A2 WORLD CITIES QUESTIONS 3 – SURBANISATION/ COUNTERURBANISATION ISSUES
Urban sprawl: The uncontrolled spread of urban development into neighbouring regions.
Rural-Urban Fringe: The transition zone between the city and its suburbs, and the countryside.
Dormitory settlement: A rural settlement which has become increasingly urbanised in recent decades and is largely occupied by people who work in nearby urban areas.
Sphere of influence: the area around a settlement that comes under its economic, social and often political influence.
a) How have the processes of suburbanisation and counter-urbanisation influenced settlements in rural-urban fringe areas, such as that illustrated below? (7 Marks)
The rural urban fringe is the transition zone between the city and its suburbs, and the countryside. It is located well within the urban sphere of influence and largely consists of middle income commuters that take residence in dormitory settlements and work in the main urban area. Due to a number of factors and processes such as suburbanisation and counter-urbanisation, the characteristics of the rural urban fringe change from largely rural to largely urban. For instance as suburbanisation took place in the UK, there were major improvement in transport infrastructure (i.e. London over/underground) which allowed the development of commuting to the nearby town or city centre to work. These include the development in railways, bus routes and roads and other such mass transit systems. This can be seen in the figure above as there is evidence of a motorway (M5) close to the settlement of Exminster making it easier for its residents to travel to and from work that may be in a more urbanised area. Moreover, there has been a recent increase in migration to settlements, such as Exminster, that are located further away from the city centre. This is partly due to developments in communication services (broadband services), the growth of email and home video conferencing. This has enabled people to work from home rather than commuting. Additionally, the rise of efficient package express delivery systems (e.g. Federal Express) has had the same decentralising effect. Overall, these advances have triggered businesses to start locating further from the city centre, where the cost of buying land, renting space and running their operations is cheaper than in central areas. This has led to clusters of office buildings built around suburban areas and shopping malls. With more and more jobs for suburbanites being located in these areas rather than in the main city, core traffic patterns have become more complex, with the volume of intra-suburban traffic increasing tremendously. Suburbanisation has also lead to development of extensive areas of housing in such areas as the figure shows. This includes council housing estates as well as some private developments. Furthermore, Existence of modern comprehensive schools and their playing fields on the edges of urban areas are greater than before due to more given space. Also, in such settlements there are a greater amount of areas of undeveloped and underused farmland and farm buildings which allow further urban development when purchased which is evident in Exminster where there is a large quantity of ‘green’ regions. This gives local landowners a positive attitude as they have an increased chance to sell land at high price to developers. These developments would include the...
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