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Geography A Case Study of Tourism in an LEDC - Kenya
Where is Kenya?
Kenya is located in East Africa, its capital city is Nairobi and it has a population of approximately 30 million people.
Why visit Kenya?
- it has an attractive climate (tropical) with sunshine all year round, hot and
humid at the coast; temperate inland and dry in the NE (rainy season - April-
June and Oct-Dec, heavy rainfall in the afternoon and early evening)
- Safari holidays are popular - e.g. in the Maasai Mara / Nakuru National
Park - Kenya has spectacular wildlife - including the big 5 - Lion, Elephant,
Rhinoceros, Leopard and Buffalo
- Cultural experience - many tourists visit local tribes such as the Maasai to
find out more about their lifestyle and traditions
- Coastal Holidays - SE of Kenya has fine sands and coral reefs with
spectacular marine life - e.g. Mombassa
Why have numbers of tourists visiting Kenya increased?
- Kenya was one of the first LEDC countries to
acheive mass tourism and in the 1970s and 1980s there was a rapid increase
in the numbers of tourists, particularly following the release of the films Born
Free and Out of Africa.
- Tourist numbers have also increased as larger aircraft in the 1980s brought
prices of air travel down.
Advantages of Tourism to Kenya:
- Tourism encourages the building of new roads and better
- Jobs in tourism have helped develop people's business skills
- Tourism has created all year round jobs for Kenyans
- Tourism is Kenya's biggest earner of foreign exchange
-Tourism has stimulated farming, by creating a demand for local food from
- National Parks have been created - encouraging people to protect the
Disadvantages of Tourism for Kenya:
- there is leakage of income - with a lot of the
money paid for holidays never actually reaching Kenya (travel companies and
foreign owned hotels get it instead)
- Safari minibuses disturb animals - often getting too close (e.g. can be 30-
40 buses around a single animal in the Maasai Mara), they also cause soil
erosion as the wheels churn up the grass
- many Maasai are traditionally nomadic, but many have been forced out of
the National Parks - losing their land and also losing their traditional
- Hot air balloons in parks disturb animals - by casting shadows and from
the noise of the burners.
- Coastal Environments such as those in Mombassa have been damaged -
e.g. destruction of coral reefs as tourists step on the coral and also take
- Drugs and crime has increased and AIDS is a major problem
Working towards sustainable tourism in Kenya - KIGO CONSERVANCY - An example of ECOTOURISM.
Kigio Conservancy was set up in 1997 on an old beef / dairy ranch with the aim of providing a wildlife sanctuary and a sustainable eco-tourism destination.
The accommodation at Kigio is in "cottages" built of mud, timber and thatch, using local
and reclaimed materials and methods. The furniture is built from re-claimed timber from
the ground and there is no electricity, oil lamps are instead used.
Kigio has a number of ecotourism activities it is involved in:
- partnerships with local communities - helping to fund and work on
- provides links with local schools with schools in the UK, raising money for
new classrooms and other projects (e.g. water tanks)
- partnerships with conservation organisations such as the Tusk Trust - which
has involved setting up conservation centre for use by local schools and
providing sustainable development education for local communities
- employees local people - e.g. guides and other workers
- conservation activities - e.g. looking after orphaned wildlife - e.g. 2003
relocation of giraffe into the area - including a baby giraffe from the Karen
Blixen Giraffe Orphange in Nairobi.
A Case Study of Tourism in an MEDC - Menorca
Menorca is the second largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean
Sea. It has a population of 67,000 and it has a total land area of 702km2.
Reasons why people visit Menorca:
- Mediterranean Climate - average temperature of 16oC with an average of
24oC in the summer months and little rainfall in the summer
- Menorca has a beautiul and varied landscape - Northern Menorca has an
uneven and rugged coastline and in the south there are many white sandy
- There are a wide range of watersports available (windsurfing; water skiing,
- Other outdoor activities include horse riding, cycling and potholing.
What are the advantages of tourism to Menorca?
- Job creation - tourism is the largest employer in
- tourism has had a multiplier effect and helps to support many different
sectors of the economy e.g. jobs in farming (providing food for hotels and
cafes), jobs in the craft industry (providing locally made souvenirs) and it is
recognised that ice-cream is a major business
- tourism in Menorca has also raised awareness of the need to preserve
What are the disadvantages of tourism to Menorca?
- as tourism is very much a seasonal industry - employment fluctuates at
different times of the year
- the demands of the tourists have led to changes in the local way of life
and there is also resentment of the number of villas and other properties
being bought up as second homes by foreigners
- some of the earliest hotels which were built did not fit in with the local
landscape and contrast dramatically against the beauty of the natural
- the local culture has suffered some 'erosion' as changes have been
made to meet the demands of tourists
Working towards more sustainable tourism in Menorca
In recognition of the importance of tourism to Menorca, as well as the importance of
protecting the natural landscape which attracts tourists in the first place there have been increasing attempts in Menorca to make tourism more sustainable. These attempts include:
- the UN have declared the island a Biosphere Reserve with the aim of
continuing to profit from tourism in Menorca whilst also protecting the island
- as part of the Biosphere - urban development has been controlled and
beaches have been managed
- endangered species have been protected
- education programmes have been adopted in schools to raise
-tight planning controls have been implemented on the island restricting the
growth of multi-storey hotels within 250km of the coastline to conserve the
natural beauty of the landscape.
- government attempts to protect the impact on the local culture includes
ensuring that all signage is in the traditional Menorqui language.
Case Study of a Distribution Industry - Argos Distribution Centre, Stafford
What needs to be considered in the location of a distribution centre?
The operating costs and customer service will
be very important in influencing the location of a new distribution centre and the new
location must be considered in relation to its suppliers (transport networks) and
promixity to its customers location (this will determine response time)
Therefore things to consider will be:
Access to Motorways
Adequacy of surrounding infrastructure for the transport of goods in and out
Availability of workers and labour costs
CASE STUDY: ARGOS DISTRIBUTION CENTRE
The map opposite shows the location of the distribution centre. Why then did Argos choose to locate at this site?
- Easy access to the motorway and main access roads for the transport of
goods and access for workers
- The central location of the site in the Midlands means that drivers can have
easy access to Argos's regional bases and drive through the night without
exceeding their permitted number of work hours.
- Large, flat greenfield site, providing plenty of room for storage (essential for
a distribution industry dealing with large volumes of stock), as well as
transport and office facilities - A plentiful labour supply from nearby Stafford.
Case Study - Manufacturing Industry - The Whitbread Brewery
Traditionally all beer was brewed in local market towns on a
small scale as it was bulky and expensive to move around. Today the trend is for large
'jumbo' breweries, but they are still market orientated (i.e. locate close to major
What influences the choice of location for the brewing industry?
Raw materials required - malt; water; sugar; hops and yeast
The raw material needed in the largest quantity is water, but this is not
significant to the location of the brewing industry as it is possible to source
water either through the main system or by digging a borehole.
Hops and Malt are also easily available and for a reasonable price (transport
costs are relatively low)
The costs of transporting the raw materials are therefore far less than the
costs of transporting the beer to market
Therefore the brewing industry (market-orientated) tends to locate as close to
the market as possible.
CASE STUDY: WHITBREAD BREWERY, Luton
Where was the original location of the brewery?
originally opened in London in 1796
in 1960s it needed a vast brewery to supply the large market area - the urban
location of London meant that there was no room for expansion and transport
costs to the rest of the South and East were expensive.
Where did the Brewery locate to and why?
A new "jumbo" brewery was built at Leagrave in Luton in 1976 - this site was chosen because:
it was the optimum least cost site for the market
very close to London and major towns
well placed for the SE England and W Midlands market
industrial land was available in the area
plenty of water was available from the boreholes in the Chiltern Hills
Raw materials could be transported easily by road
500 workers - skilled and local were available due to the closure of a small
brewery at the time.
The Green Revolution
In the 1960s, there was concern from the Indian government that the country would not be able to grow enough food to support the ever increasing population, so they put into place what was called the 'Green Revolution'. The idea of the 'Green Revolution' was to use technology to increase food output and as a result, over the last 50 years a series of changes have taken place in farming in India with the introduction of more 'Western-type' farming techniques.
What changes in farming in India did the Green Revolution bring about?1. LAND REFORM
The problem: Efficient farming was difficult in India due to the many small farms (75% less than 3ha), which had become a product of the 'Laws of Divided Inheritance' (with farms being split between the sons of the farmer on his death), many of the poor didn't even own land, whereas large amounts of land were owned by a few rich land owners
The GR (Green Revolution) solution: Land Reform - aimed to increase farm size, setting a limit on the amount of land the more wealthy could own and redistributing surplus land to those without.
2. HIGH YIELDING VARIETIES
The problem: existing rice varities, grew rapidly but very tall so fell over easily and had to be grown quite far apart.
The GR solution: money provided by MEDCs such as the UK, USA etc. enabled new high yielding varities of rice to be developed - resulting in the development of a new rice plant known as IR8. This was shorter and stronger; could be planted much closer together, enabling more crop per area; had a shorter growing season and produced almost 3-4 times as much yield per hectare.
The problem: rice growing is labour intensive, with many jobs to be done requiring
great human input
The GR solution: technology such as tractors and mechanised ploughs were
introduced from MEDCs, replacing water buffalo and increasing efficiency, reducing the
required human input.
Other changes brought about by the Green Revolution:
(i) - Irrigation schemes, including the introduction of electric / diesel pumps to help
ensure a more steady and reliable source of water for the new type of HYVs and large
scale projects such as the Narmada River Project (a series of dams built to help provide
water for irrigation of the land)(ii) As the introduction of tractors and other 'Western' style technology was not as successful as first hoped, Alternative, 'Appropriate Technology' has been introduced which is suited to the local people's wealth, skills and knowledge. e.g low cost irrigation schemes
What were the successes of the Green Revolution?
(i) Those that could afford the new Hybrid seeds, technology etc. saw an increase of 300% in crop yields;
(ii) The overall increase in food production helped to feed the ever increasing poulation with India becoming largely self-sufficient
(iii) Increased output overall meant that some subsistence farmers had a surplus which they were also able to sell, helping to raise living standards further. Money raised in this was was also reinvested into the farm, helping with the costs of machinery etc. or to buy more land
(iv) Areas in which the Green Revolution was successful became richer and more money was available for investment in schools, clinics, industry etc.
What were the failures of the Green Revolution?
(i) Unfortunately for many farmers the cost of machinery was too much and they simply couldn't afford it, as well as the high initial outlay, money was also required for fuel and repair.
(ii) Many very poor farmers, were tenant farmers, with little money to buy even the new
seeds or fertiliser that was required.
(iii) New irrigation schemes were required to provide the reliable source of water
required by the HYVs (High Yielding Varieties of rice). As well as being expensive, in
some cases where inappropriate schemes were used salinisation became a problem.
Dam construction in some areas also resulted in the flooding of some good farming
(iv) The large amounts of fertilisers and pesticides required by the HYVs also led to
serious environmental problems as they entered water supplies
(v) In areas where there was an increase in mechanisation, there was an increase in
unemployment with fewer people needed to do the jobs that were now done using
(vi) The consequent increase in unemployment in rural areas led to an increase in rural-
urban migration with more people moving to the cities, causing urban problems
(vii) Many farmers who had tried to take on the new technologies became heavily in
debt, leading to increase stress and in some instances suicide.
Green Revolution - the introduction of changes in farming in India since the
1960s, using new technologies to increase farming output
HYVs - New 'High Yielding Varities' of rice designed to increase output
Appropriate Technology - that which is economically and environmentally
sustainable meeting the needs of the people in relation to their wealth, skills
Case Study of Subsistence Farming - Rice Farming in India
Why Rice Farming in India?
1. CLIMATE - the Monsoon climate stays above 21oC with a long wet season, plenty of moisture available for growth, followed by dry, sunny weather which is ideal for ripening and the harvest
2. HUGE DEMAND - Rice is the staple food of 65% of the population of India and forms 90% of the total diet. India is indeed the world's second largest rice producer, producing 20% of the world's total)
3. FLAT LAND - ideal for paddy fields as it stops water draining away, allowing rice to grow in it
4. FERTILE SOILS - increases productivity and good crops are grown
5. WATER SUPPLY - plentiful water usually available due to the monsoon climate
6. LARGE LABOUR FORCE - rice farming is labour intensive and provides direct employment to about 70% of the working people in India where large numbers of workers are available.
What are the characteristics of the rice farms in India?
- many farms are very small (may only be one hectare - size of a football pitch)
- consequently rice farming is intensive, with large amounts of inputs compared to the size of the actual farm
- due to the small farm size and the poverty, often there is little no mechanisation and the farms are labour intensive (e.g. preparation of fields, planting, weeding etc.)
- the farmers are subsistence farmers - although they may sell what little surplus they might have and many poor farmers are only tenants as opposed to land owners.
Changes to the Rice Farming System:
- Natural disasters may severely affect farms - e.g. Typhoon Damage in October 1998
- Use of hybrid rice requires fertilisers and pesticides – expensive and can lead to health
- the characteristics of rice farms have also changed dramatically due to the Green
Changes in Farming in the UK
After World War II the government launched
a campaign to increase agricultural production to try and solve the problems of food
shortages and eliminate the need for rationing that had occured during the war. The aim
was quite simply to make the UK self-sufficient. As part of the government drive to
increase farm production and efficiency, in 1973 the UK joined the Common Market
(now known as the European Union) and adopted what was known as the Common
The aims of the Common Agricultural Policy:
1. Stabilise markets, creating a single market in which the free movement of agricultural
products could take place
2. Increase self-sufficiency by restricting imports and giving preference to produce from
the European Union.
3. increase average field and farm size as well as to increase profit for farmers
4. Increase agricultural production by guaranteed prices for farmers
3 main policies were used to achieve the aims above, these were:
1. Subsidies and Grants - money was given to support farmers by supplmenting their
income, in the form of subsidies. Grants were also given to enable farmers to fund
schemes to increase production
2. Tarrifs (Import Taxes) - import taxes were used to restrict imports and therefore
stimulate the market for products from the EU, further encouraging increased
3. Guaranteed Prices - regardless of world market prices, CAP ensured that farmers
were guaranteed a fixed price for what they produced
By the mid-1980s, the Common Agricultural Policy had been so successful that over-
production had become a problem with large surpluses of produce resulting in 'grain
mountains'. A number of changes were made to CAP to try and control the problem of
over-production, these included:
1. QUOTAS - these involved setting amounts for how much milk or crops could be
produced. If farms exceeded these amounts then they were fined.
2. SET-ASIDE - the European Union funded set-aside in order to reduce the problems
of surplus. This is where farmers were paid not to farm some of their land which would
for example be left fallow or used for non-agricultural purposes. In 1995, due to the EU
shortage of vegetable oil, farmers were paid a high subsidy of £445 per hectare for
planting oilseed rape.
3. DIVERSIFICATION - farmers were encouraged to move into other areas of business
to make money, this included PYO (Pick Your Own), Farm Shops, Bed and Breakfast,
Renting out land etc.
Overall in response to the Common Agricutural Policy and the drive to increase
agricultural production since World War II, there have been a number of key
changes in arable farming in East Anglia over the last 50 years:
Key changes in Farming in East Anglia since 1950:
1. AGRIBUSINESS - farming has become large scale and 'capital intensive', now often
run by large companies as opposed to being owned by individual farmers. These
agribusiness companies use hi-technology and agrochemicals to maximise yields and
2. FIELD SIZE & MECHANISATION - hedgerows have been removed to increase field
size to increase production and also to enable machinery such as tractors, combine
harvesters etc. to be used more efficiently.
3. LAND RECLAMATION - land, previously not used for agricultural production has
been reclaimed in order to provide more opportunities for agricultural land-use. This has
involved clearing woodlands, draining marshlands and fertilising sandy soils.
4. IMPROVED BUILDINGS - specialised buildings are now constructed, including
temperature controlled storage sheds for drying grain and keeping harvested crops at
5. CHEMICALS - there has been an increasing use of fertilisers to support new hybrid
seeds and to increase yields, by allowing crops to continually be grown in the same
fields without the need for crop rotation. There has also been an increase in the use of
pesticides and herbicides.
6. DIVERSIFICATION - increasingly farmland is being used for other purposes such as
camping, Bed and Breakfast facilities etc.
Environmental Issues resulting from changes in farming:
As a result of the changes above, there has been an increasing environmental impact,
(i) - almost 50% of the UKs hedgerows were removed between 1945-1990 resulting in
the removal of important habitats, resulting in a decline in farm bird populations such as
the skylark and corn bunting. Removal of the hedgerows has also resulted in increased
soil erosion as there are no longer hedgerows to act as windbreaks.
(ii) the increase in use of pesticides and herbicides has increased water pollution as
they are washed from the fields in runoff and leaching. This has led to eutrophication of
surrounding water courses - i.e. the over-enrichment of the water with nutrients which
has led to an overall decrease in species diversity as weed and other vegetation has
proliferated at the expense of other water life.
Case Study of Commercial Farming - Cereal Farming in East Anglia
COMMERCIAL FARMING IN EAST ANGLIA - Lynford Hall Farm (Ely,
Why is the area around Lynford Hall Farm ideal for arable farming?
CLIMATE - average annaul rainfall is approx 650mm , summers are warm around
26oC, ideal for ripening, cold winters break up the soil and kill off bacteria.
LAND - the land is very flat in this area, ideal for machinery
SOILS - well drained and fertile boulder clay - this area of the UK is often known as the
'bread basket of the UK' with its rich soils which are glacial in origin
MARKET - the area is close to a densely populated region (just North of London), with a
large market for selling crops, supplying many major supermarkets of the East and
COMMUNICATIONS - there are major road links, including the A1 and M11 which
enable the rapid transport of crops to market.
What are the characteristics of the farm?
- crops grown include wheat, potatoes and peas
- it is a large farm with 570 hectares in area (it is an example of extensive farming - with
relatively few inputs compared to size of farm)
- high output per hectare
- highly mechanised - uses large and specialist machinery and specialist buildings (e.g.
grain store, with drying faciltiy and environmental cold stores for potatoes), there are a
small number of full time workers- uses good quality, hybrid seeds which are used to maximise the yields produced- there is a heavy use of fertilisers and pesticides- the output is cash crops which are produced and sold for profit- profits are invested back into the farm - the farm is run by the family partnership, Sears Bros Ltd.
Changes to the System
- a reduced labour force- forced to streamline operations to save money- have become increasingly computerised
- There are a number of bungalows on the land some of which have been sold, others are rented- The farm has looked at the option of wind energy and the possibility of situation wind turbines on the land - however this has been met with objections and has not been undertaken
Farming - An Introduction: The Farming System
An Introduction to Farming
Types of Farming:
Knowing your key terms is important, make sure you learn the following:
1. Commerical Farming - the growing of crops / rearing of aniamls to make a profit
2. Subsistence Farming - where there is just sufficient food producted to provide for the farmer's own family
3. Arable Farming - involves the growing of crops
4. Pastoral Farming - invovles the rearing of animals
5. Intensive Farming - where the farm size is small in comparison with the large amount of labour, and inputs of capital, fertilisers etc. which are required.
6. Extensive Farming - where the size of a farm is very large in comparison to the inputs of money, labour etc.. needed
A farm is a system in that it has INPUTS, PROCESSES and OUTPUTS
INPUTS - these are things that go into the farm and may be split into Physical Inputs (e.g. amount of rain, soil) and Human Inputs (e.g. labour, money etc.)PROCESSES - these are things which take place on the farm in order to convert the inputs to outputs (e.g. sowing, weeding, harvesting etc.)OUTPUTS - these are the products from the farm (i.e. wheat, barley, cattle)
Depending on the type of farming e.g. arable/ pastoral, commerical / subsisitence, the type and amount of inputs, processes and outputs will vary.
You need to make sure you are able to
define and give examples of Inputs, Processes and Outputs in farming systems. You
also need to be able to give the characteristics of two different types of farming system.
Consequently, there are two Farming case studies you will need to learn:
1. Case Study of Commercial Farming in an MEDC - Arable Farming in E Anglia
(Lynford Hall Farm - Cambridgeshire)
2. Case Study of Subsistence Farming in an LEDC - Rice Farming in India.
Distribution of Farming in the UK
The type of farming dominant in a particular area will depend on the climate, relief and
soil type of an area. Within the UK different farming types are dominant in different
areas (see the diagram below)
Case Study of Rapid Economic Growth - South Korea (An NIC)
SOUTH KOREA - AN NIC
South Korea, lacks natural resources, however it has a plentiful, cheap and flexible
workforce, this has led to it becoming an NIC (Newly Industrialised Country), with rapid
industrialisation occuring over the last 50 years. You need to know what the CAUSES
and CONSEQUENCES of this rapid industrial growth have been.
What were the CAUSES of South Korea's rapid economic growth?
- the government realised that agricultural production was not the route to economic
growth and as a result encouraged foreign investment e.g. from the USA and
themselves invested in large companies such as the state-owned Steel Works (Pohang
Iron and Steel corporation)
- South Korean firms (such as Hyundai, Samsung and Daewoo) were also producted by
high import taxes - this ensured that there was a sufficient market for goods, further
- the government also developed its own research and development of hi-tech goods
- large TNCs (e.g. Sony from Japan) were attracted by low wages, low taxes and they
also bought know-how to South Korea
- a dedicated and substantial workforce was available, willing to work long hours
- firms were also attracted by a large consumer market of SE Asia (e.g. China)
What have the CONSEQUENCES of South Korea's rapid economic growth been?
ADVANTAGES OF RAPID INDUSTRIAL GROWTH:
(i) South Korea became very successful competing with MEDCs such as the UK
(ii) More jobs were available, helping to reduce unemployment and with the rise in
income, there was more money available in the country for buying consumer goods and
helping to increase standards of living
(iii) The increase in purchase of consumer goods (e.g. cars / electrical goods), created
more demand for the goods and therefore led to a further increase in the market
(iv) More money was also available for leisure time (greater disposable income),
resulting in a growth in the countries service sector
(v) More money was invested in the infrastructure, improving road networks and airports
(vi) The success of industrialisation and the development of South Korea's industries,
led to South Korean TNCs (e.g. Samsung) investing in places such as the USA
(vii) South Korea became the leading producer of shipbuilding (due to low labour costs /
modern ship building yards)
(viii) The South Korean car industry flourished, with companies such as Hyndai and Kia
linking with industries in the USA / Japan and the companies have also invested in
DISADVANTAGES OF RAPID INDUSTRIAL GROWTH:
- unequal pay (women and immigrants paid only 50-75% the wages paid to men), sweat
shop working conditions for some and an increase in child labour
- working very long hours (an average of 52 hours a week)
- increased rural-urban migration (the most innovative began moving away from the
countryside into the nearby cities for work)
- noise, air and water pollution increased due to the rapid industrialisation
- the increase in factories led to smog over cities
- increased traffic volumes led to taxes on road use in the capital, Seoul
- in some areas which experienced an increase in population, services such as sewage
treatment were not able to cope
- rapid growth resulted in some instances in poor workmanship and there were
instances of deaths from collapsing buildings (e.g. the Sampoong Department Store
in 1995 (507 deaths)
- when there was a downturn in World Trade in 1997, many S Korean banks faced huge
debts / bankruptcy
Check list of key concepts to revise:
1. Energy at the coast - types of waves and basic principles behind wave formation / factors affecting the strength of waves
2. Coastal Processes - erosion processes (you need to be able to describe the processes and how they work); transport processes (you must be able to talk through the process of longshore drift and it helps if you are able to draw an annotated diagram to show the process) and deposition
3. Coastal Erosion Landforms - you must be able to talk through both the features and formation of the following landforms: cliffs; wave-cut platforms; headlands and bays; caves, arches, stacks and stumps (in your description and explanation of formation always include some examples of named erosion processes that may be at work). You should also be able to draw annotated diagrams of the features to show how they form as well as knowing named examples of each.
4. Coastal Deposition Landforms - you must be able to talk through both the features and formation of the following landforms: beaches; spits; bars and tombolos. You should be able to draw annotated diagrams of the features to show how they form as well as knowing named examples of each.
5. Case Study of Coastal Erosion - learn (including detail - i.e. location, facts and figures) a case study of coastal erosion - either Dunwich or the Holderness Coast.
6. Coastal Defence - you need to be aware of the options for coastal defence - hard engineering, soft engineering or managed retreat. You should be able to describe coastal management techniques and be able to discuss their advantages and disadvantages. You should learn a named case study to back this up - for example either Aldeburgh or Overstrand.
When managing the coastline there are two main options:
1. HARD ENGINEERING
- this is where man made coastal defence structures are used to reflect large amounts
of wave energy and hence protect the coastline.
2. SOFT ENGINEERING
- this is where beaches or naturally formed materials are used to control / re-direct
You need to know examples of coastal management techniques and their advantages
Hard Engineering Techniques:
1. Re-Curved Sea Wall
- concrete wall which is curved on the underside to deflect the power of the waves
- these can be very expensive (up to £1-2 million per km) and the deflected waves can
scour material at the base of the wall causing them to become undermined
- these are however a very effective means of preventing erosion and they reflect rather
than absorb wave energy.
2. Rip Rap
- large boulders on the beach absorb wave energy and break
the power of the waves
- although movement of the boulders is expensive this can be a much cheaper method
than some other solutions
- the boulders can however be undermined easily by waves washing away sand and
shingle beneath them. They also can be quite ugly, changing the appearance of a
- these structures (usually either wooden or steel) are designed to top longshore drift
and therefore act to build up and anchor beach material, protecting the base of cliffs.
- they are effective at reducing erosion in the area they are constructed in by causing
significant build up of beach material
- groynes may however starve areas further down the coast of material by stopping
longshore drift, resulting in an increase in erosion in these areas
- these cages of boulders are built into cliff faces to protect the cliff from the force of the
- they are cheaper than sea walls and can be very effective where severe erosion is a
- they are however visually intrusive
5. Revetments - these wooden structures break the force of
waves and beach material builds up behind them
- they are cheap and effective at breaking waves
- as well as being visually intrusive however they do need replacing more frequently
than most other defence methods.
Soft Engineering Techniques
Soft engineering includes beach replenishment in which
beach material is added to provide a "natural solution". Environmentally this is a
preferred option as it maintains the beauty of the landscape and avoids visual intrusion,
however it can be expensive to maintain as longshore drift continues to move beach
material down the coast and therefore regular replenishment is required.
Sand Dunes and salt marshes can also be encouraged to act as natural barriers to the
Case Study of Coastal Defence: Aldeburgh (Suffolk)
Aldeburgh is just south of Dunwich, here a large scale coastal defence scheme is in
place to control erosion. Aldeburgh is a busy town and tourism is very important to the
local economy in this area. It is therefore seen as cost effective to have a coastal
defence scheme in place to protect the economically valuable land.
Hard engineering is in place with a combination of sea wall, rip rap and groynes. There
is also an area of salt marsh to absorb some of the waves energy should it breach the
Another area severely affected by coastal erosion and where significant coastal
defences are in place is Overstrand on the North Norfolk Coast, pictures of the coastal
defences in this location can be seen here.
Further north, the small village of Dunwich is also severely affected by coastal erosion,
yet very little, apart from some small soft defences and a recent limited and
unsuccessful attempt at hard engineering is in place.
Wooden Revetments and Gabions:
Case Study of Coastal Erosion - Dunwich (Suffolk)
The Suffolk coastline of East Anglia has been eroding for 1000s of years and suffers
rapid and frequent change - the changes are due to the coastal processes of erosion
and deposition and the large scale movement of material down the coast by longshore
Dunwich is a very small village located on the east coast in Suffolk. Dunwich was once
a thriving port, similar in size to London, but storms, erosion and floods have almost
wiped out this once prosperous settlement, which once had a population of 4,000 as
well as a flourishing port. All that remains now are a few cottages - yet at one time there
were 6 churches and 3 chapels. Most of old Dunwich now lies on the sea floor.
It is predicted that with our changing climate, storm events will become more frequent
and in 1990, 7 metres of the coastline was lost over a few days in a storm that hit the
So why is Dunwich so affected by coastal erosion?
- the coastline at Dunwich is made up of soft rock (sands, gravels and clays), these are
easily eroded by the sea;
- the problem is made worse by the narrow beach which results in wave attack at the
base of the cliff;
- the cliff faces are also greatly affected by weathering processes;
Rates of erosion at Dunwich are now as great as one metre per year. Material that is
eroded from the Dunwich cliff line is moved down the coast by the process of longshore
drift, keeping the beach fairly narrow. The material is transported in a N-S movement
where it is deposited further south to form Orfed Ness Spit.
Although prone to severe coastal erosion, Dunwich has relatively little sea defence. An
area of marshland just beyond the car park has been protected from the sea by a long
shingle sea wall, but this has to be regularly rebuilt by bulldozers. Until recently there
has been no other coastal management and the natural creation of a new beach to
absorb wave energy has been seen as the most effective solution, due to the small size
of Dunwich it has not be seen as cost effective to spend millions on sea defence at this
location. However in February 2007, a new experimental beach stabilisation project
began, it has been designed to try and reduce the severe cliff failures. A series of sand
and shingle humps are to be created to stop the beach eroding and therefore help to
reduce cliff erosion.
Coastal Deposition Landforms: Features and Formation
Material that is transported by the waves along a coastline is eventually deposited
forming distinctive deposition features. There are four main deposition features that you
need to learn the formation of. These are:
Beaches Beaches are the main feature of deposition found at the coast, these consist
of all the material (sand, shingle etc.) that has built up between the high and low tide
mark. There are number of different sources of beach material - the main source being
rivers, where fine muds and gravels are deposited at the river mouth. Other sources of
beach material include longshore drift (bringing material from elsewhere along the
coast); constructive waves (bringing material up the beach from the sea) and from cliff
As constructive waves build up beaches, they often form ridges in the beach known as
berms. The berm highest up the beach represents the extent to which the water has
reached during high tide.
Spits are long narrow ridges of sand and shingle which project from the coastline into
The formation of a spit begins due to a change in the direction of a coastline - the main
source of material building up a spit is from longshore drift which brings material from
further down the coast.
Where there is a break in the coastline and a slight drop in energy, longshore drift will
deposit material at a faster rate than it can be removed and gradually a ridge is built up,
projecting outwards into the sea - this continues to grow by the process of longshore
drift and the deposition of material.
A change in prevailing wind direction often causes the end of spits to become hooked
(also known as a recurved lateral).
On the spit itself, sand dunes often form and vegetation colonises (for example
Blakeney Point - North Norfolk)
Water is trapped behind the spit, creating a low energy zone, as the water begins to
stagnate, mud and marshland begins to develop behind the spit;
Spits may continue to grow until deposition can no longer occur, for example due to
increased depth, or the spit begins to cross the mouth of a river and the water removes
the material faster than it can deposited - preventing further build up.
Examples of Spits
- Spurn Head - Holderness Coast
- Orford Ness - Suffolk
These form in the same way as a spit initially but bars are created where a spit grows
across a bay, joining two headlands. Behind the bar, a lagoon is created, where water
has been trapped and the lagoon may gradually be infilled as a salt marsh develops due
to it being a low energy zone, which encourages deposition.
Example of a Bar: Slapton Sands - Devon.
Tombolos are formed where a spit continues to grow outwards joining land to an
Example of a Tombolo: - Chesil Beach - which joins the South Dorset coast to the Isle
REVISING COASTAL DEPOSITION FEATURES
Remember - as well as being able to describe the formation of each feature of
coastal deposition, you should be able to give a named and located example e.g.
a spit - Spurn Head (Holderness Coast). You should also try and learn a labelled
diagram to show the formation of each feature.
- Beach - Dawlish Warren (Devon)
- Spit - Orford Ness (Suffolk) or Spurn Head (Holderness Coast)
- Bar - Slapton Sands (Devon)
- Tombolo - Chesil Beach (joining S Dorset Coast to Isle of Portland)
Key Terms Check
Spit - a ridge of sand and shingle projecting from the mainland into the sea
Bar - a ridge of sand and shingle which has joined two headlands, cutting off a bay
Tombolo - a ridge of sand and shingle joining the mainland to an island
Coastal Erosion Landforms - Features and Formation
Coastal Erosion Features
There are 3 main groups of coastal features which result from coastal erosion:
1. Headlands and Bays
2. Caves, Arches, Stacks and Sumps
3. Cliffs and Wave-cut platforms
1. HEADLANDS AND BAYS
Headlands are resistant outcrops of rock sticking out into the sea, whilst bays are indents in the coastline between two headlands.
So how do headlands form?
- Headlands form along discordant coastlines in which bands of soft and hard rock outcrop at right angles to the coastline.- Due to the presence of soft and hard rock, differential erosion occurs, with the soft, less resistant rock (e.g. shale), eroding quicker than the hard, resistant rock (e.g. chalk)- Where the erosion of the soft rock is rapid, bays are formed- Where there is more resistant rock, erosion is slower and the hard rock is left sticking out into the sea as a headland.- The exposed headland now becomes vulnerable to the force of destructive waves but shelters the adjacent bays from further erosion.
Named Examples of Headlands and Bays: (LEARN!)
The Dorset coast has excellent examples of Headlands and Bayse.g. Swanage Bay and the Foreland (a headland)
2. CAVES, ARCHES, STACKS and STUMPS
Once a headland has formed it is then exposed to the full force of destructive waves and it gradually begins to erode. you need to be able to describe the erosion of a headland and the features that form.
So how does a headland erode and caves, arches, stacks and stumps form?
- Firstly, the sea attacks the foot of the cliff and begins to erode areas of weakness such as joints and cracks, through processes of erosion such as hydraulic action, wave pounding, abrasion and solution;- Gradually these cracks get larger, developing into small caves;- Further erosion widens the cave and where the fault lines runs through the headland, two caves will eventually erode into the back of each other forming an arch, passing right through the headland.- A combination of wave attack at the base of the arch, and weathering of the roof of the arch (by frost, wind and rain), weakens the structure until eventually the roof of the arch collapses inwards leaving a stack, a stack is a column of rock which stands separate from the rest of the headland.- The stack will continue to erode, eventually collapsing to form a stump which will be covered by water at high tide.
The Foreland (Dorset Coastline) is a great example of a headland which shows these features - there is a distinctive stack called Old Harry and a stump known as Old Harry's Wife.
A good example of a distinctive arch, also found on the Dorset Coast is Durdle Door.
3. CLIFFS AND WAVE-CUT PLATFORMS
Cliffs are steep rock faces along the coastline, they tend form along concordant coastlines with resistant rocks parallel to the coast.
So how do cliffs and wave-cut platforms form?
- The erosion of a cliff is greatest at its base where large waves break - here hydraulic action, scouring and wave pounding actively undercut the foot of the cliff forming an indent called a wave-cut notch whilst the cliff face is also affected by abrasion as rock fragments are hurled against the cliff by the breaking waves.- This undercutting continues and eventually the overhanging cliff collapses downwards - this process continues and the cliff gradually retreats and becomes steeper.- As the cliff retreats, a gently-sloping rocky platform is left at the base, this is known as a wave-cut platform which is exposed at low tide.
Good examples of cliffs and wave-cut platforms can be found at Hunstanton (North Norfolk) and Flamborough Head (Yorkshire)
REVISING COASTAL EROSION FEATURES
- Swanage Bay (Dorset Coast)- The Foreland (Headland) (Dorset Coast)- Old Harry (Stack) (Dorset Coast - off of the Foreland)- Old Harry's Wife (Stump) (Dorset Coast - off of the Foreland)- Durdle Door (South Dorset Coast)- Cliffs and Wave-cut platforms - Hunstanton (N Norfolk) and Flamborough Head (Yorkshire)
Coastal Processes: Erosion, Transport and Deposition
Remember, there are 3 main processes that cause a coastline to change:
There are number of factors which affect each of these processes - we are going to
start by exploring erosion processes and the factors that can affect the amount of
erosion that may take place along a coastline.
Erosion is the wearing away of rocks, at the coast there are 6 main types of erosion
processes in action
1. ABRASION (this is also known as corrasion) - this is where rock fragments are
hurled at cliffs by breaking waves, gradually scraping away at the cliff face;
2. HYDRAULIC ACTION - as waves break against the cliff face, the pressure of the
breaking wave can compress air in cracks. This compressed air gradually forces open
the crack in the rock - as this process continues, the rock becomes increasingly
3. SOLUTION (this is also known as corrosion) - this occurs where the salt water is
able to dissolve some of the chemicals in rocks - for example, limestone cliffs are
gradually weakened as the salt water dissolves the calcium carbonate in the limestone.
4. SCOURING - this occurs at the base of the cliff as the waves break and swirl around,
gradually removing loose rock.
5. ATTRITION - this is where rock fragments carried by the waves hit against each
other and gradually wear down to form sand and silt
6. WAVE POUNDING - the sheer force of waves hitting against the cliff face
These processes of erosion form a series of distinctive landforms at the coast.
Rates of Coastal ErosionSo what are the factors that determine how much erosion can take place at the coast?
1. The Resistance of the Rocks - e.g. limestone, chalk and granite are resistant rocks (often forming cliffs and headlands) and erode relatively slowly, whilst less resistant rocks such as clay are easily eroded.
2. The Strength of the waves - affected by the wind strength and duration and its fetch
3. The shape of the coastline (which is dependent on its geology) - on concordant coastlines, rocks are parallel to the wave front and therefore rates of erosion are similar along the coastline. On discordant coastlines, differential erosion may occur, where bands of hard and soft rock outcrop at right angles to the sea. Consequently headlands and bays form along discordant coastlines and whilst headlands remain exposed to the force of the waves, bays are sheltered.
COASTAL TRANSPORTThe second process operating at the coast is transport. Material eroded by the sea is carried within the water in a number of ways, minerals dissolved from rocks are carried in solution, whilst small rock fragments, light enough to be held within the water, float in suspension. The largest rock fragments which are too heavy to be picked up by the waves, are transported by the process of traction, this is where they roll along the bed when the waves pick up enough energy.
Finally, medium sized rock particles, which cannot be carried by the waves all the time, are moved by saltation. This is where during times of higher wave energy the particles are picked up and then dropped again as the wave looses its energy.
The main form of transport operating at the coast is that of LONGSHORE DRIFT.
Longshore drift is the process by which sand and pebbles are moved along a beach by the movement of the waves.
Material is moved up the beach by the swash at an angle which is controlled by the prevailing wind. The backwash then carries material back down the beach at right angles to the coastline under the influence of gravity. Gradually the material is moved along the coastline, its direction being controlled by the prevailing wind direction.
The final process operating at the coast is that of deposition - this is where material that is too heavy to be transported any more is left behind, building up the beach. Due to the importance of energy in transporting sand and shingle, it is the largest material that is deposited first. A number of distinctive features may form due to coastal deposition.
Key Terms Check:Erosion - the wearing away and removal of materialDeposition - the dropping of materialAbrasion - the wearing of rock due to rock fragments being hurled against cliffsAttrition - the breakdown of rocks as they hit against each otherHydraulic Action - the force of waves causing rocks to split apart as waves compress air in cracks in the rocksWave Pounding - sheer force of water hitting rocksSolution - where minerals in rocks are dissolved by the action of sea waterScouring - occurs where water and broken rock fragments swirl around at the base of cliffs gradually wearing rock away.Longshore Drift - the movement of material along a coastline
Coasts - Energy at the Coast The coast represents the metting point between the land and sea. Coasts are very
dynamic areas and they are constantly change. This change is due to 3 main processes
which operate at the coast, 1. Erosion; 2. Transport and 3. Deposition. These 3
processes are all driven by the amount of energy that is available at the coast. The main
agents of change at the coasts are waves. Waves are movements of energy throughout
the water, but where do waves get their energy from? The answer to this is wind.
As wind blows over the
surface of the sea, it creates friction. This frictional drag causes water particles to begin
to rotate and energy is transferred forward in the form of a wave. Whilst the water
moves forward, the water particles return to their original position. As a wave reaches
shallow water, friction between the sea bed and the base of the wave causes the wave
to begin to slow down and its shape becomes more eliptical. The top of the wave
however, unaffected by the friction, becomes steeper until it eventually breaks. When
the wave breaks, water washes up the beach, this is called the swash. The movement
of water backdown the beach is called the backwash.
It is the rate at which waves reach the coast which determine whether the main process
acting on the coastline is erosion or deposition. There are two main types of waves:
(i) CONSTRUCTIVE WAVES - tend to
arrive at the coast at a rate of less than 8 waves per minute, they are low energy waves
and are small in height. They have a strong swash and a weak backwash. This means
that constructive waves tend to deposit material and build up a beach.
(ii) DESTRUCTIVE WAVES , have
much higher energy and tend to arrive at the coast at a rate of more than 8 per minute.
They are much larger in height often having been caused by strong winds and a large
fetch. These high energy waves have a weak swash but a strong backwash, which
erode the beach but pulling sand and shingle down the beach as water returns to the
There are 3 main factors which will affect the strength of a wave and therefore whether
it is more likely to erode or build up the coastline:
(i) the strength and speed of the wind - the faster the wind, the more energy is
transferred and therefore the bigger the wave that is produced.
(ii) the duration of the wind - this is the length of time for which the wind has blown -
the longer the wind blows, the more energy is transferred to the wave
(iii) the fetch - this is the distance over which the wind has blown and therefore how far
the wave has travelled. The longer the fetch, the larger the wave is likely to be.
Key Term Check:
Swash - the movement of water and material up the beach (in direction of prevailing
Backwash - the movement of water and material back down the beach (straight back
down due to gravity
Constructive wave - low energy wave with greater swash than backwash - tends to build
up the beach
Destructive wave - high energy wave with greater backwash than swash - tends to
The Interdependence of Settlements: Case Study - St Ives
You need to be aware of the interdependence of settlements within a hierarchy, with
reference to the sphere of influence of places and the types and order of services that
they provide. The map below shows the local area around St Ives which includes
surrounding towns, villages and hamlets. The sphere of influence of St Ives
incorporates many smaller villages including Somersham, Needingworth, Bluntisham,
Holywell, Fenstanton and Hemingford.
Settlements within an area vary greatly in physical size, population and the number of
services that they provide. When studying settlements within an area we can look at
them in terms of a settlement hierarchy. A settlement hierarchy is when settlements
are put into an order based upon their size or the services that they provide for people
(see hierarchy diagram below). As you go up the hierarchy there is an increase in the
size of the settlement, population and number of services; the distance between these
settlement types also increases. The number of settlements of each type however
decreases as you move up the hierarchy.
Settlements in the hiearchy are interdependent as people will use a variety of services
found in different settlements. The area served by a particular settlement is known as its
sphere of influence. The size of this will be dependent not only on the type and
number of services offered by a town but also the size of the town and the ease of
access related to the available transport networks serving the area. Villages usually
provide few services, and those that exist are mainly low order services or sell low order
goods. Low order goods / services are those that are low in value / cost and are
used / required daily, for example milk / newsagents. Larger towns and services will
have a greater range of services, including both low order and high order goods and
services. High order goods and services are more expensive in nature and not required
so frequently. They are often comparison goods, such as furniture, electronic goods etc.
and people are usually prepared to travel further in order to get them. The distance that
people are prepared to travel to use a service or obtain a good is known as its range.
Services such as hypermarkets and goods such as furniture have a much greater range
than for example a newsagents and milk.
In order to be profitable, a shop or service will require a minimum number of potential
customers, this is known as its threshold population. Shops/services providing low
order goods or services usually need a much lower threshold population (as the goods /
services are required / used daily), whilst high order shops / services will require a much
greater number of potentail customers and thus have a higher threshold population.
Marks and Spencers for example may require a threshold population of 70,000 before
the store can be profitable.
The needs of local communities are often provided for by neighbourhood shopping
centres. These consist of a group of low order shops and services, e.g. a newsagents,
bakery, hairdressers etc. serving an area within a town, for example Kings Hedges, St
Ives. Out-of-town shopping centres which usually contain higher order shops,
including large chain and department stores have increased in number and size
significantly over the last 20 years or so and in doing so have had a negative on some
nearby town centres.
Key terms check:
Settlement Hierarchy - where settlements are put into order based upon their size or
High Order Goods - usually high cost goods - bought now and again - e.g. furniture
Low Order Goods - usually low cost goods needed often - e.g. milk
Sphere of Influence - area served by a settlement
Neighbourhood Centre - a group of low order shops serving a community within a town
Range of a Good - maximum distance people are prepared to travel to obtain a service
Threshold - minimum number of people needed to ensure that demand is great enough
for a service to be offered
Second Homes - Social and Economic Impacts
Increasing disposable incomes have resulted in an increase in second home ownership.
Many of these homes are used for weekends or holidays in attractive rural areas. The
increase in second home ownership has however bought some ill feeling by locals who
have felt the impact of changes in villages caused by second homes. An increase in
second homes in an area can bring both benefits and problems.
- provides trade for local trades such as builders, plumbers etc.
- existing home owners have seen an increase in the value of their homes
- older properties in need of repair have been restored
- tourists do bring in some money to the local area
- house prices increase due to competition between buyers of second homes causing
many youngsters to be outpriced from their own local area
- villages can become 'sleepy' as some houses remain empty for much of the year - this
has also resulted in the closure of some local shops and services due to a fall in
- a reduction in public transport services
- some gentrification / improvements carried out by second home owners are not in
- reduction in community spirit as some houses stay empty for long periods and people
are without neighbours
Key terms check:
Second Home - a home used only at certain times of the year - e.g. weekends / holiday
Counterurbanisation - Causes and Consequences
Urban to Rural Migration
Since the 1960s there has been a continuing trend of urban to rural migration, with
people leaving cities and moving into countryside areas, this process is known as
Causes and Consequences of Counterurbanisation
For your GCSE you will need to understand what is meant by counterurbanisation and
you will need to be able to describe the causes and consequences of this process. So
why are more people moving from urban areas into the countryside? (the reverse trend
of what is happening in many LEDCs where rapid rural-urban migration has been taking
place since the 1950s/60s!). The reasons for the movement can be summarised as a
set of push and pull factors:
Push Factors (reasons for the movement away from cities)
- higher rates of congestion and pollution
- high land values making it harder for people to find affordable housing
- higher crime rates
Pull Factors (reasons for movements to the countryside)
- perceived better quality of life
- believed to be a safer and more pleasant environment for children to grow up in
- less pollution and more open space
- lower land-values and more affordable housing
- more businesses locating on greenfield sites to make the most of room for expansion
and the more pleasant environment.
Improvements in transports and technology have led to the increase in
counterurbanisation as it has become easier for people to commute to work or indeed
work remotely from home, using internet / fax / e-mail technology.
The process of counterurbanisation has had a number of consequences and in
particular has resulted in the changing characteristics of many villages which have seen
an increase in population becoming more suburbanised in character. These
suburbanised villages have seen various changes as people have moved in from the
city. Many have lost some of their rural characteristics as new housing developments
have been built and in some instances business units have developed. Village shops
and local services often suffer as these settlements often become "dormitory villages",
where a large proportion of the population commute to work leaving a small daytime
population. Many commuters use large supermarkets on the edge of towns and the
lower demand for villages shops and services has forced many to close. There are also
social impacts, as once tight-knit communities begin to lose community spirit as more
and more people move in.
Key terms check:Counterurbanisation - the process of people from cities and towns into the countrysideSuburbanised Villages - villages growing in size and taking on more urban characteristics
Green Belts - controlling urban sprawl
To restrict development on greenfield sites (sites that have not previously been built on),
urban sprawl has been constrained by the creation of Green Belts. Green Belts were
created in 1947 as 'collars of land' around urban areas where development is severely
restricted to preserve the character of the environment.
Whilst green belts have successfully slowed urban sprawl, in some cases they may
protect land of little value, whilst development 'leap-frogs' the constraints of the green
belt and begins to grow on the higher quality land beyond it. Wedges of protected land,
as opposed to a surrounding 'collar' have been suggested as a way of allowing
controlled growth, whilst protecting high-quality land. Indeed the debate about the
future of greenbelts has increased and campaigners are trying to protect greenbelt
There are concerns in a number of areas, as further urban development threatens
the existing Green Belts. Countryside around both Stevenage and Cambridge is under
threat due to plans for the development of new homes, whilst other areas are under
threat from other types of development, including plans for a park and ride scheme on
the edge of Cambridge.
Case Study: Pressures on the Cambridge Green Belt
In the 1990s, increasing competition for land at the rural-urban fringe to create more
jobs and houses, put pressure on green belt areas to release more land.
Cambridge is a famous, historic city with many job opportunities available, easy access
to other places and pleasant surrounding countryside. It is protected from urban sprawl
by a green belt.
- increase in population have previously been dealt with by increased
suburbanisation of villages and the creation of new settlements, e.g. Bar Hill
and Cambourne, and the newly designated Northstowe (which begins
construction in 2008)
- over the next 15 years, 42,000 houses need to built in Cambridgeshire to
accommodate the increasing population - putting great pressure on the Green
- current Green Belt is designed to prevent the mergence of neighbouring
settlements, protect the countryside and maintain the character of the city of
- review of the Green Belt was carried out in 2001 to assess its present
success and areas which could be released for development in a sustainable
- the current proposal for development includes 8,000 homes on the edge of
Cambridge on land currently in the Green Belt
- other options still include, the creation of new settlements and the
development of nearby market towns
The key question for debate is whilst provision of new houses is putting pressure on land, should we build on Brownfield sites (areas previously built on which have been demolished) or Greenfield sites (area of countryside, previously never built on)
Why build on Brownfield Sites?- many areas have unoccupied houses which could be upgraded- brownfield sites already have utilities such as water and gas pipes- development in urban as opposed to rural areas can help reduce reliance on cars
Why build on Greenfield Sites?- cheaper to build on (don't have demolition costs) and lower land-values than in urban areas- generally perceived as better quality of life in the countryside
Key term check:GreenBelts - countryside area around an urban area which are protected from development to restrict urban sprawlBrownfield Site - an area of land previously build on where developments have been demolished and new building can take placeGreenfield Site - an area of countryside never built on before
green belts, urban sprawl
Out Of Town Shopping Centres
Since the 1980s, much of the retail development in the UK has been in the form of out-
of-town developments as lower land-values, the availability of land for expansion, a
nearby labour force and good access routes on the rural-urban fringe of settlements has
encouraged out-of-town centres to develop. These out-of-town centres, contain large,
well-known stores and often have attractions for all the family, including leisure facilities,
catering outlets etc. The growth of these development has however led to a number of
common problems which include:
- traffic congestion in the vicinity of the new developments
- larger stores are often attracted away from nearby town and city centres to
these new centres
- more empty shops in town and city centres (often attract vandalism)
- fewer people visiting the city centres - resulting in the creation of a 'dead
heart', particularly in smaller market towns and economic decline
City centres have been fighting back against out-of-town developments through 'shop local' campaigns and in 1998, there were calls by the government to stop out-of-town developments, however there have more recently been proposals for relaxing the resulting planning laws which would make it easier for superstores to build out-of-town developments. Other attempts to reduce town centre decline include calls to abolish free car-parking in out-of-town developments to encourage shoppers back to the town centre.
EXAMPLE 1 - MEADOWHALL - Sheffield
Meadowhall shopping centre is a large out-of-town shopping centre that has been developed on the outskirts of Sheffield. It was built in the late 1980s as a response to the lack of shopping provision in the area. It was constructed on a brownfield site (56 hectare site of a former steelworks). Access to the shopping centre is excellent and it is close to several large urban areas with 9 million people living within an hours drive of the centre (see map opposite).
Why this location?
plenty of space for expansion and for providing large free car parks
rates and rents are lower than in the city centre (shops can be bigger) - i.e.
cheaper land on edge of Sheffield
near to suburban housing (provides a labour force)
near a number of motorway intersections (nearbly M1/A roads) - great
accessibility and access to large sphere of influence
old brownfield site (was a steelworks) with plenty of room for expansion if
The main characteristics of the shopping centre:
bright and modern with many different faciliites, including a leisure centre,
cinema, creche and other attractions for children;
a large variety of shops;
large, free car parts (12,000 spaces!)
provides under-cover shopping (not restricted by weather and shoppers, shop
in the comfort of an air-conditioned complex)
supertram link with the city centre;
two new railways stations built
The Impact of Meadowhall on Sheffield?
The building of Meadowhall has had an impact on Sheffield City Centre, as
many shops have moved out and takings have been down for some shops by
as much as 25%.
EXAMPLE 2: BLUEWATER - nr Dartford (Kent)
Bluewater, known as Europe's largest retail and leisure complex, opened in
1999, it was built on a brownfield site, in a disussed chalk quarry and has
excellent access, being just outside the M25 in the area of Dartford. The
following powerpoint gives more detail about the location and features of the
out-of-town shopping centre as well as giving some consideration to the
criticisms the centre has come under
Other examples of out-of-town shopping centres include:Lakeside - East of LondonBrent Cross - NW LondonMetro Centre - GatesheadMerry Hill - Dudley (Birmingham)
The Rural-Urban Fringe (Land-use and conflict)
The rural-urban fringe (the area at the edge of a city) has become an increasingly
popular area for economic developments. Competition for land in these areas increased
signficantly during the 1990s. The land is much cheaper here than in the city centre,
and many factories that were once in inner city locations have moved to these areas as
their previous locations lacked space for expansion. As well as industrial estates and
residential use, these areas attract shopping centres, business parks and recreation
facilities such as golf courses. The benefits of the rural-urban fringe are set out in the
Conflict at the Rural-Urban fringe
Although there is competition for land for economic developments at the rural-urban
fringe, there is increasing pressure from environmental groups to restrict urban sprawl
and protect the environment on the edge of cities from economic pressures. If urban
sprawl continues unchecked, many wildlife habitats would be destroyed.
Conservationists and farmers want to protect nature reserves and farmland, and open
space for recreation is required by people living in the nearby urban area. There is
therefore competition for land at the rural-urban fringe and conflict between economic
and environmental land-uses. You should be aware of these and be able to discuss
them in an exam answer.
There have been a number of attempts to control urban sprawl and reduce / restrict
developments on the rural-urban fringe, these include Green Belts which were created
by the government in 1947.
Key Terms Check:
Rural-urban fringe - where urban areas meet the surrounding countryside
Green Belt - an area of land around a settlement where development is severely
Urban Sprawl - uncontrolled growth on the edge of a settlement
Greenfield Site - land previously unbuilt on
Suburbs - the growth and characteristics of
THE INNER SUBURBS
Since the early 20th century, cities have continued to grow outwards into the
countryside. This is the process of suburbanisation as new residential areas are
created at the edge of the city. This new growth surrounded the old industries and low-
class residential areas giving them an inner-city location. In the 1920s/30s many of the
middle classes moved out of the inner city areas buying houses along main roads /
railway routes from the centre (ribbon development)
Reasons for Suburban Growth:
1. Better public transport and increased car ownership meant people could separate work from where they live
2. Building societies provided mortgages making it easier to buy homes 3. People were better off and looking for a better living environment
The continued outward growth of cities is also known as urban sprawl. Early suburban growth (1920s/30s) forms the inner suburbs, as it has now been encircled by further growth (1960s/1980s) which form the outer suburbs.
Characteristics of the Inner Suburbs
Although some inter-war housing was built as estates, ribbon development, laong main roads into the city was common. The photograph below is a typical example of a inner suburban landscape (with housing dating back to the 1920s/30s). Compared to the inner city there is much greater owner-occupancy as people bought their own homes.
The typical characteristics associated with the inner suburbs are shown below (photo
courtesey of freefoto.com) :
THE OUTER SUBURBS
Urban Sprawl has continued to enlarge towns and cities, with continued growth at the rural-urban fringe (where the countryside meets the urban area). Residential development on thsi outer fringe forms the outer suburbs. As a result of policies in the 1960s to clear inner city slums, some outer city council estates can be found in these areas.
There are also many private residential estates. Many of these estates were built between the 1960s and 1980s and provide high-quality, low density housing. There is more open space avaialble and a much higher quality living environment. The houses are large and usually either semi-detached or detached. The houses have gardens and garages and are modern in design as well as the amenities they provide. The photograph below highlights the main characteristics that are typical of housing in the outer suburbs.
The typical characteristics associated with outer suburb areas are shown below (photo
courtesey of freefoto.com) :
Key Term Check:
Inner Suburbs - residential area surrounding the inner city, characterised by semi-detached houses and tree-lined streetsOuter Suburbs - residential area towards the edge of a city, characterised by larger often detached houses and modern housing estates.Urban Sprawl - the uncontrolled growth of an urban area into the surrounding countrysideResidential - an area of housing