Using what I have learned in my study materials, I will compare Green
Lanes to City Road, Cardiff for either their similarities or differences relating to
Inequalities. Green Lanes is rich in the multicultural area and is home to many
diverse communities and retail businesses similar to City Road.
One of the visible inequality on Green Lanes is the traffic infrastructure. It’s
a constant tension and imbalance of social order to meet the needs of both
motorists and pedestrians. The numerous controlled crossings, although help
pedestrians access their destination, in turn has an adverse effect for
motorists accumulating traffic and increases social disorder between motorists
and pedestrians as they fight for space among the road.
Contrasting in comparison is that City Road has developed a better
infrastructure for meeting the demands of both the motorists and pedestrians
within the community. The most visible being the traffic islands; “the purpose
of that is to make it easier for people to cross the road” (Rodney Burman,
Material Lives, 2009, Scene 1). Rodney also explains how there are plenty of
crossing points for pedestrians but that too many controlled crossings impact
Green Lanes is one of the longest roads in the capital. You can find a wide
range of restaurants and shops. Similar to City Road because they are both
extremely diverse and multicultural. This instantly establishes multiple
identities. For example, on Green Lanes, you’ll find a little café, called
George’s that’s run by Greeks. On their menu, you’ll find a selection of both
Greek dishes and English dishes. This café is a fascinating place because
although it thrives off a Greek community, there is also British identity
George’s also has scenic pictures of London landmarks on the wall, and the
décor makes it look like an English café, whilst maintaining the Greek sense of
community. This can also be seen on City road in one of the restaurants there
called the Mezza Luna. Owned by Nof Al-Kelaby, it contains an Arabic theme,
whilst also honouring the Welsh heritage by including the Welsh dragon. Both
restrarunts have made more than one culture feel invited and welcome.
Another inequality I have observed on City Road and Green Lanes is how
the impact of the arrival of franchises such as Tescos have had on small,
independent business, such as newsagents. In the Making Social Lives DVD,
Lloyd Barker talks to one particular newsagents that has been established
since 1930, now owned and run by Colin Buttwell. Although the arrival of
Tescos hasn’t put him out of business, he does talk about the arrival of Spar
25yrs ago, forcing one of his competitors to close their business.
Comparing this to Green Lanes, I found a difference in the impact of arrival
of franchises. Tesco’s opened an Express store amidst lots of grocers
supplying Greek Produce. Tesco’s is a thriving, popular business, bringing in
copious amounts of customers. Having a car park, advantages the company
also, as this makes it easier for motorists to quickly stop off on the way to and from work. However, in a mostly Greek community, the local shops have
survived, effortlessly relying on loyalty from customers and providing them
with the same good quality products they can find back home in their native
One thing Green Lanes does lack in the community is a leisure centre or
sports hall. There’s a basketball court in one of the playgrounds, however,
with it being gated off, it seems to exclude people from going there. The
people that tend to use it are groups of friends, potentially making others feel
uncomfortable about using it.
I noticed a...