East x South East: Local research in Poplar, Stratford and Thamesmead

This report analyses how Poplar, Thamesmead and Stratford have each changed and will continue to change, in order to outline the diversity and unique levelling up needs of East and South East London.

The UK has seen enormous change over the past four decades, with many regions transformed by infrastructural development, social change and investment in public services. In London, the turn of the millennium brought a large amount of change for the East and South East of the capital in particular, arguably most clearly demonstrated by developments surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games.

To illustrate the scale of these changes as well as how varied East and South East London are, our report looks at three areas in particular – Poplar, Thamesmead and Stratford – to see how they have each changed since 2000. Through data analysis and local stakeholder interviews, we identify the areas of residents’ lives which have changed the most and least so far, and also look ahead to what residents would like to see happen in their areas in the coming decades.

Key conclusions

  • Improvements in public transport are needed for regeneration, although transport infrastructure on its own is not enough – quality of local services, access to amenities and a sense of community are also crucial.
  • Community involvement in regeneration must be realistic in order to be meaningful – Future economic and housing developments must benefit local people and directly engage resident communities.
  • London is hugely varied and has its own levelling up challenges – The major differences in economic and social outcomes within the three London neighbourhoods studied highlight the limitations of the government’s geographical approach to levelling up, which lacks recognition of poverty and inequality in the capital.

This report was produced as a partnership between Queen Mary University of London and Centre for London, and was initially presented at our East x South East Conference in March 2022. You can watch the full presentation of the findings here.

Research Partner

This research was produced in partnership with