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Durham e-Theses
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A social geography of urban fringe housing estates

Blowers, A. T. (1970) A social geography of urban fringe housing estates. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis explores three themes for each of which hypotheses are put forward based upon existing research. They are; first, that there are recognisable socio-geographic subdivisions within any community of neighbourhood unit size; second, that design and layout are important determinants of the social pattern; and third, that attitudes to place are the product of environmental as well as individual characteristics. Two urban-fringe council housing estates, broadly similar in age, size, and location, are chosen for study - North Kenton on Tyneside, and the G.L.C. out-county estate at Sheerwater, Woking, Surrey. The research is based on existing data, observation, and direct enquiry of a sampled population by means of a schedule. The environmental and demographic features of the estates are described. Analysis of workplace, shopping, entertainment, and visiting patterns reveals the interaction between each estate and the wider community. While both have attained a degree of functional self-sufficiency, Sheerwater, more isolated from the former homes of its residents, has achieved more social integration than North Kenton. The North Kenton survey emphasises the impact of the built environment which has resulted in the socio-geographic characteristic of the estate. Certain problems, affecting old people and young children especially, have arisen from failures in layout and design. At Sheerwater attitudes to place and spatial perception are examined and the role of individual experience and aspiration, and personal mobility are among the factors considered. Beyond the estate perceptual clarity diminishes though it is clearly influenced by the main lines of communication. In conclusion, the inter-relationship of the major themes is demonstrated and the validity of the initial hypotheses upheld. The research area is a broad one and suggests lines of future enquiry. In particular the theme of spatial perception offers considerable scope for all forms of geographical study.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1970
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:13

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