Urban Decline

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Problems in the Inner City

  • Crime/gang culture/ASBOs
  • Ageing population
  • congestion
  • civil unrest/racial tensions
  • unemployment
  • derelict buildings/deindustrialisation
  • single parents
  • homelessness/poor housing
  • Child Abuse
  • Poor education 
  • Lack of community spirit

Urban Deprivation;- inequalties exist in all urban areas. Contrasts exist over small distances as the wealthy and poor concentrate spacially. This causes segregations

Social Segregation:- the separation of people into distinct communities

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Reasons for Social Segregation

Housing:- Buildings are created with a market in mind. The wealthy ccan choose where they live, paying premuim prices. The poor live where they are palced or where cheap housing is

Changes to Environment:- Large Georgian/Victorian housing (too large for the average family) is divided into flats that low income people tend to rent. Formerly poor areas are being gentrified and occupied by wealthier people

Ethnicity:- New arrivals suffer in the job market - un/underemploed or low wages so only able to afford cheap housing/rent. Therefore, these people tend to cluster in multicultural areas and these groupings persist in later generations

Segregation leads to residents in some areas having a better quality of life than residents in other areas. In some aras, the quality of life is so low, the residents are considered to be in a situation of deprivation 

Deprivation: lacking adequate living conditions, services, facilities, opportunities, support

If residents suffer deprivation across a number of areas they are considered to be in a situation of multiple deprivation and this can lead to urban social exclusion

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Urban Social Exclusion

....excluded from full participation in society

  • cannot get a decent job - lack of education
  • cannot get decent housing - poverty
  • suffer from poor health (mental and physical)
  • suffer from high levels of crime and vandalism
  • live in unattractive physical environment

Measures of Deprivation

Social:- High incidence of crime, fear of crime, high percentage of free school meals, poor standards of health and access to health facilities, low standards of education, high percentage on state benefits

Political:- Less local authority investment in the area, limited opportunity and low participation in community life and influecen decisions

Physical:- poor quality of housing, high level of pollution, high incidence of litter, high incidence of graffiti or vandalism

Economic:- poor acces to leisure services or open spaces, poor employment, low level of income, low level of car ownership, high percentage of lone-parent families, high percentage of lone pensioners

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Characteristics of the Inner City

  • High population out-migration figures -> lack of opportunity, fear of crime/vandalism, unemployment force out the wealtier, young and ambitious
  • Boarded up shops -> lack of spending power means shops are no long economically viable
  • Empty/derelict properties -> business follows the skills base so move to areas of people with higher education. Lack of business/development as the area is not viable so the properties are abandoned
  • Closing of Schools and low levels of Education -> wealthy young families move out with children going to other schools. The loss of funding causes schools to amalgomate. Lack of opportunty/interest then causes poor grades
  • Unemployment -> poor education means that people cannot access jobs and are limited by lack of business
  • High Crime/Vandalism/Graffiti -> lack of sense of community and lack of interest in the area. THe lack of opportunity causes frustration
  • Low Participation -> lack of sense of pride in community and lack of education and interest
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