Thursday, May 23, 2013

Regeneration of Central Salford area

Regeneration of Central Salford area The UK society has been preoccupied with the issues of urban deprivation and poverty from the very early ages. Infirm, alms and workhouses have been built from as early as 10th century to carter for the poor. Charles Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, made a poverty map of London in 1898. The map showed the geographic distribution of deprived areas using different classes such as mixed, some comfortable others poor; upper class, wealthy; middle class, well to do; poor, chronic casual want etc. The London social housing estates of the early 1900, are considered as the pace setters in the urban regeneration process. Even in the phase of all the initiatives that have been carried out in the UK, especially London, the cities still display a history riddled with deprivation. From the 1980’s onwards, there have been changes to the approaches that are used in urban regeneration. First, the introduction of the matrix where one axis represented the style of governance i.e. from the proactive governance of the post war to the increased participation and democratization of the regeneration efforts. The other axis saw a change in the focus of the regeneration efforts from housing redevelopments and provision of better health and education towards an integrated approach where the regeneration efforts focused on not only the redevelopment of the housing but also provision of health and education (Lichfield, 2011). Urban regeneration is a multifaceted amalgamation of social, economic, planning, construction and management activities. These different elements of urban regeneration are brought together to improve the economic stability, social sustainability, and the infrastructure of a geographical location so as to help improve the sustainability of the urban landscape that the infrastructure occupies. Urban regeneration can thus be visualised as the social and technical unification of the vision of urban designers and politicians. This helps to explain the multifaceted nature of urban regeneration (Couch, 1990). Urban regeneration can bring about a variety of effects; affects the urban environment, modification of the physical form thus affecting the relationship of the people with the physical urban form, continuity and diversity in the urban environment and loss of proximity and dissolution of communities (Couch, Fraser and Percy, 2003). The central Salford City has suffered from declining economics traffic congestion, social deprivation and physical environment that is poor. Various regeneration programs have been initiated to deal with the decay issues. They include rail and road improvements, the Trinity project, Crescent area cultural activities, the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park and the declaration of the Commercial improvement area and the Chapel Street Industrial (Salford City Council, 2009). The essay is a critical analysis of the regeneration of the Central Salford area. Various steps were undertaken towards the regeneration of the Central Salford area. The first was the analysis of the local conditions of the Central Salford area. This included consideration of the social structures, environmental conditions, the economic base and physical fabric and form of the area. Secondly, is the stage where the objectives are set. These objectives must be quantifiable and be in line with the aims of sustainable development (Lichfield, 2009). The other step that was also carried out was the matching of the various activities that were to be carried out in the regeneration with the available, human, and economic and natural resources. The other step that was carried out is the seeking for consensus and participation of the various stakeholders. Finally, there will be the issues of monitoring the progress of the regeneration process in line with the different internal and external forces and ensuring that the objectives are achieved (Roberts, 2000). The activities that are carried out will fall under broad objectives. The objectives include the improvement of the flow of traffic and transport systems, development of the tourism potential of the area, improving the environment that of the Central Salford area, proving a higher level of employment opportunities and upgrading the residential areas and the stock of the housing. The objectives will be achieved through three broad activities (Salford City Council, 2009). The first is the improvement of the various transport ways that are found in the area. This includes the highways, pedestrian routes, railways and the riversides. The regeneration will involve the improvement of the highway network of the area especially the Inner Relief Route as well as the Chapel Street. Other development have also been initiated which will lead to the improvement of vehicles access and circulation of traffic. Also, there will be the use of multi-storey packing spaces as well as other efficient parking methods to offset the losses that resulted from the development initiatives. Moreover, there should be the improvement of the footpaths to increase access and safety and improvement of public transit (Smith, 2011). The above activity will lead to the solution of the problems of traffic congestion that had riddled the city for a long time. The second activity that will be carried out is the improvement to the environment through construction of green housing for instance the housing estates of Greengate, Islington, and Trinity. There are also consideration of various conservation areas for instance the Crescent, Adelphi, Flat Iron and Cathedral conservation areas. The final activity is the development and the land use which divides the Central Salford into 7 sub-areas (Salford City Council, 2009; Lichfield, 2009). The sub-division is done so that it can allow for the flexibility when dealing with the land uses in the area. The stakeholders in the Central Salford regeneration are drawn from a wide ranging field. The stakeholders will be involved in different stages of the regeneration from the decision making, implementation and also in the monitoring and evaluation process. The initial process was done through consultative forum where people were drawn from different agencies. Participatory process was used to come up with the different proposals that were to be implemented. The initial consultation involved the representatives of the people that lived in the Central Salford area, the private sector players, the Government Office for the North West, the European Community, the Trafford Park Development Corporation and various private and public utility providers. The coming together of the stakeholders from the wide variety of sectors ensure that the analysis of what is needed in the regeneration of the area in comprehensive and very specific in scope. The different stakeholders have skills in different areas and thus their input in the regeneration will be very important for the success. Some of these agencies were involved in the implementation of the regeneration proposals for instance the public and private utility firms, the city council and the various government offices (Salford City Council, 2009). This is because; the regeneration requires a very huge outlay of resources to be successful. No on agency can be able to undertake it alone. There are two main barriers to the success of the Central Salford regeneration. The first is the housing has not yet met the needs of the people. This is because; the homes that are built are not enough because of the reliance on private sector to carry out the home construction, the commercial builders have looked into more profitable markets for instance the “buy to let”, there has been a significantly lower investment in the social housing- affordable homes that are built for rental- and also there have been problems with the design especially the densities of the developments thus there may be problems of sprawl in the future. The second barrier is the insufficient reintegration and restoration. The cycle of demolitions have followed the same pattern over the years. The areas that are regenerated quickly fall into disrepair and decay and are regenerated in the next cycle of regeneration (Power, 1997). According to Roger and Power (2000), this can be explained by the fact that the political decisions have a great effect on the regeneration; the politicians like flagship projects, massive demolition and reconstruction, as opposed to the need for renewal. Resources are therefore used in areas that don not provide commensurate returns. The success factors of the project include the massive redevelopment of the areas that have not led to any massive disruption in the social and community knit of the people. This has been enabled by home swap schemes thus the effects of the redevelopment will not disrupt the livelihood of the people. Secondly, there has also been the provision of business opportunities for the people for instance through the business park and retail stores that are created (Lichfield, 2000). This provides employment as well as business opportunity for the people. They are ways through which the people can escape the cycle of poverty e.g. in Seedley and Langworthy (Salford City Council, 2009). The regeneration has also provided affordable housing as well as various community facilities that ensuring that the sense of community is not lost, while at the same time the costs are friendly to the people. Different tools and methods have been used to manage the regeneration of Central Sanford key among them development control. The development control in the Central Salford area is divided into different considerations. First is the control of development in areas that may have risks of flooding. This is done so that the flood plain can be maintained as well as reduce the risk of the flood affecting the other developments. Secondly, there is the Broughton park development control policy which is geared at ensuring that the area does not loose it residential character. All the regenerations in the area must consider this point. Thirdly, the development control also ensures that there is no development on any contaminated land unless the developer can clearly prove that they can apply remedial measures to the contaminated area. The development control also involves elements such as good designs and the extension or alterations of the buildings and their uses. Another tool that is used in the Central Sanford regeneration is the endogenous model where the locals are involved in all the stages of the regeneration (Berry, McGreal, and Deddis, 1993). This will lead to the creation of a community where the people will be willing to live. It reinforces both the development of services and infrastructure as well as social control. In conclusion, there are a variety of benefits that urban regeneration can bring to an area. This can only be realized when the regeneration process is participative and involve different stakeholders. These people are important in the decision making, financing and the monitoring and evaluation of the different programs. The Central Salford area will enjoy better accessibility, reduction in the traffic as well as higher quality of housing which will lead to better social and economic conditions of the people as compared to the situation before the regeneration. Bibliography Berry, J., McGreal, S. and Deddis, B. 1993, Urban Regeneration – Property investment and development, London, UK: Chapman & Hall. Couch, C. 1990, Urban Renewal, London, UK: McMillan Couch, C., Fraser, C. and Percy, S. 2003, Urban Regeneration in Europe, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing. Lichfield, D. 2000, "Organisation and management of urban regeneration", in Roberts, P. and Sykes, H. (Eds.), Urban regeneration: A handbook, London: Sage Lichfield, D. 2009, "Integrated planning for urban regeneration: The difficulties and a way forward", Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 3: 180–184. Lichfield, D. 2011, "Big society, small locality: From sweet dreams to hard reality", Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 5(1): 23–34 Power, A. 1997, Estates on the Edge, London: Palgrave/Macmillan. Roberts, P. 2000, "The evolution, definition and purpose of urban regeneration" In Peter, Roberts and Hugh, Sykes (Eds.), Urban Regeneration: A handbook, London, UK: Sage Robinson, F. 1989, "Urban Regeneration Policies in Britain the late 1980s: Who benefits", Center for Urban and Regional Development Studies, Discussion Paper number 94, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Rogers, R. and Power, A. 2000, Cities for a small country, London: Faber and Faber. Salford City Council 2009, Central Salford: Adopted Unitary Development Plan [web] Accessed 16 Feb. 2012 Smith, M. K. 2011, “Neighbourhoods and regeneration: Theory, practice, issues", The encyclopedia of informal education, [web] Accessed 16 Feb. 2012