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Urban environments

Key ideas Essential content Scale Required exemplification Field trip – Out of classroom learning
A growing percentage of the world’s population lives in urban areas. ·         The nature of urbanisation (including suburbanisation and counter-urbanisation); factors affecting the rate of urbanisation and the emergence of mega-cities.

·         The problems associated with rapid urbanisation including congestion, transport, employment, crime and environmental quality.

Global and local.   Mapping of the global distribution of mega-cities.


Environmental quality survey (fieldtrip)

The urban environment is characterised by the segregation of different land uses and of people of different economic status and ethnic background. ·         Factors encouraging similar land uses to concentrate in particular parts of the urban area (e.g. locational needs, accessibility, land values).

·         Reasons for, and consequences of, the segregation of different socio-economic and ethnic groups.

·         Shanty towns (squatter communities): location, growth, problems and mitigating strategies (including self help).

Local Case study of one city to show the land use patterns and the distribution of social/ethnic groups. (London for ethnic and Guildford for social)


Case study of shanty town management in a LIC city.

Land use transects plotting (fieldwork)
Changes occur as urban environments age and the needs of people change. ·         The nature of, and reasons for, the changes taking place at the edge of HIC cities (e.g. retail complexes, business parks and industrial estates). The greenfield v brownfield debate.

·         Areas of social deprivation and poverty in HIC cities: symptoms and locations. The changing fortunes of inner-city areas.

·         The roles of managers (planners, politicians, property developers and industrialists) in urban regeneration and re-imaging.

Local Case study of one named urban area in an HIC to explain how and why changes are taking place. Annotated sketches of urban change based on analysis of photographs and maps.


Guildford retail park – why?


Mickleham – Greenfield site

Canary Wharf – Brownfield site

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