Geographical Association

Join the GA

The leading subject association for all teachers of geography

London 2012 fieldwork ideas

| More

London 2012 - a great opportunity for geography fieldwork

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games may be over, but the opportunities for fieldwork in east London are still there. Indeed, as the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens up over the next couple of years, the opportunities will grow.

For geography teachers, it's a chance to teach about the whole raft of changes brought to London by extensive urban regeneration, the impact on local communities and sustainable development. Can all those promises made for the Olympics be delivered? Was it really the greenest Games ever? And who were the real winners and losers?

There's no need to wait for the Park to open. You can conduct your own fieldwork now around Stratford, Westfield Stratford City, Hackney Wick, Fish Island and beyond. Remember, Docklands, the world's largest regeneration project to date, is only two miles away.

If you're interested in arranging a guided visit contact local experts Urban Geography East London or Field Studies Council (FSC) London who lead a variety of one-day fieldwork programmes for KS3 to A-level.

On this page you'll find background information about four different areas together with maps, fieldwork survey sheets and links to further resources. We've also prepared a Risk Assessment sheet which you can adapt to your own needs.

Risk Assessment (53k)

note: this file requires Microsoft Word.

Stratford, Stratford New Town and Westfield

Westfield

Stratford forms part of the London Borough of Newham and is adjacent to the Olympic Park. It is currently experiencing widespread regeneration linked to the 2012 Games including the huge mixed-use Stratford City development which will ultimately incorporate shops, offices, housing and the new Westfield Centre.

Stratford's Westfield Centre opened on 13 September 2011 and is the core of economic regeneration in Stratford. It is one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe covering a shopping area of 176,000 sq m. It is owned by The Westfield Group, an Australian property development company.

Within the main shopping complex, 80% of the 300 stores are upmarket fashion outlets specialising in luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. Mainstream chain stores include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Next and Waitrose, bringing luxury goods, high street and supermarket functions to one location.

Westfield offers more than shopping and also includes:

  • More than 70 restaurants/food shops and a multiplex cinema. Fast-food outlets include everything from KFC and McDonald's onwards.
  • 120,000 sq m of hotel space.
  • 640,000 sq m of commercial space, half the size of Canary Wharf!

Fieldwork purpose

  1. To assess East London in its wider geographical context and its economic potential post-Olympics, particularly the transport and commercial infrastructure in Stratford
  2. To evaluate how far this is likely to be a sustainable regeneration
  3. To assess the feelings of local people about the regeneration of Stratford including the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Don't carry out a perception survey within the Westfield Centre without obtaining permission

Resources

Walking route around Stratford (PDF, 687k)
Stratford survey sheets (Word, 99k)
Identifying Olympic Park Locations Activity (PDF, 674k)
Stratford City aerial photo
Olympic Park Photosynth - shows Canary Wharf, Aquatic Centre, Orbit and Westfield
Olympic Park booklet and map
Google Map of Stratford and the Olympic Park
Google Earth Olympic Park overlay
London Borough of Newham London 2012 website
'Olympic Park to share EastEnders' Walford E20 postcode' (BBC)
'Welcome to London 2012. But first take a walk through the shopping centre' (Guardian)
'Stratford's Westfield shopping mall chiefs pin hopes on euro tourists' (Guardian)

Hackney Wick, Fish Island and Western Olympic Park

Hackney Wick

Exploring this part of East London will provide a great overview of the economic basis of the regeneration as you walk along the canalside and then along the Greenway (built on Bazalgette's Northern Outfall Sewer!) between Hackney Wick and The ViewTube.

Hackney Wick and Fish Island border the western side of the new Olympic Park, separated only by the River Lee Navigation canal. Formerly industrial areas, Hackney Wick and Fish Island have recently seen an influx of artists and young professionals moving further east for cheaper rents. Evidence of decline and gentrification is everywhere and the potential for further redevelopment before and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games is huge.

The development of these areas has not been without controversy however, with the (temporary) demolition of the historic Manor Garden Allotments causing widespread anger. Many residents are concerned about the future of the area as a whole, particularly whether they will be forced out by increasing rents and if Hackney Wick's character will be eradicated by soulless office and apartment blocks. The lasting legacy of the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC) has also been called into question.

Fieldwork purpose

  1. To assess the impacts of 2012 on the western Olympic Park and its economic potential, particularly the legacy of buildings e.g. the Media Centre
  2. To evaluate how far the changes brought by 2012 represent a sustainable regeneration

Resources

Walking route around Hackney Wick and Fish Island (PDF, 670k)
Hackney Wick and Fish Island survey sheets (Word, 77k)
Google Map of Hackney Wick and Fish Island
International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC)
London Borough of Hackney - Hackney Wick Area Action Plan
Hackney Wick Blog - news and opinion written by local residents
'2012 Olympics challenge: Hackney battles to preserve its edginess' (Guardian)
'How power, money and art are shifting to the East End' (Guardian)
'Olympic stories: Hackney Wick' (Guardian video)
'Olympic Park: long office block and upmarket shed for rent' (Guardian)

The View Tube

View from the View Tube

The View Tube is a social enterprise and community venue built out of recycled shipping containers. Its location on The Greenway to the south of the Olympic Park offers panoramic views of the main stadium, the Aquatic Centre and Stratford City.

The first floor classroom operated by the Field Studies Council (FSC) and London Wildlife Trust has a private viewing platform and space for 35 students and accompanying staff. The FSC runs a range of two-hour education sessions on geographical topics including sustainability, the legacy of the Games and changes in the local area. You can also hire the classroom if you'd prefer to lead your own session.

GA members get a FREE View Tube visit with any FSC residential course booking.

An alternative viewing area is the Olympic Park Viewing Gallery (OVPG) to the east of the Olympic Park. Although special hire rates are available for schools, please bear in mind that the gallery is in a residential building and can only accommodate a maximum of 20 people.

Fieldwork purpose

  1. To see the new stadium.
  2. To assess the current environmental quality of the sites around the Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Centre.
  3. To assess the potential legacy of the different venues and developments such as the Aquatic Stadium.

Resources

Map of the View Tube and key Olympic Park locations (PDF, 836k)
View from the View Tube notes sheet (Word, 23k)
Google Map of the View Tube
Google Earth Olympic Park overlay
The View Tube website
The View Tube Learning website
Olympic Park booklet and map
Interactive Olympic Park venues map
Olympic Park Photosynth - shows Canary Wharf, Aquatic Centre, Orbit and Westfield
Olympic Park Legacy Company
Interactive map of sports venues, green space, transport and development areas
'In pictures: Venues shaping up for 2012'
(BBC)
The ArcelorMittal Orbit (Wikipedia)

Isle of Dogs - Canary Wharf, Cubitt Town and Millwall

Isle of Dogs

The Isle of Dogs was, until 1980, mainly dockworkers' housing. Much of the area was bombed in World War II and rebuilding mainly consisted of large estates. Some clearance in the 1960s resulted in a large number of high-rise blocks.

The 1980s and 90s regeneration, under the London Docklands Development Corporation, created large areas of new housing. Most of the former housing remained and the main change took place along the river where there had been docks, wharves and warehouses until the docks closed in 1980.

Further change resulted from the 'Right to Buy' scheme under Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s. Many former council houses were bought by people living in them which reduced the amount of public housing available in the area. This, and the creation of waterside flats, has created a two-tier Isle of Dogs:

  • Areas of upmarket, expensive apartment blocks that line the river and former dockside (as in Millwall).
  • Inland, away from the river, estates that have undergone regeneration with many still in the hands of housing associations for low income groups.

The Isle of Dogs is also the location of one of London's two main financial districts, Canary Wharf, which boasts some of the city's tallest buildings and is home to many global corporations, banks and media organisations. A short video charting the development of Canary Wharf is available in the BBC's Britain from Above archive.

Fieldwork purpose

  1. To assess change in housing brought by the Docklands regeneration.
  2. To see 'who's there' in the Isle of Dogs / Canary Wharf and why.
  3. To get a sense of what the Docklands commercial regeneration was like from the 1980s and 1990s

Don't carry out a perception survey within the retail areas without obtaining permission

Resources

Ordnance Survey map of the Isle of Dogs (PDF, 713k)
Isle of Dogs survey sheets (Word, 108k)
Millwall Census Data 2001 (PDF, 15k)
London 2012 Olympic Park - Canary Wharf - fieldwork resources from the RGS-IBG
GeoBytesGCSE: Inner Cities Case Study - Regeneration of the London Docklands
History of the London Docklands Development Corporation
BBC Britain from Above - Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf Group PLC
Docklands Information & Services


<<< back to London 2012 menu

The Isle of Dogs was, until 1980, mainly dockworkers housing.

Much of the area was bombed in the Second World War, and

rebuilding consisted largely of large estates. Some clearance

in the 1960s resulted in large number of high-rise blocks.

 

The 1980s and 90s regeneration, under the London Docklands

Development Corporation, created large areas of new housing.

Most of the former housing remained, and the main change

Text Box: 5took place along the river, where there had been docks,

wharves, and warehouses, until the docks closed in 1980.



Text Box: 6
 

Further change resulted from the ‘Right to Buy’ under Margaret

Thatcher’s government in the 1980s. Many former council houses

were bought by people living in them, which reduced the

amount of public housing available in the area. This, and the

creation of waterside flats, has created a two-tier Isle of Dogs:

·         areas of up-market, expensive apartment blocks

      that line the river and former dockside (as in Millwall)

·         inland, away from the river, estates which have

      undergone regeneration, with many still in the hands

      of housing associations for low income groups.

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in!   Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.

GA members can add a profile picture and their comments appear instantly

Join the GA

Please complete all fields

1 Comment

Guest

sarah collins

Guest

17:27 - 15/11/12

this is brill thank you have helped and i am arranging a field trip but i did not know where to go so thank you
Sarahxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Page Tags

Fieldwork Sport

Journals - Free Access for GA Members

The Autumn 2014 issue of Primary Geography focuses on geography out of the classroom.

The Autumn 2014 Teaching Geography focuses on teaching about places.

The Autumn 2014 issue of Geography

Online Shop - Up to 30% Discount for all GA Members

KS3 Geography Teachers’ Toolkit. Introducing India: What ar..

£18.99 / £13.99 *

Add to basket

KS3 Geography Teachers’ Toolkit. The Role of Stones: How do ..

£18.99 / £13.99 *

Add to basket

Collins Junior World Atlas (Third edition)

£9.99 / £8.99 *

Add to basket

Global Energy Security (DVD)

£61.99 / £50.99 *

Add to basket

Debating Energy Futures: Coal, Gas and Nuclear (DVD)

£61.99 / £50.99 *

Add to basket
<-- -->

Your shopping basket is empty.

Items in basket 0

Basket Total £0.00

View/Edit Basket

* Applies to Full Personal, Group and
Concessionary members only

Resource Finder

Enter a keyword below or click 'advanced search' for more options


Advanced Search





Resources section
  • Find out more
  • Visit the Fourth Global Conference on Economic Geography 2015 homepage
  • Advertisement: Earthworks-Jobs.com
  • Visit the Discover the World website for geography resources

© Copyright The Geographical Association 2013

Charity No: 1135148 Company No: 07139068

Website design and development by Ledgard Jepson