Changing Spaces, making places


what characteristics make up the identity of a pla

  • physical geography- e.g. altitude, slope angle, aspect, drainage, geology
  • demography- e.g. number of inhabitants, their ages, gender and ethnicity
  • socio-economic- e.g. employement, income and family status, education
  • cultural- e.g.religion, local traditions, local clubs and societies
  • politicak- e.g. local, regional and national government, local groups such as resident associations
  • built environment- e.g. age and style of buidlings including building materials, density of housin
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  • at any scale, change is brought about by the interaction of a considerable number of players or stakeholders. players are individuals, groups of people or formal organisations who can influence, or can be influenced by, the processes of change. some players have more 'power' or influence than others, especially in economic terms
  • Public players include government. the EU is a trans-national government which can influence economic change via grants for infrastructure development, for example. National government has departments and agencies responsible for strategic planning such as education and training, major transport links and environmental management. local government has similar responsibilities and carries out the planning and implementation at the local scale such as country or city or town. Government trues to stimulate economic growth, sustain existing employment and create new jobs and improve the environment
  • private players include a very wide range of different people and organisations. businesses range from TNC's to those who are self-employed and across all sectors in the economy. the primary aim of business players is to generate money to make a profit on their investment. Amongst the private players, are a large number of non-governmental organisations (NGO's), most of which have a particular focus. For example, the National Trust is concerned with the conservation of historic buildings and scenic landscapes and habitats
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Social Inequality

  • differences, based on factors such as age, ethnicity, gender, religion, education and wealth exist in all societies. such differences often raise moral issues concerning inequality
  • Because social differences vary from place to place, geographers can make significant contributions about spatial inequality
  • the term 'quality of life' and 'standard of living' are frequently used when discussing differences between places. it is important to distinguish between them as they are not the same
  • - quality of life- the extent to which people's needs and desires are met. this can be seen in areas such as the treament of people. are all people treated with equal dignity and do they have equal rights? does everyone have reasonable access to services such as health care, education and leisure? are all opinions heard and respected?
  • standard of living- the ability to access services and goods. this includes basics such as food and water, clothes, housing and personal mobility
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Social Inequality

  • clearly, income and wealth are significant factors in determining both standard of living and quality of life. higher incomes tend to offer people greater choice of housing, education and diet. but a rise in income may not always lead to improved quality of life. longer hours at work, a longer daily commute, migration away from family sometimes to a foreign country are examples of factors that can lead to a higher income and standard of living but can result in a lowering in the quality of life. in other words, quality of life may be sacrificed for a higher income
  • when social inequalities lead to a very great differences between groups of people, the term deprivation is commonly used to refer to a context when quality of life and standard of living are low. Deprivation is more than just poverty. poverty is not having enough money to support a decent standard of living whereas deprivation refers to a general lack of resources and opportunities
  • the UK government uses an index of multiple deprivation to assess relative levels of deprivation. seven factors are combined to give an overall measure- income, employment, health, education, crime, access to housing and services, and living environment
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measuring social inequality

  • Income- the amount of money someone recieves is a very important factor in a social inequality. in the UK relative poverty is considered a valuable measure of social inequality. it relates the poverty to the sprea of income across the whole population. for the UK and throughout the EU relative poverty is set at 60% of the median household income
  • A widely used assessment of income inequality is the Gini coefficient. this is a ratio assessing the level of income inequality within a country. 1.0= income with all person. 0.0=spread out between everyone
  • Housing- social inequality is clearly seen in the types and quality of housing people occupy. what your home is like has a significant impact on your quality of life and standard of living
  • Education- variations in literacy are a good indication of social inequality. AC's and most EDC's have high levels of literacy (over 90%) whereas many LIDC's have relatively low levels (<60%)
  • Employement- making a living is clearly important in terms of being able to afford a decent standard of living. unemployement rates are useful in assessing relative levels of social inequality but do not tell the whole story. In EDC's and LIDC's vast numbers are employed in the informal sector which is very difficult to measure
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measuring social inequality

  • Healthcare- inequality can be seen when people do not have ready access to healthcare professionals not to facilities such as clinics and hospitals. one measure that can indicate the degree of inequality in healthcare is the number of doctors per 1000 people. healthcare is also consequences of clean water, effective sanitation and quality and quantity of diet
  • Access to services- the number of services, how easy it is to get there, social and economic factors such as age, gender and ethnicity
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UK Governmental measures

UK Government- measures for tackling social and economic inequalities

  • taxation- used to re-distribute wealth from more prosperous to less prosperous
  • subsidies- giving subsidies to poorer groups
  • planning- government, charities and housing agencies often give priority to upgrading housing and services in the poorest areas
  • law- legislation exists which outlaws discrimination on racial, ethnic, gender and age and aims to give equal opportunities to all groups
  • education-- governments often provide funcing for training and upgrading skills in order to raise skill levels and qualifications, improve employment prospects and boost economic growth
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Economic Change- regeneration and re-imaging of pl

the areas hosting the Olympics like Stratford and nearby Tower Hamlets were in direct need of regeneration as they had:

  • a lot of abandoned old industrial sites
  • low achievement at school in terms of GCSE points score
  • undustrial wastelands
  • higher than average unemployement than the rest of London
  • higher deprivation and poverty for the people that lived there
  • lower household incomes then the London average 


  • new modern housing estates- 2818
  • new school
  • unemployement fell
  • got a tube station
  • lots of green space and parkland
  • bought more than £9bn of investement to east London
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Economic Change- Regeneration and re-imaging of pl


  • unaffordable houses for the poorest
  • although unemployment decreased overall, there were very few jobs for locals, no skills
  • properties for poorer people had to be demolised
  • rents and property prices have increased
  • companies had to move
  • much wildlife relocated
  • games produced 3.3 million tonnes of CO2
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why places rebrand

  • a place's brand is the popular image the place has acquired and by which it is generally recognised. it includes physical aspects such as location and surroundings, but also subjective ones, like atmosphere, safety and economic activity. if a place has gained a negative brand, then it may be rebranded
  • rebranding includes three key elements:
  • 1. brand artefact- the physical environment, such as individual buildings, the built environment or features in a rural area such as dry stone walls or evidence of former industry like tips
  • 2. brand essence- people's experiences of the place
  • 3. brandscape- how the place positions itself in relation to other competitor places
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strategies for rebranding a place

  • market led- involves private investors aiming to make a profit e.g. property developers and business owners. associated with Gentrification
  • top-down- involves large-scale organisations such as local authorities, especially their planning departments, development agencies and private investors such as insurance and pension fund managers
  • flagship development- large scale, one-off property projects with distinctive architecture, act as a catalyst to attract further investment e.g. Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
  • legacy- following international sporting events which brought investment and regeneration to a place. e.g. olympics in London 2012
  • events or themes- major festivals such as those associated with the European Capital of Culture. serves as a catalyst for cultural development and transformation of the city

whatever the strategy, various elements can be involved:

architecture, heritage use, retail, art, sport, food

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people and groups involved in rebranding

  • key players are those involved in funding it
  • governments of various scales and their directly funded organisations e.g. tourist boards and planning departments
  • the EU's European Regional Development Fund gives grants to assist projects to aid places that fall well below the average income levels in EU. helped fund A55 along North Wales coast. this has played a part in the rebranding of this rural region and the development of its tourist industry and has helped to offset social and econoic decline
  • corporate bodies such as banks and insurance companies and development companies. investing in and building large shopping malls creates jobs and generates  long term regular flow of income
  • not-for-profit organisations, National trust and local community groups like residents' associations are involved in rebranding, sometimes invoking change but also being affected by it
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