East London is a term referring to part of London, in effect the part east of the City of London - notably the area where the docks and the poorer districts traditionally were, and parts of which are now going upmarket.
The current official definition is that East London includes the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest. East London should not be confused with the E postcode area, which is a coding for the postal services and is not intended to provide any official definition of East London or other areas of London.
The East End of London is a subset of East London, corresponding to areas closer to the ancient City.
The early development of London eastward was caused by the expansion of industries associated with the River Thames, such as ship building and the docks. Because these industries declined in the later part of the 20th century, East London is now an area of regeneration. In the London Docklands this has reached advanced stages, but in the sections of East London that are within the Thames Gateway it is continuing, such as the redevelopment in Stratford associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Areas further east developed in the Victorian and Edwardian eras following the expansion of the railways in the 19th century. Development of suburban houses for private sale was later matched by the provision of large scale social housing at Becontree in the 1920s and Harold Hill after the Second World War. However, the urban footprint was constrained in 1878 by the protection of Epping Forest and later the implementation of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The density of development increased during the wikipedia:interwar period and new industries developed such as Ford at Dagenham. In Tower Hamlets the population peaked in 1891 and growth was restricted to the outer boroughs. By 1971 the population had peaked in every borough and the entire area was experiencing population decline. By the time of the 2011 census this had reversed and every borough had experienced some growth in population.
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