Rebranding Players

What is involved in rebranding?

Who are the ‘rebranding players’ and what strategies exist for places to improve themselves?

Who are the rebranding players?

Rebranding players are all the people who are involved in the rebranding process. They are people’s whose opinions affects the process.  This includes; local residents, private investors, central government, local authority and many more.

How has Cornwall improved itself?

A range of techniques has been applied to rebrand Cornwall. These techniques all refer back to the what geographer call the ‘post-production countryside’. This means how the countryside should be used as farming declines even more.

  1. Farm diversification is the method in which farmers expand into other industries. As the industry has been in decline this method allows them to earn extra revenue for themselves and increase tourism. Lobb’s Farm Shop in Cornwall is farm which diversified into having a farm shop, tour scheme and even a visitor centre. This is now the second most visited attraction in Cornwall after the Eden Project.
  2. Rural heritage has been an important theme in many rural places it is equivalent to industrial heritage in urban areas. For example in Cornwall food has always been something of an importance so a lot of advertising has been done setting a very foodie image.
  3. The food image is something of pride to Cornwall. Jamie Oliver’s fifteen restaurants are based there and celebrity chef Rick Stein is also over there. Visitors and residents enjoy it so much that they now prefer to call Padstow, Padstein!
  4. Cornwall has also attracted visitors through arts and culture. Du Maurier festivals in May are held to attract people interested in art. Theatre, music and dance are now available at Hall for Cornwall in Truro.
  5. To prevent the brain drain of Cornwall, University College Falmouth and Exeter have joined to form the Combined Universities of Cornwall. This means that students are attracted by a wider range of courses and extra support schemes are run for those who open businesses in Cornwall. 
  6. For young tourists exciting places such as the Extreme Sports Academy at Watergate Bay have opened to attracted a more younger crowd.

How was the Docklands rebranded itself?

East London has been attracted with the stimulus the Olympic games 2012. Obviously with such a major event many flagship developments including the Olympics village and Olympics stadium. However, other developments such as Canary Wharf in Tower Hamlets have helped the town grow economically too.

The new identity of a more sporty and environmentally London has been promoted through advertising and documentaries on the development on the site. Young children are also given a chance to visit sites which are nearly done especially with London being ahead of time in this respect.

Sports has always been quite a successful catalyst. For example the 2002 Commonwealth games in Manchester really helped draw in tourists. The thing with sports that makes it such a good stimulus it leaves behind a legacy which helps provide a long-term income to an area.

Who are the key players involved in rebranding London Docklands?

  1. Local residents – their opinion are important as at the end of the day the transformation is taking place for them.
  2. Private investors– without them the process fails. They supply the most investment into an area.
  3. International Olympics committee as they decide where the Olympics is held and without them there would be no stimulus.
  4. Local Authority – they give the planning permission etc.
  5. The London Development Agency (LDA) – they are responsible for all urban development in London.
  6. Central government – they set aside money to invest in the process.
  7. Boris Johnson and TFL – they are responsible for transporting over a million people everyday and the main decisions that take place.
  8. Land owners – after all something that they own is involved.
  9. Designers, developer and engineers are the ones who have the ideas and skills to make the process happen.

Sustainability of the Docklands…

London has promised to make the Olympics as green as possible as well as leaving a sustainable legacy. Here are some things which are taking place:

  1. Brownfield sites and being gentrified and developed.
  2. Lea Valley Park is a length of greenery along the side of the river which is being developed in the run up to the olympics.
  3. Electrical Pylons are being dismantled and all wires are being placed underground.
  4. Soil which contains cyanide and mercury is just being replaced but it is being cleaned and put back into the ground which is a more time-consuming but sustainable method.
  5. 90% of the material used in the preparation of the games is supposed to be reusable material.

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.

Urban Regeneration – 2012 Olympics in east London

Urban Regeneration

These questions have been taken from the DVD film ‘Urban Regeneration – the London 2012 Olympics’ from ‘Education with vision’. 

WHY WE WON THE BID?

What does the Forman and Sons factory do?

    H Forman and Sons is a smoked salmon manufacturing firm which provides the centre of London with smoked salmon. Some of their customers include Harrods and other top London restaurants.

What does it gain from its location in east London?

Access to the city and labour!

Why is there so much manufacturing employment in east London?

East London is known as a manufacturing hub because it is exposed to cheap land, easy access to the city and labour. The land is also flat allowing factories to be built easily.

What happened to east London between the 1850s and the mid 20th century?

East London became a world centre for manufacturing in the 1850s. This was because there was a skilled workforce available, links to railway and ships and flat land. It was home to manufacturing of the textile, food, engineering, chemical industries e.g. N G Rifles. The 1900s saw an influx of migrants come in search of work and the economy of east London continued to prosper. Then from 1914 to 1918 World War 1 broke out. East London was bombed in 1917 because of WW1 leaving much destruction. Then around the 1920s, global depression hit the world due to the war and east London begun to decline. To add to this declination – further unemployment was caused by cheaper imports and automation to much of the industry in east London. From unemployment the negative multiplier hit and the area became derelict.

What were the effects of industrial growth on east London’s population?

Industrial growth attracted migrants from all over the globe. These migrants were particularly male and young. This made the population more young and diverse although there were more men then women.

Why did East London’s employment begin to decline?

I already explained about employment begun to decline from the 1914 to circa 1950s. Between the 25 year gap from 1950 to 1975 more than 40,000 jobs were lost. Eventually in the early 1980s the docks finally closed. If people had not done so, then they did it now, they migrated away.

Describe the effects of decline on east London’s population.

The migrants that had one made the town young and diverse fled. Many of the once economically active Britons fled too. This left many of the elderly who did not have the energy to flee. 

Outline what the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) achieved.

The LDDC worked for roughly 20 years. They begun regenerating the area in 1981; 25,000 new homes were built, private investment was attracted, London City Airport opened in 1987, ExCel centre was planned and eventually built, Canary Wharf helped create 82,000 jobs, the jubilee line was extended and the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) was created.

Why does Norman Turner say this was ‘not something we would ever want to repeat’?

Norman Turner, a member of Newham Borough Council, says that Canary Wharf was ‘not something we would ever want to repeat’ because it lacked social engagement and community participation. These factors are key for sustainability and the success for the locals.

What problems does east London face, compared to other areas of the city?

East London has the highest unemployment yet average salary of £100,000 in 2007. Even though the LDA (London Docklands Agency) created 100,000 new jobs the only ones on offer for locals were cleaners and security guards. The fundamental problem here is that regeneration in the past whether it be St Katherine’s Dock or Canary Wharf was done for others i.e. tourists or city worker not the locals.

What is Newham’s population like (its age, social characteristics)?

Newham has the most youngest and diverse population in the whole of London. 41% are under 24. However, it also has the highest proportion of 1 parent families hence people are not able to work and rely on benefits.

What are the main housing issues in the borough?

25% of houses in Newham are overcrowded because there is a lack of affordable housing. 

What environmental problems does the borough face?

Newham faces many environmental problems some include; illegal dumping in Lea Valley, litter from food packaging, contaminated soil and toxic waste left all over the borough.

What will the Olympics do about these?

The hope is with the 2012 Olympics planes, land will be decontaminated, brownfield sites will be revitalised and sustainable legacy will form.

ECONOMIC REGENERATION

What evidence is given that businesses were doing well before the Olympic bid?

Before the Olympic bid there was much evidence that businesses were doing well. The area was already regenerating and there were plans to build a mega shopping mall called ‘Stratford city’ in 2007.However, this was put off in 2005 when London won the Olympic bid. One of the ways in which the area has already started attracted private investment – it was offering grants for businesses to locate there. For example H Forman and Sons were given a grant to locate there in the first place.

What is ‘Stratford city’? How did the Olympics change what was to happen there?

Stratford city was the planned shopping centre that was going to open in 2007. After the Olympics this site is now used for the Olympics venue. 

What does the Olympic park consist of?

Eurostar airport (Stratford City), Aquatic centre, Stadium, Olympic Village  – housing etc and a Velodrum.

H Forman and other companies aren’t happy about the Olympics. Why is this?

This is because they believe they area was already regenerating with grant assistance etc. Therefore, they firstly don’t believe the benefits of the Olympics will out weight the costs. In addition, H Forman is 1 of 250 companies being demolished to make way for the new park. They are being told to relocate. However, the Olympics has caused value in land price hence making it difficult to move somewhere close by and if they move far on cheap land then it will make it harder for workers to come in (travel disruption).

How have companies been persuaded to move out of the Olympic park area?What have been the good and bad points about this?

They have been told that the influx of private investment into the area will help their business prosper. Each company has also been given financial help to relocate. Some say the difficulties that firms still face to relocate (due to high land prices) is having an adverse effect on Newham’s economy. Authorities are still doing their best they have even cut down the size of the park.  Overall, the net increase in jobs is immense hence the business we feel sorry to say bye to now is insignificant compared to the promised economic success to the area.

SOCIAL REGENERATION

In what ways are the people of east London worse off than others in the city?

They are having to relocate their homes and jobs and there is possibility they may never be able to live there again! 

What is Clays Lane like? What is to be built there? Why is this so controversial?

Clays Lane is ‘affordable housing’ and is home to 450 people. It doesn’t look particularly attractive but it helps provide good quality housing for those who are in the low income bracket.The new Olympics housing is now being built there. This is controversial because to a certain it is like St. Katherine’s  Dock where regeneration did not happen for the local community.  Also, in Sydney similar housing was said to be built for the Olympics and then passed onto locals however because the government ran out of money they had to sell all the housing off to private investors and locals are worried this might happen again.

What difficulties do local people face at Clays Lane?

Finding social housing in nearby areas so that they can still reach their job and this is not easy as not much housing nearby is social housing and there is a huge demand.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGENERATION

What is the ‘Lea Valley Regional Park Authority’? What was its aim?

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority  is a statutory body responsible for managing and developing the 26 mile long Lee Valley Regional Park. It aims to regenerate this derelict area of land to high quality public open space and wildlife habitats as well as preserving historical value. 

What is wrong with some parts of the Lea Valley now?

Many parts of the Lea Valley are heavily polluted and used as dumping grounds. The river also used to flood often before the Thames Flood Barrier was constructed.

How will the Olympics help to improve the Lea Valley?

It has given the authority a new opportunity to continue develop the park in a faster way. It has also been given funding to the authority for the regeneration of the river and park.

What is happening to the electricity pylons in the Olympic area? Why? The Olympics will create a huge ‘carbon footprint’. What does this mean?

There are many electrical pylons in Newham in preparation of the Olympics they are being dismantled and wires are being placed underground. This is quite an expensive procedure. Many suggest the Olympics will create a huge ‘carbon footprint’, this means the Olympics will create a huge emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

What is happening to wildlife in the area? Why?

Wildlife e.g. newts are being collected and relocated onto the new site. This is to prevent any harm to wildlife in this regeneration process.

What is happening to the contaminated soil?

Soil in this area is contaminated it contains chemicals such as Mercury and cyanide. Rather than replacing the soil, the soil is being cleaned and put back onto the ground which is being landscaped. They are flattening the land to make it look natural.

What is happening to the building rubble produced?

Much of the building rubble produced is being recycled and reused. 90% of materials being used in this project are from sustainable sources e.g. they are recycled materials.

What does the term ‘legacy’ mean concerning the Olympics?

Legacy is what the Olympics leaves behind e.g. jobs, sporting facilities, new environments etc.

A  SUSTAINABLE LEGACY?

Who are ‘Streets of Growth’?

An organisation that encourage young people to create their own cohesive solutions, instead of their own socially isolating problems.

What are they trying to achieve?

They are trying to get the local community especially young people involved in the regeneration of Newham and Tower Hamlets.

What does the phrase ‘the Games will only be a lasting success if people have a chance’ mean about east London?

This means that unless you involve local people then they the so called benefits we hope to see after the Games will not be achieved because people will not care or put effort to make this happen as they feel they weren’t given a pay so why should they bother.

New Year – New Resolutions – New You : Why I love January

For many January is a miserable month; the weather is grey (London based), longer wait till payday and most people are doing dry January!

However, for me I love January, it is my favourite month of the year (bar September – as that is my birthday month!). I love January because it is a month of hope, fresh starts and health kicks!

New Year: Hope

New year offers a time when we can start to make serious plans such as travel plans or career ideas. It is not that you cannot do this at any other point in time, January just provides a good framework of the next 12 months to make these plans. Some of the things I hope to achieve and have started making plans include visiting Iceland & Scotland and doing a 5k race!

New Resolutions: Fresh Start

Over the year it appears less and less people embark on setting new year’s resolutions with the most commonly cited reason is that they don’t normally stick to them and/or there is no area in their wheel of life that needs resolving. Personally I love new year’s resolutions and after many years of not fulfilling them, I have been able to keep mine in the last few years.

The first key thing is to think of resolutions less like resolutions i.e. a solution a problem and more as intentions. Setting intentions is saying what you intend to do and ties into the first theme of new year, hope (what is it you would like to achieve in the next 12 months?). This also explains why you don’t necessary need to have an area of life or a problem you are seeking to resolve to set a new year’s resolution or intention.

So if you are not resolving any particular area; what kind of intentions do you set? I think it boils down to lifestyle. It is important to (a) recognise the lifestyle you live from what job you do to what you eat for breakfast and (b) have a think if there is any part of your lifestyle you would like to be different, or aspire to be different. By doing this it will become clear what kind of intentions it would be a good to set. The other great thing from doing this will be you will see these changes/additions as a lifestyle rather than a specific goal which can be easy to give up on forget about once achieved. For example, lots of people start the new year saying they want to be healthy/lose weight. This is evident from the fact it is almost impossible to book gym classes between Jan-March. However, what happens? Why does it suddenly quietened down at the gym? The problem is that most people do not see health-related aspirations as lifestyle choices. They might want to give up chocolate, however, once done for 6 months think the goal is goal, or they give into craving and again the resolution is suddenly dead and gone. However, if you envisage an intention to live a healthy lifestyle, there is no end date, there is no harm in having a chocolate every so often. You end up living quite a balanced lifestyle with ups and downs throughout the year and cut down on chocolate naturally!

This is why I love to set new year’s resolutions or as I call them “intentions”; they are a good way of improving your lifestyle to a way you aspire to and by thinking of them as a lifestyle choice it becomes much easier to maintain them all year round.

New You: Health Kick

As someone that enjoys keeping up to date with health trends, gymming and learning about wellness: I love this time of year! It is great to see everyone on such a health kick, learn about new things people are doing and many retailers have offers relating to health & fitness.

So although the long wait until payday, the constant bleak sky and sudden decrease in social events, I love January. It is a wonderful time to work on you! Don’t miss this opportunity to start making plans for 2017!