GCSE Geography AQA - Changing Urban Environments

Include case studies, basically the whole syllabus :) EXPAND ON THEM IN THE EXAM!

Hope they're helpful 



More rapid urbanisation in less developed countries - less % in urban areas.

Less rapid urbanisation in more developed countries - higher % in urban areas.

Rate of urban growth increasing in least developed countries.

In 2010 - over half world's population live in towns & cities.

Causes for urbanisation - rural-urban migration (push & pull factors) & natural increase (birth rate exceeds the death rate)

More developed countries - more rapid in 19th century - new farm machinery caused unemployment, moved to cities; work was main pull factor

Less developed countries - push: drought, floods, poor crop yields, lack of land, poverty, unemployment, poor services; pull: earn more money, better standard of living, housing, education & health

Rural-urban migration linked to natural increase - many young migrate, have children in urban areas - natural increase

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Morphology, Issues With Housing & Brownfield Sites

CBD - Central Business District - main shopping & service area; main place of work; easily accessible (middle); historic core

Inner City - built before 1918 in UK; terraced houses/high rise; high density; iron grid street pattern

Inner Suburbs - built after 1945; bigger house; lower density

Outer Suburbs - built after 1945; bigger drives & gardens; more space; low density

Rural-urban fringe - where urban area meets countryside

Issues with housing - increase in population: up 7% since 1971 (UK); 7 million of UK's population live alone; increase in housing: up 30% since 1971; caused by increase in single households - rent/buy younger, marry later, divorce, live longer

Brownfield Sites - already roads, near shops & work, transport, water & electricity already provided, less unused land, easier to get planning permission

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Greenfield Sites, Brownfield Development & Congest

Greenfield sites - no restricting roads, land cheaper, gardens, site doesn't need clearing, more appealing to live, some local shops

Strategies in UK to develop brownfield sites:

  • UDCs (Urban Development Corporations) - set up in 80s & 90s, use public funding, improve inner city areas, attract private investment
  • City Challenge - local authorites design a scheme, submit bid for funding,involves local community & private organisations
  • Sustainable Community - offers housing, employment & recreation opportunites, broad balance with environment, good quality of life

Why are city centres so congested with traffic? - narrow & old roads; most don't live in CBD so must travel in; some prefer driving to public transport; more people own cars (27% 2 cars, 45% 1 car); easier to use own car; may want to go to specific place in CBD - go by car; big youthful population; main place of work

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Problems With Congestion & Segregation

Problems caused by traffic congestion - air pollution; noise pollution; looks unpleasant; respiratory problems; conflict with cyclists; costs & difficulties of parking; stress for motorists; worse in rush hour; badly effects environment, plants & animals

Segregation - occurs where people of particular ethnic group choose to live with others of the same ethnic group, separate from others

Reasons for segregation - support from others, feel safe, sense of belonging; family culture, same language & beliefs; safety in numbers, stronger as a group; specialist facilities - mosques, shops etc; employment factors - low paid, only afford cheap housing in inner city - in Leeds tried to improve children's achievements, involve them, increase employment opportunities

Where do ethnic people live? - inner city areas - cheaper; more access to possible employment; if ethnic group already live there, migrants may move there too

Problems - racism, violence, graffiti, do low paid work - area deprived & run down, stigmatised, go into decline

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Reducing Segregation

Reducing Segregation - increase children's achievements, better qualifications & higher paid; increase employment, basic skills, mix with other groups; increase community involvement, needs are understood; provide facilities that encourage community to meet

Cities in developing countries - struggle to provide adequate supply of essential services water, electricity, health etc; constant flow of new arrivals; over 8 million a year move from rural to urban in China

Problems caused by rapid urbanisation in developing countries - economic problems - informal sector; social problems - growth of squatter developments; environmental problems - traffic congestion & water pollution

Informal sector - part of economy where jobs created by people trying to get an income - mending bikes etc; not recognised on official figures

Underlying cause of all social problems - lack of income; few jobs in formal sector; travelling is expensive, have more children in hope one will get a job

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Squatter Settlements

Squatter settlements - outskirts, use any material they can, high density

Social problems - housing, effects on health & family life for those in squatter settlements

Self Help - authorites support residents in slums to improve homes; coorporation between residents; clear rubbish; authorites offer grants & cheap loans; build health centres, schools etc; advantages - help themselves, stand pipes improve water & sanitation, offer grants/loans; disadvantages - have low GDPs so may not be able to afford it, maybe tension between residents & authorities

Site & Service - land identified for scheme - proper water supply, sanitation, electricity; advantages - water, sanitation & electricity provided, can build for themselves; disadvantages - no inital material provided, no definite help with money

Local Authority - large-scale improvements or new towns e.g. Cairo new towns like 10th of Karmadam City to reduce pressure in city, high rise flats, shops, schools, mosque, employment; advantages - big improvements; disadvantages - may not want to move, costs a lot

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Environmental Problems, Sustainable Cities & Stick

Environmental problems - industrialisation; disposal of waste; landfills; recycling; air pollution; transnational corporations (TNCs); water pollution

Characteristics of a sustainable city - environment not damaged; economic base is sound, resources allocated fairly, jobs secure; strong sense of community

Conversing historic environment - reflect long histories, maintenence expensive but support economic activities; old industrial cities may have old/derelict land; repair & renovating, valuable to preserve heritage; tourist attractions, good centres for commerce, industry, retail centres, upmarket residential area

Involving local people - more like to respong positively; cosulting people at planning stages, can survey opinions; asking what they want & giving it, happy; have meetings in local halls, feel included

Stick strategies - congestion charges; restricting access by car; increase fuel tax; increase road tax; impose speed limits; prevent new roads being built; increase car parking charges; car-free zones

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Carrot Strategies

  • safe cycle lanes
  • improve people's knowledge of public transport
  • workplace travel plans
  • walking to school bus system
  • share delivery lorries
  • upgrade current public transport
  • intergrated public transport systems
  • 'Park & Ride' systems
  • more frequent buses
  • flexible working hours
  • CCTV cameras on buses
  • extension of bus lanes
  • Oyster Cards etc
  • modern electrified tram systems
  • improved quality of buses
  • traffic lanes for 2+ people in a car
  • telework & teleconference - reduce journeys
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Rowlands Castle

Village in popular tourist country of Hampshire

Railway station, popular commuter settlement

Proposed development of 35 dwellings & 12 flats in Redhill Road in grounds of Oaklands House; will use 1.4 hectares of greenfield land

Using greenfield land - no road restrictions, land cheaper so buildings larger, no cost for clearing land, gardens, countryside setting, local shops & good travel

Some opposition from local residents - increased traffic, less surrounding countryside, more businesses, schools, doctors, shops etc

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Gunwharf Quays

West of Portsmouth, near CBD

Previously owned by Royal Navy - Naval Ordnance Department until 1919; Naval Torpedo School & named HMS Vernon - damaged by bombs, diving trials; Prince Charles commanded HMS Bronnington 1970s & HMS Vernon closed in 1986

1992 declared conservation area by Portsmouth City Council, declared for purchase 4th June 1991 - 1995 Berkely Group proposed development brief,1997 council approved it

Main features of scheme - incorporate old buildings into modern environment; Vulcan building mix of residential/commercial uses; Vernon building into traditional style pub; mix of retail, restraunants & leisure; mult-screen cinema

Example of redevelopment of brownfield site, used derelict land, roads already existed, easy to get planning permission, cut cost of commuting, already water & electricity

Brought tourism to Portsmouth, Spinnaker Tower UK landmark

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London Dockland Corporation (UDC)

Location - London Docklands

Dates - LDDC set up in 1981 -1988 regeneration, east end of London

What was done - 431ha of land sold for development; Docklands Light Railway; 2.3km2 of commerical/industrial floorspace built; 762ha of derelict land reclaimed; 2,700 businesses trading;

Who was involved - central government started it with a grant

Where funding came from - local government controlled by central government, £1.86bn; £7.7bn from private investment

24,046 homes built; 5 new health centres; redevelopment of 6 more; 11 primary school; 2 secondary schools; 3 colleges; 85,000 people working there

Advantages - 120,000 jobs; new image of docklands; middle class people to area, followed by shops, restraunants, bars; disadvantages - initially locals resisted, some tensions; new jobs for well qualified; little attention to poorer communities

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Hulmes, Manchester (City Challenge)

Dates - crescents built in 1960s, 1992 redevelopment set up, crescents demolished in 1990s

What was done - 3,000 new homes, shopping areas, roads & community facilities, more traditional street pattern, streets, squares, 2-story houses, low rise flats, private & council homes

Who was involved - Guinness Trust, Bellway Homes, Manchester City Council, company responsible for Manchester City Airport

Funding - £375mn spent by organisations involved

Homes designed to conserve water, energy efficient, local schools & park built, crime greatly reduced, social mix of people, change to area's reputation, views of locals taken into consideration

Advantages - more appeal to live there, better quality housing, more pleasant environment, reduced crime; disadvantages - waste of resources - 1960s was redeveloped, temporarily rehouse residents

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New Islington Millenium Village, Manchester (Susta

Dates - first redeveloped in 1970s, funding for area began in 2002

What was done - 66 new houses, 700 new apartments, 3,000m of canal side, 12 bridges, 10 new shops, 2 pubs, 2 restraunants, cafes & bars, 300 new trees, 2 garden islands, orchard & beach, primary school, 2 workshops, sustainable agenda

Who was involved - Urban Splash forefront, Manchester City Council & many other groups

Funding - all groups involved

100s new homes, environmentally friendly, 100s of trees, health centre, recycling collections, recycle 50% of waste

Advantages - more environmentally friendly housing, crime levels dropped, opportunities for employment, health care & education, more open space

Disadvantages - temporarily rehouse residents, loss of community spirit, waste of rescources, cost a lot of money

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Portsmouth Park & Ride

Starts at - 1000 Lakeside North Harbour

Stops at - Edinburgh Road, The Hard

Costs including bus fare - £2.50/car

Days - every Saturday, bank holidays, special events

Times - 9am - 6pm

Run by Portsmouth City Council

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London - Congestion Charge & Oyster Card

Congestion charge - central London 2003, west London 2007, £8 Mon-Fri 7am - 6pm

Advantages - 30% less congestion, 16% less vehicles, 14% less journey time,  20% less road accidents, more bikes, car sharing, more business for public transport, bus & taxi services better, lowered pollution levels

Disadvantages - less people shopping/entertainment, loss of commercial revenue, traffic displacement - more elsewhere, hit less well off people who are car dependent

Oyster Card - launched July 2003, London over & underground, London Buses etc

Electronic ticketing - central London, Docklands Light Railway, more than 80% of all journeys use Oyster Card

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Portsmouth's CBD

Commercial Road

1972 - Pedestrianisation of CBD & Guildhall Square; 1976 - civics offices & central library built; 1989 - Cascades shopping centre built; 1999 - CCTV installed; 2001 new shopping areas, Gunwharf Quays, Spinnaker Tower

Since 2002 - smartened up Arundal Street, street furniture in Guildhall Square, current developments aimed at smartening up precinct area, new paving, new seating etc

The Tricorn Centre - was shopping, apartments, nightclub, car park in 1960s

1980s voted 3rd ugliest building in UK, demolishment began 24th March 2004, 9 months

Valuable land on CBD - new John Lewis, 200 homes, multi-story car park, scaled back due to recession, currently a car park

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Dharavi, India

In Mumbai, India - Asia's largest slum, 600,000 people there

100s share a common toilet & water supples, open drains with human waste, diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera

Rooms less than 10cm2, can house a dozen people

shacks built from anything on illegal land, sometimes on water/slopes

poor quality of life, unhygienic, high pop. density

stress - frequent marriage break ups, crime & theft, no health care

lack of schools, fire hazardous, many homeless children, high infant mortality

in desperation people scavenge rubbish tips, lack of work/unreliable work

Plans - rehouse some into flats, rest of site for commercial development, some residents want to stay, think they are making money from them

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Kibera, Nairobi in Kenya

Largest slum in Africa, 1mn per 1 square mile

Piles of rubbish, open sewers, most live below $1 a day, many homeless children, airbourne disease

Authorites building flats with sanitation, toilets & water supplies, residents completely rehabited

Benefits - higher quality conditions, water born diseases reduced, better quality of life

Social benefits - proper water supply, standard of living improved, no problem of open sewer

Economic benefits - more job opportunities, new shops & industries

Environmental benefits - water supply cleared up, reduced water pollution, rubbish problem not as bad in flats, less air pollution & spread of disease

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Getting Rid Of Waste

Sao Paulo, Brazil - 2 huge incinerators burn 7,500 tonnes; making use of houseland waste - car tyres to sandals, food waste to fertilisers

Shanghai, China - installing solid wasre disposal unit that households can use as fertilisers

Bhopal, India - safe disposal of toxic waste is key issue in industrialisation; site covered in toxic waste, had to be shipped to USA to be disposed of; cities in poor countries can't be seen as places to easily get rid of it; large companies need to take more responsibility

Bangalore, India - e-waste covered by one enforcement order - inadequate; Greenpeace believe high-tech companies should take responsibility for waste disposal; extract dangerous chemicals from equipment at end of its life, recycling plants

China - cleaner renewable sources of energy, unpopular - could lead to introduction of carbon tax - taxed for producing more toxic emissions, ue low sulfure coal

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Reducing Pollution

Mexico City - odd numbered cars only on one day, even numbered cards on the next

congestion charges put people off

improving public transport - more people use buses, trains, less congestion & pollution

Plan Verde - every Sunday transport closed, only cyclists; bike rental system - £18 for 3,000 uses; metrobuses; subways

Ganga Action Plan, India - 1986 introduced water treatment works on River Ganges - successful; however population growth not taken into account - water quality since deteriorated

Shanghai, China - Huangiou & Suzhou rivers improved water quality; world bank loan of $200mn for this in 2002

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Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

World Heritage Site in 2004 - British Empire 18th & 19th C

Pier Head - Liver Building, Port of Liverpool Building, Cunard Building

The Albert Dock - dock buildings & warehouses, opened 1846, WW2 suffered bomb damage, fell into disrepair, 1980s massive regeneration - opened to public 1984, Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, The Beatles Story

Stanley Dock Conservation Area - old warehouses in 19th C, by Leeds & Liverpool Canal, conserved, commercial/residential apartments, plans to redevelop into 100s of apartments

Sustainable because - used unused land, brought tourism - jobs, improved local economy; didn't need to be rebuilt, less pollution in central Liverpool, less need to build on greenfield land

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Greenhouse, Leeds

Transformed 1930s brick building into sustainable carbon neutral development, known as 'Greenhouse'

South Leeds Regeneration Plan - construction work began 2007, residential & office use, example of brownfield site

How it reduced carbon emissions - solar panels, super insulation, sustainable building materials, fuel & water efficient, wind turbines

Citu & Leeds City Council & local community groups, £250,000 spent on landscape improvements, free on-site gym, on-site deli/cafe using local produce, shared courtyard

Sustainable transport - encourages car sharing, free bike club, secure bike storage, electric car club, electric car charging points, share taxis

Waste management - 85% waste recycled during building, intergrated bins, waste measured weekly

Land planning - more homes & employment together - less commuting

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OMG guys be warned these are just PROMPTS not NOTES! 



oh hi mia thankyou for warning me ;)



hahah thought it was needed cause some people can't read the writing at the top obviously ;)

Jenny Hoper


guys ;)

Mr A Gibson


If you are studying this topic then these will serve as really good prompts to help you remember the main points that you can use as uniquely linked to a case study in an answer. I recommend these on your mobile device to flick through if you prefer that to printing them out... but either is good.

Simron Kandola


WHY did the Bullring need redeveloping? Can anyone help?



They wanted to attract more people into Birmingham and increase rates of urbanisation

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