Counter-Urbanisation Summary Notes

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Counterurbanisation: the migration of people from major urban areas to smaller urban settlements
and rural areas. It does not lead to suburban growth, but to growth in rural areas beyone the city.
In the UK and other developed regions, this process is more common than urbanisation.
Why does counterurbanisation occur?
Affluent people often seek to escape the air pollution, dirt and crime of the urban
Car ownership and increased wealth allow people to live in rural areas and commute to urban
areas for work
The development of the internet allows people to work from home in rural areas and still
access the same global systems as someone in a city office
Rising demand for second homes and earlier retirement (also linked to greater affluence)
Agricultural issues lead to farmers seeking other ways to make money, such as selling extra
land or buildings
An issue with counterurbanisation is that incomers to rural areas tend to still rely on urban services,
meaning local smaller services still close down.
Advantages Disadvantages
Improvements in local services, such as gas House prices increase and young people cannot
mains and cable TV afford to stay in their hometowns
Support for local businesses such as pubs and Local resentment due to a changing population
builders structure and culture
Primary schools and nurseries flourish 'Dormitory village' new residents do not stay in
the daytime
Housing fabric improved ­ new housing and Increased traffic flow and thus congestion and
barn conversions accidents
Light industry may develop as B&Bs, small Decline of many local shops and services, loss of
hotels and bistros traditional buildings
Rural turnaround: the changes in social and demographic changes in rural areas.
1. Outmigration of young villageborn adults to seek education or employment
2. Decline of the elderly village population
3. Inmigration of married couples and families with young children
4. Inmigration of younger, more affluent people, leading to inflated house prices
Case study: St. Ives, Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the UK, with growth of 60%
between 1975 and 2016
Very few brownfield sites and large greenbelt in Cambridge itself

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Shortage of affordable housing in the city
Severe traffic congestion as over half of people working in Cambridge live outside the city
Many skilled workers are unable to move to the city due to the high cost of housing
Potential solutions
'Corridor' or 'finger' development , where urban land is developed in strips between rural
The construction of new towns on rural brownfield sites
The growth and expansion of market towns to relieve some of the pressure on Cambridge
An example of one of…read more


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