Case studies

Case studies for GCSE Geography WJEC specification B board.

  • Created by: jayram
  • Created on: 03-05-14 10:28

1.Standard of living & Quality of life in Coventry

Allesley Park (outer suburbs)

·         90% owner occupied

Coundon (inner suburbs)

·         Access to bus services

South Canley (outer city council estate)

·         High number of single parent families

Foleshill (inner city)

·         High numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants

Hillfields (inner city redevelopment)

·         42% owner occupied; some council owned

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2.Retail service provision in Coventry

Distribution of retail services in Coventry

City centre-Chain stores, large department stores and undercover shopping precincts e.g. West Orchards.

Inner city- Corner shops, shopping parades and ribbon developments e.g. Foleshill Road.

Outer suburbs- Retail parks, located near main roads, easily accessible e.g. Gallagher Retail Park.

Edge of city- Out of town shopping centres and hypermarkets e.g. Arena Park. Close to junction 3 of the M6.

How shopping is changing & Reasons for the changes in shopping:

·         Decline of some city centres as main shopping centre.

·         Greater mobility of shoppers

·         Growth of internet shopping, increase in technology.

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3.Access to Theatres & Cinemas in Coventry


·         CBD- Belgrade theatre, central location, easily accessible so draws on large ‘threshold population’ needed by a high order service. Skydome cinema, built on ‘Brownfield’ site again at point of maximum accessibility. On edge of western part of CBD, 200m from ring road.

·         Walsgrave Triangle- Showcase Built on large retail park 6km NE of City Centre ‘Greenfield’ site at M6/M69 junction.

·         Warwick Arts Centre- Entertainment centre including cinema and Theatre on Warwick University campus; away. 4 ½ km SW of the City centre


Accessibility to different groups

·         Age groups- young/middle-aged/elderly.

·         Employed/unemployed-(e.g. Warwick Centre is near to residential areas of professional/managerial classes. Walsgrave is near to poor housing areas- although people may not be able to afford to go to the cinema).


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4.Rural to Urban migration. Salgueiro, NE Brazil.

57% of Brazil’s population live in NE. 67% of these are classed as the rural poor; they live on less than $2 a day. Households headed by women account for 20% of the 67% poor rural population. In Salguerio they earn only $4,442, which is half as much as the rest of Brazil. 3 out of every 10 people work in primary industry-mainly farming. Approximately 1 out of every 4 children dies before the age of 5.

Impact on Salguerio due to out migration

  •  Ageing population- young left behind.
  •  Female dominated population- split families- no male role model for children, decrease in  birth rate.
  •  Farmland is subject to soil erosion- less food production.
  • Local services shut- lack of demand- schools, hospitals etc…- lower standard   of living.

Push/Pull factors

Unreliable food and clean water supply- due to drought, poor seeds, poor tools, little fertiliser, overgrazing by animals, pests who eat crops. Causes malnutrition and ill health. Improvements in road and rail travel make it easier to migrate; perception of a better social life in the city.


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5.A planning issue-IKEA in Coventry.

Why they located in Coventry

·         Coventry & IKEA negotiated for 10 years- original site Binely rejected- IKEA accepted old Co-op site. IKEA didn't want to locate here firstly.

Why was there a source of conflict?

·       Mulberry bush; river underneath the site; be friendly with the public; didn't want to locate there.

How was conflict reduced during planning?

·         Roads near to the store have been redesigned to improve traffic flow in the city centre.

Effects on stakeholders

·         IKEA has improved the range of shops for shoppers in Coventry & provided jobs for the local people.

      Local residents worried about parking- stopped by a newly introduced resident parking scheme.

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6.Planning conflict in rural areas, Castleton

The cause of the conflict

Footpath erosion; second homes; rural depopulation; service decline; congestion; inflation; littering; damage to crops and disturbance of animals; pollution (visual, noise, water and air); conflict over roaming rights; seasonal employment.

Management Solutions

·         Redistribution of tourists; National Park entry fee; Banning of cars; Improved signage       and education; second home tax.

The Village of Castleton, Peak district, Derbyshire

·         Peak District first national park in UK- made park in 1951.

·         22 million visitors a year.

·         24% jobs for tourists. Very small population- 650 people live in Hope Valley- middle of Peak district.


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7.An Extreme Weather Event, Hurricane

Hurricane mitch was a category 5 hurricane caused by intense low pressure. On the 24th Oct- 5th November 1998 hurricane mitch struck Central America (especially Honduras and Nicaragua).

Effects on people

·         Children- loss of education, schools destroyed.

·         Farmers- loss of land, livestock and crops.

·         Governments- cost of rebuilding infrastructure, loss of trade and income.

Responses to the Hazard

·         In Honduras 45,000 people from the Bay Islands were saved.

·         Mexico gave 700 tons of food, 11 tons of medicine, 4 rescue planes and more.

·         Long term aid given by countries from around the world donating $6.3 billionUS only donated $2 million but was increased to $70 million to help the economy recover   and so houses could be rebuilt to withstand other hurricanes.

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8.A global Ecosystem-Papa New Guinea Rainforest

Human activities/ Impacts

Subsistence farmers 'Slash and burn'; crop for 2-3 years and then move on; small clearings. This hasn't got many bad effects as the forest can recolonise after use as some vegetation is left.

Tallest trees are removed by timber productionists e.g. Mahogany which is £50 per tonne, many others damaged in removal. This means the rainforest is re-grows slower.

Rapid removal of rainforest causes build up of CO2 which contributes towards global warming, this causes sea levels to change which consequently causes and increase in flooding/droughts.

Local farmers are encouraged to farm in an eco friendly way within national parks- ecotourism encouraged.

Sustainable Management Techniques Employed

Community based sustainable forestry; training in sustainable forestry; Cottage industries(nut harvesting, tourist souvenirs); Greenpeace active in developing Maisin cloth and art markets in USA.


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9.Desertification: Ghana

Ghana is located in West Africa. It has a hot humid tropical climate year round with daily average temperatures around 30°C. The wettest months are May , June and October.

Human/ Environmental causes of desertification

Reduced vegetation- Less vegetation, less water returned to atmosphere(evapotranspiration), leads to less Rainfall- Anual rainfall totals are gradually falling

Overgrazing- Animals eat all vegetation, vegetation fails to grow, soil exposed to wind and rain, soil washed or blown away.

Overcultivation- Many crops grown are the same, no rotation of crops, crops take up all the nutrients from the ground, soil becomes infertile, nothing can grow. No crops to protect the land so soil is easily eroded.

Managment strategies

Sustainable Energy- Use the wind and sun to generate electricity to prevent the need to cut down trees to use as fuel.

Educate people as to how they can sustainbly use the desert.

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10.Regional Flooding, Gloucestershire floods

Gloucestershire is a county in the SW of England, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Stroud and Tewkesbury all are located in the county of Gloucestershire.

Human/Environmental causes

221% of previous average rain for month of june, on 20th July, two months' rain fell in just 14 hours.

Overgrazing of upland areas.

Rapid urbanisation in Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester.

Social/Economic & Environmental impacts

48,000 homes were without electricity for two days; 350,000 homes without water.

Cost £25-30 million to clear up after the floods; Flood water reached 7 feet in some vulnerable areas. 

Decline in large predators such as owls due to a fall in prey.

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11.Flooding in Boscastle-management


 High rainfall in early summer, ground saturated, rapid run-off. Storm resulted in 50mm of rainfall in 2 hours between 4pm & 6pm on the afternoon of 16th August.

Confluence of Rivers Valency & Jordan so high discharge cause rapid rise in river levels.

Human/Environmental effects

120 people were picked up from rooftops by rescue helicopters, houses and shops submerged; business damaged, stock lost, income lost.

Trees uprooted; harbor blocked by debris and cars.

Management strategies

River Valency given more space; widened channel at three different areas of the river, river bed lowered by one metre in steeply bedded slate. 

Every summer vegetation is cleared from along river banks. New flood wasll built ot protect houses and businesses

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12.Coastal landforms: Holderness coast

How spits affect people

  • Nature reserves
  • Tourist attration
  • Constantly shfting coastline causes damage to line of communication
  • Lots of deposition can block shipping channels, this affects heavy industry using the Humber as transport from Hull


  • Sea wall at Hornsea and Withernsea, £1 million per km.
  • Gorynes at mappleton, heald sand at mappleton & caused faster rate of erosion at Withernsea
  • Managed retreat at spurn point.
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13.Changing location of industry- Ricoh Arena

Original site was in Highfield Road in Hillfields, it was in the inner city, close to the CBD, easily accessible as it was in walking distance. It moved because there was limiuted parking and lack of space.

The new site

  • The new site holds 32,609 people and there are 2000 parking spaces.
  • It is easily accessible, on the A444, less than a mile away from junction 3 of the M6.
  • There is an Coventry to Nuneaton rail line upgrade plan called "under nuckle", it will carry people from Coventryt to Nuneaton.

Social/Economic & Environmental imapcts

  • It has created jobs, non event days there are 100 workers, match days 350, concerts 1500, however it has increased congestion on the A444 and caused traffic delays
  • It creates a multiplier effect helping local businesses, however ACL (the people who manage the stadium) haven't been able to negotiate with CCFC to agree a new lease.
  • The original site was a brownfield site which used to be foleshill gasworks, it took 6 years to clean up and has made the area less polluted.
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14.Nokia as a TNC

Nokia's head office is in Helsinki, Finland but they have office and factories all around the world. They employ 112,000 people worldwide. Research & Development laboratories are set up in 10 different countries which employ 30,415 people. They have sales offices in 150 countries.

They locate in different countries because the land and building costs are cheap, also labour costs are very cheap in some places and they can deal with demand in NIC's(newly industrialized countries).

Local impacts/National & Regional impacts

  •         Jobs for local people.
  •         Pollution caused by the factories due to a lower standard of regulation.
  •         New energy projects such as dams built.
  •         Large-scale pollution in lakes & rivers.
  •         By manufacturing in Europe Nokia can avoid paying tariffs in the EU.
  •         Improve the quality of life of people living in the region
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15. Impact of industry on the environment, Ricoh A


The original site (foleshill gasworks) used toxic gases which leached into the ground. £5 million was budgeted to clear the site but it cost £10 million to complete it.

Managament strategies

80% of waste is now recycled, Ricoh is ISO14001(environmental plan) compliant for recycling and energy use. Electricity use has been halved from £100,000 a month to £48,000 through the instillation of motion senstive lights and a more efficient air conditioning system.

New NUCKLE rail network.

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16.Differing views on management of climate change

BedZED was built in 2002 in Hackbridge, London, England. It is the UK's first large-scale mixed use sustainable community with 100 homes, office space for 100 workers and community facilities.

How does BedZED reduce climate change?

The new housing face south and have triple storey conservatories to maximise light and warmth from the sun causing 1% reduction in CO2. Solar panel cause 1% reduction in CO2 aswell.

Local food links help residents reduce their CO2 by 4%, waste recycling reduces carbon impact by a further 3%.

Local/National & International views

  • Residents overally satisifed living at BedZED. Design of homes, gardens and sense of community positively commented on. Negative about heating and noise between properties.
  • The UK has pledged to halve CO2 emissions by 2025, these projects help this goal.
  • Internationally more action needs to be done globally than jus using zero energy developments by both developed and developing countries. However, the UK is taking a leading role.
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17.A trans-boundary water issue- River Mekong

The Mekong river is in SE Asia. Cambodia is one of the main countries the River Mekong passes through; Cambodia has a tropical climate with a seasonal pattern of rainfall. Spring= low rainfall, drought & food shortages are possible. Summer= low pressure, heavy monsoon rain causing River Mekong to flood. Worst floods were in the year 2000, 347 people were killed, 80% being children. 80% of rice production in the contries of Mekong basin relies on natural flood events.

Dams have been built in china to generate HEP; dams built should reduce size of annual floods in Cambodia and Vietnam. Manwan Dam, made in 1993, displaced 25,000 people in China as their homes where flooded. Conflict created between who benefits or loses out on the building of dams.

Management strategies

Fund a control centre to collect data and issue forecasts; produce advice to householders on how to protect themselves.

Assess flood risks in each country; build flood walls and embankments.

Groups affected

Citizens, River communities, Scientists, Government, Environmentalists & Companies.

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18.Aid in Mali-The village platform

Mali is one of the world's poorest countries with a GNP of only $280. The life expectancy is only 58.5 years and 80% of jobs are in farming. The people who provided this aid are NGO's. 

A village platform produces electricity, pumps water, processes rice and millet, weld metal and charges mobile phone batteries. By 2003, 450 platforms were in use in villages throughout Mali. It costs £2500 per village platform (payed by the NGO's).

Social/Economic impacts

Increase in time for rest and better health- longer sleep time as women no longer have to wake up at 3.30am to fetch water.

1.5 million people have benefited from the village platform.

Has created many indirect jobs, e.g. people are now employed to maintain farming implements with machinery.

Raises the earning potential of a typical person by $40 to $100 over the course of the year.

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