Urban Areas in the UK (UK City Case Study: London (Why is London so…
Urban Areas in the UK
UK City Case Study:
Why is London so Important?
Located 45-55 degrees North of the equator.
Located around the estuary of the River Thames, leading out to the English Channel and the North Sea, which opens up the opportunity for trade and is a perfect place for harbours and ports to be built nearby to.
Being a separate Island that isn't landlocked means that it has very easy trade routes to allow imports and exports out of the country. Easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea.
Cosmopolitan, Chinatown and the marketplace in Camden
8 Million people
Crime (Public Safety):
Metropolitan Police and the MI5
Greenwich (Centre of the world)
Natural History Museum
ExCel Cente (makes £513m per year)
O2 Arena, where most events in London are held
Olympics (London 2012)
Earls Court Road (Brit Awards)
National Rail is efficient and fast.
Channel Tunnel from Paris (France) to London (UK) by using the Eurostar Train
The M1 starts/ends in London and goes up to Leeds
The M25: Ring-road around London
The A1: Links London and Edinburgh together
Heathrow Airport: 3rd busiest airport in the world and brings in the majority of London's Income.
Gatwick: Near to London that transfers 11 million passengers annually
The most important financial centre in the world.
Where many banking headquarters are located.
Jobs and Businesses
Abbey Road Studios
The BBC (World's first international broadcaster.)
Albert Hall: Music Heritage
Theatre capital of the world
Climate: Has cool summers and mild winters, which is a good environment to allow people to live in London comfortably.
London's Cutural Mix
Non-white population has increased by 54%
Highest percentage of non-white population live in Newham, Harrow and Brent, Located in the East and North-west regions of Greater London.
Allows multicultural groups and events to go on in London, (e.g The Notting Hill Carnival.) and the diversity of different materials, products and foods to be sold in the city.
Boosts employment and therefore benefits the economy of London, which can be used for public services and raises taxes to allow further economic and social developments.
Upgrades made to Compensate for population growth
Construction of the Westway: Motorway road system in London to reduce traffic on the surface streets
Intergrated Transport System
The introduction of the Oyster Cards and Contactless bank cards allow people to travel on the underground and buses without the need to pay for every single fair.
The Underground and Airports: Heathrow is connected to the Underground and London City airport, allowing for easy transit between terminals.
Coaches and National Rail: National Express, Thameslink and East Midlands railways allow for transfers to other parts of the country from London.
Challenges that London Faces
The need for new housing
As the population of London increases, the pressure for building new houses also increases.
The rural-urban fringe (edge of the city) is expanding outwards, away from the city centre. This is called Urban Sprawl.
The effects that this has is:
Increased traffic and air pollution
Loss of biodiversity by the loss of greenspace.
Impact on social lives
Increased journey times.
They have caused the growth of smaller commuter towns such as Luton, which solves the problem of urban sprawl.
Luton is connected to London by the M1, and has 3 train stations It makes it the ideal place to live for people who work in London.
Urban Decline and Social Deprivation
Urban decline is the deterioration of the inner city, often caused by a lack of investment and maintenance.
Urban deprivation is a standard of living that is below in a particular society. It involves a lack of resources that lead to hardships for the people.
Despite the wealthy areas in London, the city and its boroughs suffer from both, such as Kensington and Chelsea, which has the richest properties in London but the highest percentage of the homeless or living in poverty.
Inequalities in housing, education and employment
London is the most unequal city in the whole of the UK. Billionares live in the same region or close proximity to those who are on less than the minimum wage.
16% of Londoners are the poorest tenth nationally, whilst 17% are in the richest tenth in the city.
House prices and rents are higher in London and the richest houses/apartments are closest to the poor, who live in rented houses.
This causes the average house in the uk to be higher in London compared to the rest of the UK
Waste disposal and Atmospheric pollution.
London suffers from air pollution problems such as smog, which is mainly caused the size of the city and the high number of vehicles that drive through them
This causes London to be most polluted city in the UK
London fails to meet EU targets set for the level of pollution and it builds up when anticyclones bring in settled weather
Ozone pollution: In the summer, it is a poisonous gas to the human body.
Particulate matter: tiny particles of solids or liquids suspended in the air. They come from the exhaust gases of CO2 or Nitrogen dioxide from diesel cars.
These cause health problems in breathing such as asthma, the worsening of lung cancer which can eventually lead to premature death.
Solutions to London's Problems
To Air Pollution
Congestion Charge: Where the mayor of London charges vehicles (excluding electric and hybrid vehicle) for driving through the centre of London.
The Charge is currently £11.50 per day. This money is used to develop deprived areas of London and improving the quality of life there.
A disadvantage to the congestion charge is that it charges residents who live in zones where the congestion charge is present, despite them driving or not.
It has deterred the number of vehicles that drive into London because people do not want to pay for driving around in London.
Buses/ Transport: Buses are now powered by diesel-hybrid engines which produces less CO2 into the atmosphere
Many vehicles are hybrid or electric and London has compensated for this by putting more charging points around the city
The scheme to get rid of older buses costed £10million. But some money has been saved by the decrease in fuel needed.
Awareness: There are now apps that measure the amount of CO2 in the air that determines whether the area is safe to travel in or not.
It helps people who have respiratory problems not go to areas that make their problems worse.
Helps children who suffer from Asthma to go to school to get an education
Cycling: Bike rental schemes and the implementation of Cycle Superhighways has increased the number of cyclists in London.
Commuter Settlements: Towns and small cities outside of London that have good transport links.
Allows people who work in London to live outside of it, which has a social benefit and increases their life expectancy
Reduces housing pressure on London and provides more accessible areas.
Examples: Hatfield (by the A1M), Luton (by the M1), Reading (by the M4)
Brownfield Sites: An area of land that has been previously built on and is sustainable for redevelopment
More than 1500 houses has been rebuilt on Brownfield Sites in Central London between 2014 and 2016.
It reduces the need of using greenfield sites, which damages the environment and more expensive to build on
Reduces the pressure of Urban sprawl
Disadvantage:Less room to expand if there's and influx of people.
Disadvantage: Land that has been previously been contaminated may not be safe to be developed on
It helps urban regeneration and gentrification, when lower income areas are developed to be more higher class and appealing. This can effectively improve the crime rates of the area
Public transport and road links already exist, reducing the need of road developments.
Keeps business located within cities to remain open, which boosts the economy of the local area and for the government.
Drainage already exists, so it can be easily reused.
Disadvantage: House prices of the inner city increase as people move into the area. Some local people cannot afford this and causes the problem of the council unable to provide them with housing.
Urban Regeneration: London 2012, Stratford.
Brownfield site used to build the Olympic Park, which reduced the environmental damages and the cost of the project. (Env + Economic)
25% of materials used to build the Olympic Stadium was recycled (Env)
Run-down and deprived area of London had been completely regenerated, which attracted more people to live there (Social + Economic)
Generates new landmarks in the area, which causes and economic benefit as people want to see it (Tourism, Social + Economic)
The area used for the Olympics is now used for housing, recreational areas and home to West Ham United, which saved money for the area and prevented urban deprivation. (All, Social, Economic and Environmental)
Water quality of the River Lea improved, which improved the biodiversity of the water.
Unemployment fell due to the more jobs available in construction.
London Underground got new train lines (DLR and Overground) that decreased journey times and better access to other places in London.
Olympic Stadium costs was 3 times higher than the expected cost at £701million. This angered the locals.
Wildlife habitats were destroyed or moved to Compensate for the buildings which decreases biodiversity.
Produced 3.3 million tonnes of CO2
Rent and Property prices increased in the area, which makes it more difficult for people to buy properties there.
450 highrise flats were demolished, which caused the poorer people of the area to be homeless or relocated.
Total costs for the Olympics was up to £8.77 Billion, which was of Taxpayer's money and £5 Billion over-budget.
Urban Sustainability in London
Case Study: Bedzed, South London
: A small housing estate in London that lives sustainably by adapting housing to be eco-friendly and money saving.
Thick walls to retain heat during colder months and reduces the need for heating.
Plants on the roof to increase the greenspace
Energy efficient appliances that uses less electricity and saves money
Chimneys on the roofs- reduce the need for heating or fans in cooling by filtering out hot air out of houses and bringing in cool air. The new air is heated up by the hot air.
Grey-water recycling: Water is reused in the house for cleaning, consumption etc.
Local materials and recycled materials was used to build the houses.
Houses face the Southern hemisphere to generate more heat from winds.
Solar panels located on top of the houses used for electricity
Energy efficient light bulbs (LED's) are used as they use less electricity and produce less heat.
Other features/ Results
Electricity bills and energy consumption is reduced by 45%
Water is recycled and filtered in an irrigation tank
Bills are cheaper in BedZed than in other areas in London
Increased usage of renewable energy sources
Installing solar panels on Roofs.
Buckets on roofs reduces water waste and water comes in sustainably.
Reservoirs near London bring in Water
Water conservation in the home
Increase of greenspaces.
Using recyclable products and reducing waste.
UK Cities: where are they located?
Major towns and cities are distributed all across the UK, but there is a higher concentration of them towards the North of England, particularly in the North West.
They are evenly spread out in the Southern regions and are more clustered in the North. This reflects the previous secondary and primary industries such as mining, metal extraction and coalfields.
The South has had a higher change in population than the North between 2003-2014. However, Aberdeen in Scotland has had up to 9-12% change in population due to the growth of the Oil and gas industry located there.