Urban decline

Urban decline

Q11. With reference to examples suggest reasons for urban decline (8)

There are three main reasons for the decline of urban areas. Firstly, the decline of the economy. The employment moves away from the large cities into rural areas as the type of industry in the UK changes. The heavy industry of the steel works in Sheffield and the ship building of Newcastle is lost to overseas due to their cheap labour costs. The offices move to the suburbs to take advantage of the vast areas of land available. At the peak there was an average of 1 million jobs a year lost in the inner city, loss of jobs results in an increase in unemployment. The workers of such factories often lived close once they lost their jobs they had no money to move where as wealthier residents moved out to the suburbs along side the new businesses leaving behind the most deprived residents. Along side this the infrastructure left behind is mainly specialist so leaves a shortage of land for new industry. In order to take advantage of the vacant factories it would have to be knocked down and started again from scratch becoming a very costly process hence why most buildings are left vacant and derelict.

Secondly, Population/social decline. The processes of suburbanisation and counter urbanisation so the out migration of selective groups: the younger and more affluent were the ones leaving in search of jobs which were now located in the suburbs as well as in the inner city push factors of high crime rates, high pollution etc. This left behind the poor and unskilled workers who struggle to find jobs causing a downward spiral.

Finally, the decline of the physical environment. The out movement of the more affluent residents as well as businesses leaves behind empty and derelict properties and factories which are an eye sore to the population, the unattractive nature repels the likelihood of attracting new investment and instead makes the area worse. As a result of the poor and unskilled being left...

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