Urban Rebranding

How successful have urban areas been in rebranding themselves?

I studied London Docklands as a case study for urban rebranding.

How has the Docklands rebranded itself?

  1. The Olympics 2012 has given Eastern London a stimulus of sport for rebranding. Being such a major event it has been organised in an efficient fashion and many developments have come into the area.
  2. Flagship developments have been developing. This includes the Olympic village which has affordable housing in it and many forms of sports stadiums and studios.
  3. Industrial Heritage is also an important aspect. In the 1980s, St Katherine’s Dock in Tower Hamlets, went through the process of rebranding. We saw evidence of industrial heritage there for example, sculptures of elephant, names of buildings e.g. ‘Ivory house’ and even old window designs were kept in some buildings.
  4. Being a sports event many opportunities have come about in the way of sports. For example sports training facilities and many stadiums will be used as leisure spaces after the event.
  5. St Katherine’s Dock which was rebranded in 1980s, has emphasis in allowing people to walk along the River Thames and the docks. Water is keep aspect in the regeneration of St Katherine’s Dock.
  6. The Olympics 2012 has taken on the challenge to be the greenest games ever. This means that developments are not just taking place on greenfield site, but brownfield sites too. Soil in these sites contains cyanide and mercury and rather than replacing the soil, it is been decided to be cleaned and put back on o the land. It is more costly but it more sustainable.

How can we measure the success?

  1. Photographs – they give us a feel for the place and comparing it to the photos from the past we can make judgements whether the change has been successful or not.
  2. Maps – again the give us accurate description of the physical landscape of what a place used to be and comparing it to a map from today we can see the change. We can also monitored how has the access of the city changed. Using figures we can say whether the access has been a success or not in drawing in visitors.
  3. Census is a database which contains a range of information from the employment status to the average number of people living per room. The last one took place in 2001 so when the next one happens in 2011 we can see whether figures such as employment status has improved or not.
  4. Www.upmystreet.com’ is similar to the census but this gives us profiles of a place as well as photographs and statistics. Looking at how a place is doing on this website we can decide if they are doing well or not.
  5. Blogs and forums are also good places to see what peoples opinions are of places and looking at different time intervals might show us whether people are getting a more positive image after rebranding.

Understanding and monitoring weather conditions

Techniques and Fieldwork

Firstly it is important to understand the different weather instruments and their purpose. 

Primary and secondary methods of monitoring and understanding weather conditions


  • Making observations and recording it in a weather diary 
  • Weather instruments – for more detail see post ‘using weather instruments – fieldwork’
  • Weather stations now use computer systems to record weather and keep organisations such as the Met Office involved through wireless and satellite connections.


  • Met Office website. This has synoptic charts to monitoring different weather conditions passing us e.g. fronts. It also keeps an archive of the weather so we can see weather patterns over a long course of time.
  • BBC website has some radar, satellite and surface pressure maps too which can help when trying to understand different weather conditions
  • People may write about the weather in blogs, websites and posts which allow us to measure weather conditions.
  • GIS – google earth, maps etc. This enables patterns of weather to be identified and measured of 4-10 days.
  • Media – watching news, documentaries etc

Drought Management

Different ways to manage drought




1. Model how sustainable their current water usage is for the wider society like in indigenous crowds in drought season. 

  1. Make farming more efficient and use more GM drought resistant crops
  2. Invest in water smart technology
  3. Regulate water usage in irrigation
  4. Make watering more efficient e.g. piping and lining water channels
  5. Monitor water supply through databases

South East England

  1. Bans e.g. Hosepipe ban
  2. Take water from reservoirs in Wales
  3. Recycle more river water
  4. Use more ‘grey’ water
  5. Monitor water usage through water footprint
  1. Repair leaking infrastructure
  2. Reduce irrigation usage
  3. GM crops
  4. Shift to Mediterranean crops

East Africa

  1. Change from nomads to cultivators
  2. Use of intermediate technology 
  3. Collect and store rainwater underground
  4. Separate clean and reusable water
  1. Fit pumps, repair or dig new wells
  2. Seek aid from NGOs
  3. GM crops