Urban dereliction was a growing problem as industrial restructuring and technological changes led to the abandonment of many inner city industrial premises, railway yards and docklands. Nationally, the first major development in 'urban' policy came in 1968 when the Government was forced to respond to social unrest caused by poor race relations and growing urban inequalities by establishing the 'Urban Programme'. In Liverpool the programme was taken up with some vigour and by 1974 more than 50 projects had been completed or were under way across the inner areas. Sandwiched between Everton and the industrial areas behind the north docks lies Vauxhall, the most deprived inner city residential ward in the country. Shelter had been established in 1966 and by the late sixties felt the need to move beyond campaigning to develop an action-research project in order to learn more about the causes of and solutions to housing deprivation. Area regeneration and environmental action provided the initial focus for action.