Friday, June 17, 2011

does quality of living increae as distance from CBD does in manchester

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Does the Quality of residential areas improve with

distance from the Centre of Greater Manchester


Manchester was the worlds first industrial city, a title that was taken with the construction of the Cotton Exchange at Market Place in 17. The area first comprised mills and later workhouses and factories, changing over the past 70 years to become the commercial and leisure Centre that can be seen today.

Custom Essays on does quality of living increae as distance from CBD does in manchester

But how has this growth affected the residential areas of the city? If it follows the concentric ring model, in the Centre will be the central business district (CBD) then the inner city, with small compact houses, and a low standard of living. Then the suburbs with an average standard of living, and medium amounts of open space. Then on the outside is the urban fringe, with masses of open space, and a relatively high standard of living.

The oldest houses are in the inner city, because early on in the citys lifetime there was plenty of room there, and as time went on the area became full of buildings, so it grew outwards, so theoretically the newest houses are on the outside. The oldest houses will not accommodate more modern facilities, there will be little parking, out houses and worse quality structures. However the new houses will have drives, central heating and inside toilets. However redevelopment will happen in the older houses, so some of them will have the facilities of a newer house.

In the inner city, near the CBD there is a lot of traffic, this is because not only the people who live in the inner city will be travelling around, but also those who commute to the CBD from the suburbs as well.

For some people the edge of the city is attractive as it is near to the countryside. Where they can go on walks, and live a less stressful life.

In the Centre of the city there are much taller buildings, occupying less ground space. Most inner city houses have little or no garden, and there is little open space, so most houses are terraces. This is because in the CBD the land is highly sought after by businesses. There is mathematically less space, as the Centre of the city is smaller than further out. Further out the land is worth less as there is more to go around, and the land is not wanted by many people. This is called the urban land value paradox, as the houses worth more are on cheaper ground, per square metre.

Less affluent people might prefer to stay in the inner city, as there is far more employment there, and these people are less likely to own cars, and so want to be near to their place of work.

Wealthy people can afford to keep the area where they live in better condition, for example paying for a gardener to look after their garden. This improves the aesthetics of the whole area, improving living standards.

Data collection

I will collect the majority of the data necessary to test my hypotheses from a primary source, I will visit 8 places which fit on a transect from the Centre of Manchester, which for the purposes of this investigation will be the G-MEX Centre, to the outskirts of the city. When I visit each of these areas I will make notes on the environment.

At each location I could just make observations on just one road, or just one house even, however this would not make an accurate study, to avoid this will do a study on 4/5 roads in each area, and I will choose the roads so that all aspects of an area is represented.

As I am investigating the standard of living I will use eight different factors to measure the standard of living in each area, all are based on economic or social elements of standard of living. I will also use aerial photographs to classify all the land in an area.

These are the results that I got for one area, castlefield.

I have also taken several photographs to support these claims

The total environmental view score for Castlefield is

- + 1 + 17 + = 56

56/4 = 14

I also need to supplement this with other secondary data.

I will also use several online resources to find out the average distance to travel to the city Centre (G-MEX) by car

According to the AA it take between 4-6 minutes to drive the 0. miles from castlefield to the G-MEX Centre.

I will also check all of the areas for house prices, I will use www.rightmove.co.uk to do this. In Castlefield there are two bedroom flats available for around £15,000.




Roof terrace

Central location

This is what Jonathen Schofield, from www.manchester.com, has to say about Castlefield

It is the area of the city where the Bridgwater Canal brought the Industrial Revolution to Manchester and the planet, where you can find the oldest railway station in one of the most interesting museums in the country and where you discover a manmade landscape so dramatic and tough it makes you weep. Its got some pretty damn fine eating and drinking places too.

Data presentation

This graph shows the general trend that the environmental view score, and therefore standard of living, increase as the distance from CBD does. This confirms my hypothesis, however, Castlefield, the most central area in my investigation, scores very highly.


Castlefield is an anomaly, in my opinion, because it is an ideal place for very wealthy young adults to live Its got some pretty damn fine eating and drinking places too - Jonathen Scholfield, it is surrounded by clubs, like the arches, and is nearby for any financial work. It has a low crime rate, and is in an exclusive area. It also has a very good transport network, it has a train station 0.8 miles away. The area is also very modern, with high tech security. There is much entertainment surrounding the area, there is the museum of science and industry, which shows of the areas industrial heritage. The area is also aesthetically pleasing, there is a large canal and beautiful architecture. So this is less part of the low class residential concentric ring. It was the industrial sector, but now it has been regenerated into high quality housing.


Hulme follows the trend, is in the most inner part of the low class residential. Although in some areas have had very extensive regeneration and redevelopment so there is a higher than expected standard of living. Hulme was almost entirely bulldozed, and a great deal of investment was made by private house builders, like Bellway, also there was public funding, European grants, and also housing associations like Mosscare. This funding has gone to regenerate the area and housing stock. It is mostly offset terraces. The standard of living is noticeably higher in the regenerated areas. One of the reasons why it has scored well for cars on road could be because not as many people own vehicle of their own. This is another indicator of low standard of living.

Old Trafford

Old Trafford is similar to Hulme in some ways, it has also undergone regeneration. However it has not received the same level of investment, partly because most of the housing is privately owned then rented out. So the is not one single body to apply for funding for regeneration. area still suffers from fundamental problems like litter and graffiti. It has a very high building density, and little off-road parking. The standard of living is increasing over time, however with problems like drugs and unemployment, and nearly 100% of houses terraces, it is in the low class residential zone. A lot of the houses are for rent, not for sale, as people who would live in this area would be less likely to be able to purchase property.


Stretford lies right on the boundary between medium and low class residential. In some areas it has high-rise flat blocks, in others it has large semi-detached housing. In some areas it has short terraces with little off-road parking, but they are relatively large and are aesthetically pleasing. The semi-detached houses have off road parking, and are modern. The standard of living in Stretford is notably higher than Old Trafford, and in some areas will be as high as Urmston (see next section) Stretford is really more like two smaller towns, than one larger one, one more economically affluent area, with semi-detached housing, and one less economically affluent area, with terraced housing.


Urmston is in the middle of the medium class residential, this is shown by the fact that most of the houses are semi-detached with off-road parking, it is near a large medium-high order commercial Centre for jobs for professionals. It has a train station for commuters, and has a low crime rate. This is an attractive area to families with young children. It has a lot of open spaces and most houses have off-road parking. However there is rather a lot of traffic, as it is a through route to the nearby motorway junction.


Sale is in the outer edge of the medium class residential, most houses are semi-detached or detached. However it also contains the infamous Racecourse estate, is a Manchester city council (MCC) off spill estate to house MCC tenants from the first regeneration of hulme, when the back to back houses were replaced with the crescent blocks. MCC has handed the management of the racecourse estate to Trafford borough council and Irlwell valley housing association. Some have been bought by tenants using the right to buy legislation. The houses there are offset terraces, which were built in the 150s, however they are being renovated by the inhabitants slowly, these houses are small and would suite less affluent families. The rest of the area is large houses with loads of open space. This area is ideal for wealthy large families.


Altrincham is part of the higher class residential area. This is shown by the high environmental view score. Also the houses here are worth considerably more than those in Sale, in Sale the average -bed property costs around £185,000.00, whereas in Altrincham it is more like £,000.00. Also the building density is a lot less than in Sale. Some of the houses are modern detached houses. They have also been designed considering the fact that the owners may have more than 1 or cars. There are also early 0th century terraces, semis and detached houses, these have been renovated and are very attractive. These houses would be ideal for a wealthy retired couple or family.


Hale is full of Victorian houses mainly, which have been renovated. Hale is an attractive area for affluent families with a highly disposable income. It is almost entirely detached housing, the public transport network is not very good, as every one there will own cars. The houses here cost more than a quarter of a million. There is a lot of land available, and so the houses are very large.


Bowdon is the highest class residential area on the outskirts of Manchester. All of the houses are large and the building density is very low. This area is attractive to most people, however only the most affluent people can afford to live here.


From this investigation I have proven my hypothesis that quality of living does increase further from the CBD. However there are exception, like in Castlefield, arguably the area with the highest standard of living. When there are these exceptions it is because there has been redevelopment and regeneration projects. This shows that inner city regeneration does work, and that it is worthwhile investing in areas with a low standard of living. However Hulme is an example of where it can go wrong, like the Crescent blocks. If regeneration is going to be successful, the tenants needs need to be considered. Manchester has been significantly redeveloping since the 10s, which saw huge slum clearances all over the city. People were rehoused to different areas, particularly away from high density conditions in the Centre to areas with gardens and space on the periphery. This process can now be seen to have been successful, and other cities can follow the example that Manchester has set. However Manchester is not without its problems. In Longsight for example, there is still poor quality housing, high levels of crime, regeneration has occurred here, but the main emphasis has been on economic growth instead of social and environmental problems. This process is hindered by large amounts of migration into the area, and transient populations, who once they establish themselves into the culture, learn the language and get jobs, they move out, so there is little social regeneration.


I would have preferred is possible to have studied each area at the same time on the same day, however this would have required several groups to cover each area, and this would lead to inconsistency in the results due to different people having different opinions. I would also like to have included residents in the study, asking them about things like income, family size, how long they have lived in the property, if it was their first property. This way I could have made a profile of the kind of person who lives in an area.

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