the meandering bend of the River Thames, known as the Isle of dogs. As I said, the docks were once the busiest shipping port in the world, however as industry grew, many different factors contributed to the closure of the docks. One of these factors was known as containerisation, which decreased the need for so many Dockers. Before containerisation reached the docks, everything had to be transported had to be unloaded by hand, box by box. However, containerisation allowed goods to be efficiently stored in airtight boxes which could be transferred from one mode of transport to another without having to be opened. Although this system was highly efficient and greatly reduced transport costs, it largely contributed to the decline of the docks. An example of a container ship is shown in figure 3. Another cause for the closure of the docks; is that many ships could no longer reach the congested London port. This was due to a number of factors, for example the increase in size of most ships meant that it was much harder for them to manoeuvre around the meander bend of the Thames, also an increase in weight meant that the Thames was too shallow to harbour these ships. During the 19th century, London's port was one of the busiest in the world, but by the end of the 1950s it was in significant decline with many of the docks derelict and abandoned. In response to the resulting social, economic and environmental problems the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was set up...