Urban Environments

In this section you need to:

  1. Know what the features of the CBD are and how it has changed.
  2. Know what the features of the Inner City are and how it has changed.
  3. Know what the features of the Suburbs are.
  4. Understand the issues occuring in the rural/urban fringe.
  5. Understand the problems of temporary settlements in LEDCs and what the solutions to those problems are.

This page will give you a brief and basic introduction to the main points you need to know. Check your notes for more detailed case studies and real world examples.

CBD Features

This table summarizes the features that you might expect to find in a MEDC's CBD. Note that the table tells you which you can expect to find on a map and which are more useful to general descriptions of the 'environment' of the CBD.

General Environment
Features on the map
air pollution A concentration of churches
noise pollution historical sites - castles/cathedrals
congestion narrow streets, confused/ unplanned streets
high order services grid iron streets indicating central planning
pedestrian precints, one way streets, parking restrictions tourist attractions
general absence of housing route centre of major roads
higher land values train/bus stations

Now watch this revision clip to find out what to look for on a map.

CBD Changes

The CBD of Ediburgh has changed in order to attract customers and businesses. In recent years many customers and businesses have left to out of town locations as the CBD has become congested, polluted or too expensive. The basic solutions are as follows:

Watch this tour of Edinburgh's CBD. You can pause it at any time by clicking on the screen, then you can explore the evironment with the arrow keys. Use Ctrl+arrow keys to change the direction you're looking in. By clicking on the i icons and information balloons you can find out more about the features I consider to be important.


You can interact with this tour of the CBD of Edinburgh.

The Inner City

The inner city of cities such as Edinburgh are where we might expect to find old industrial environments. These areas have changed a great deal in recent years. Their main features are below:

The main factor is that the industry in these areas has changed. The old breweries and factories in the Fountainbridge area of West Edinburgh have all closed down. This resulted in unemployment and a lack of investment in the area. The impacts from this process can be summarized as follows:

Social Environmental Economic
Crime Regeneration of housing Change in employment base
Vandalism Redevlopment of brown field areas Unemployment when factories close
Increased drug/alcohol abuse in unemployed Litter Lack of inestment in unattactive areas
Depression amongst unemployed Air pollution stops as factories close Changing demographic as young porfessionals move in
Area ages as young people move away Canals need cleaned Falling property value as area gets scruffy
Least qualified or unemployable left behind   Businesses close down - multiplier effect kicks in

Inner City Changes:

Find out about regeneration in this activity.