Geography report Essay

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS

What follows in a study of three different residential neighbourhoods in the northern city of Sheffield. The neighbourhoods studied consist of the inner city, the inner suburbs and the outer suburbs, all built at different times and reflecting varying needs of the residents.

            Data collected and examined include: (A) the various types of housing; (B) the specific use of surrounding space, and (C) what differences exist and how these relect the socio-economic characteristics of each area.

The purpose of the present study is to define and explain the differences between the three neighbourhoods based upon the data collected.

SHEFFIELD

The City of Sheffield is located in the County of South Yorkshire at 53°23?N 1°28?W, separated from Rotherham by the M1 motorway and bordered by the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough to the north and Derbyshire to the west and south. West of the city lie the Peak District National Park and the Pennine Hill Range. The surrounding terrain is highly diverse from a geological standpoint; the city itself lies in a bowl-shaped valley formed by surrounding hills and the confluence of the Rivers Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. Elevations in the city range from 10 to 500 metres above sea level; however, 89% of the residential housing in Sheffield is between 100 and 200 metres.

            The rivers, furnishing both an abundant water supply as well as easy means for travel made the area attractive to early Anglo-Saxon and later Danish settlers, and the surrounding hills made it easily defensible. Since the 14th century, steel products were the city’s main industry until the factories were closed in the 1970s.

            Housing in Sheffield is also diverse, ranging from Victorian terraces dating from the 19th century to semi-detached and free-standing houses from the 1920s and 30s, as well as post-war houses and mixed dwellings located in the outer suburbs. The three area that are subject for the present study are:

Area 1: a rehabilitation of old terraces between Albert Road and Valley Road in Heely
Area 2: a low-rise urban development between Gleadless Road and Springwood Road in Heely
Area 3: a collection of semi-detached and freestanding (detached), unaltered Victorian villas located between Victoria Road and Park Lane in Bromhall
MAPS

HYPOTHESIS A

Residential population will decrease in purportion to its distance from the Central Business District (CBD), while the overall size will increase.

Figure 1: Density of Areas Studied

Figure 1 clearly shows that the greatest population density is to be found in Area 1. This area averages 72 people living in 24 houses per 100 square metres. Area 2 contains the same density of houses, but only about 58% of the population; human density in this area is 42 persons per 100 metres. Area 3 has by far the least density; on the average, there are only 21 people living in 7 houses for every 100 square metres of land.

Types of Housing
The result of the study is shown in the following graphs.

KEY:

OT = Old Terraced     MT = Modern Terraced         SD = Semi-Detached

D = Detached                        B = Bungalows                      F = Flats

Figure 2: Area 1 Housing Types

78% of  the houses in Area 1 are old terraces. 14% of the housing in this area consists of flats, and 6% are semi-detached houses. There are no modern terraces or bungalows to be found in this area, and only 3 detached free standing houses exist here.

Figure 3: Area 2 Housing Types

46% of the houses in Area 2 are modern terraces, while semi-detached houses make up half. Only 2% of these houses are bungalows. There is one old terrace and on detached house in this area.

Figure 4: Area 3 Housing Types

Over half of the houses in Area 3 are semi-detached. Approximately 40% of the houses are detached, while the remainder consist of flats: no terraces or bungalows exist.

Building Materials and House Sizes
The houses in Area 1 are very small compared to those in Areas 2 and 3. Prominent features include:

Ornate Brick Chimneys and Fireplaces
Red Brick Construction
Stone Lintels
Coal Holes
Wooden Doors

Houses in Area two are also small, but slightly larger than those of Area 1. Their construction features the following:

Simulated Stone
Plastic Gutters
Interlocking Roof Tiles
Plastic Window Frames
Front Gardens
Area 3 houses are by far the largest and feature the following:

Iron Gutters
Sandstone Walls
Stone Lintels
Slate Roofs
Wooden Window Frames
Analysis Of Results
Area 1 is an inner-city neighbourhood containing what should be regarded as “working-class” housing. The majority of these houses are old Victorian terraces arranged amongst a grid pattern of streets. These were constructed during the early years of the Industrial Age, when the transition from an agrarian-based economy to a manufacturing one forced many farm workers off the land and into the cities in order to seek employment. The factory owners needed to provide housing for this burgeoning workforce, but in their ongoing efforts to internalise profits while externalising expenses, they did this as cheaply as possible, using inferior materials and terracing in order to make the most efficient use of space.

            Area 2 is also an inner-city neighbourhood. Until 20 years ago, it was similar to Area 1. The government at that time decided to embark on a redevelopment plan, with two objectives in mind: (A) to provide housing with indoor plumbing that was lacking in the older types of homes; and (B) to beautify the city by breaking up the repetitive grid pattern of the streets. This resulted in the replacement of the old Victorian structures with modern terraces and semi-detached homes.

            Area 3, an outer suburban neighbourhood located far from the Central Business District, contains a large number of semi-detached and freestanding Victorian houses. These were built primarily for the upper classes. Since this neighbourhood is located in proximity to the university, a number of student flats have also been constructed since the 1960’s. Most of today’s residents are those working in tertiary industries requiring advanced education, such as architecture, law, medicine and education.

House Size
Housing in Sheffield is quite diverse in terms of size. As might be expected from the data and for the reasons presented above, the houses in Area 1 are quite small, and those in Area 2 are only slightly larger. The latter, however are of better quality, with amenities such as front and back gardens. Those in Area 3 are of course are quite large compared with those in Areas 1 and 2, since they were built for a wealthy clientele.

Building Materials
Interestingly, many of the materials used in the houses of Areas 1 and 3 are quite similar. At the time of their construction, the red brick and Welsh slate used in building Area 1 houses were the cheapest available. Area 3 houses used many of these same local materials, but they were of higher quality. In addition, the stone building techniques used in Area 3 houses required greater skill and therefore were more expensive. Both Area 1 and 3 houses have coal holes in the front, since coal was the only fuel available at the time of their construction.

            The materials used during the Victorian period are now much more costly that they were 150 years ago, and in short supply. Therefore, when Area 2 houses were put up, the materials used in their construction was completely different, making use of reconstituted stone and more up-to-date and less expensive materials such as the plastic used in the guttering and window frames.

Determining  the Age of Houses
A number of older houses in Areas 1 and 3 have plaques on them indicating the date of construction. Additionally, during the reign of Queen Victoria, it was customary to name streets for the reigning monarch and the family. Therefore, it is a simple matter to determine the approximate age of a given house and the surrounding neighbourhood based on street names and knowledge of history.

            Area 2 was a bit problematic, since streets are no longer named for reigning monarchs. A plaque outside a church building indicated that the area had been rehabilitated during the 1980s.

Density
The data clearly shows the difference in data for each area. Since quality of life then as now was of no concern to the capitalist industrialists and since a corporation’s only function is to maximise profits, Area 1 homes were designed to house the maximum number of workers for a minimum expense. Today, this neighbourhood is inhabited by large immigrant families and groups of students with limited resources.

            Area 2 houses are newer; unlike private capitalistic corporations, government does not run on the profit motive and in fact has a vested interest in the health and well-being of its citizens, since healthy citizens are less likely to make demands upon the health and social welfare systems. Therefore, houses in Area 2 are constructed in a way so as to allow open spaces and other amenities.  Obviously Area 3 – where houses were built for the privileged classes – has the lowest density.

Conclusion
The data shows that houses do indeed get larger and are generally of better construction the further they are from the CBD. As size, quality and distance from the CBD increases, density falls.

On The Accuracy of Data Collection Methods
100 square metre sections were estimated by pacing, not measured with a metre wheel. The houses within this area were then counted, and the resultant number multiplied by three – the average occupancy rate for housing units within the city. Admittedly, this does not take into consideration the fact that many of the inner-city housing units are occupied by large, extended immigrant families as well as elderly couples and singles. Age of the houses and neighbourhoods were estimated based on street-naming conventions. These methods were much faster, but the data was less precise. More accurate data is available through city and library records, but data collection of this type is extremely time consuming.

HYPOTHESIS B

The use of space surrounding a house will vary according to the amount of space available.

Methodology
Land use maps were prepared for each of the areas under study, using a system of clour-coding (i.e., green for gardening, etc.) Information was recorded in a field notebook on pages 18-20. The data was then transferred to new maps, and overlaid with acetate sheets containing a grid of squares measuring 1 cm by 1 cm. Squares covering land used for a particular purpose were then counted and the percentage of land used for each purpose was calculated using the equation (x/y) ?100 = z, where “x” represents the number of squares for each land use purpose, “y” represents the total number of squares, and “z” equals the percentage of land covered by a particular land use.

Results
Land Use
Squares Taken Up By Land Use
% of Total Area Taken Up By Certain Land Use
Industry
69
26
Services
2
0.75
Semi-Detached Houses
3
1
Detached Houses
2
0.75
Roads
60
23
Old Terraced Houses
40
15
Gardens
72
27
Derelict Land
17
6.5
Modern Terraced Houses
0
0
Open Space
0
0
Table 1
Area 1 (Total Number of Squares = 265)

Figure 5 – Land Use In Area 1

The results for this area show that land use is predominantly residential, garden and industrial. Together, this accounts for about 66% of the total. Derelict land makes up 7%. There is no open space in this area.

Land Use

Squares Taken Up By Land Use
% of Total Area Taken Up By Certain Land Use
Industry
5
1.6
Services
6
1.9
Semi-Detached Houses
40
12.7
Detached Houses
0
0
Roads
80
25.5
Old Terraced Houses
0
0
Gardens
90
28.7
Derelict Land
0
0
Modern Terraced Houses
30
9.6
Open Space
63
20

 Table 2
Area 2 (Total Number of Squares = 314)

Figure 6 – Land Use In Area 2

Area 2 contains little in the way of industrial activity; this area is chiefly residential, with about half consisting of modern terraced and semi-detached housing as well as gardens. Recreational facilities and open spaces make up 20%. Virtually all the land in this area is in use.

Land Use

Squares Taken Up By Land Use
% of Total Area Taken Up By Certain Land Use
Industry
15
4.7
Services
28
8.8
Semi-Detached Houses
20
6.3
Detached Houses
21
6.6
Roads
39
12.2
Old Terraced Houses
0
0
Gardens
185
58
Derelict Land
0
0
Modern Terraced Houses
0
0 This cours from coursework.inf
Open Space
11
3.4
Table 3
Area 3 (Total Number of Squares = 319)

Figure 7 – Land Use In Area 3

Well over 50% of the land in Area 3 is devoted to gardens. About 9% is used for industrial purposes, while open space comprises about 3%; the remainder is residential housing. Again, virtually all of the land in this area is used; there is no derelict property.

Conclusions
Land use varies in each area, depending on distance from the CBD and the socio-economic status of the residents.

HYPOTHESIS C

There are differences in the ethnic makeup of residents, their employment status and the basic amenities available that corrospond to the type of area, its age and its distance from the CBD.

Methodology
Collection of this data required that hard statistics be accessed. The statistics used in this study came from the 1991 Census, consisting of the following tables:

            SO1 (containing the census data about Population Base)

            SO2 (containing the census data about Population Structure)

            SO6 (containing the census data about Ethnic Groups)

            SO7 (containing the census data about Country Of Birth)

            SO8 (containing the census data about Employment Status)

            S20 (containing the census data about Tenure and Household amenities)

            S21 (containing the census data about car ownership)

These tables were consulted for each of the three areas studied. In order to simplify comparisons of the graphs, the results were converted into percentages by dividing the selected amount of data by the number of persons living in the area in question.

Age
% of Pop. (Area 1)
% of Pop. (Area 2)
% of Pop (Area 3)

Males/Females
Males/Females
Males/Females
0-4
13.8/90
4.3/2.5
6.0/5.6
5-9
5.4/5.1
6.5/4.6
7.8/7.5
10-14
4.6/5.5
6.0/3.7
9.6/6.1
15-19
4.2/4.3
3.8/2.5
4.8/3.7
20-24
11.5/10.6
4.3/1.7
5.4/6.1
25-29
16.9/18.8
5.3/6.6
7.2/6.5
30-34
7.3/10.1
4.9/5.4
6.6/3.7
35-39
7.7/5.5
4.3/5.8
4.2/4.7
40-44
4.2/5.1
4.9/2.9
10.8/7.9
45-49
6.5/3.9
7.1/2.9
6.0/6.5
50-54
4.6/4.3
7.6/6.2
4.2/2.3
55-59
3.5/4.3
3.8/4.1
4.2/4.2
60-64
3.5/3.1
7.1/7.5
6.0/3.3
65-69
2.3/0.8
6.0/4.6
3.0/6.5
70-74
0.8/3.1
6.5/11.2
2.4/4.2
75-79
1.5/2.7
8.7/12.0
6.0/2.3
80-84
1.5/2.7
3.8/10.0
4.8/6.5
85-89
0/0.8
3.8/3.3
0.6/9.8
90+
0/0
1.1/2.5
0/2.3
Table 4
SO 2 (Population Base)

A population pyramid shows that the majority of the population of Area 1 is aged between 25 and 29 years; a significant population consists of male children under age 4.

The results for Area 2 shows a large elderly population; many are aged between 70 and 84. Few in Area 2 are younger than 50; in addition, the age range spread is much more even than in Area 1. Area 3 residents – primarily early middle aged professionals – are predominantly between the ages of 40 and 44 years.

Ethnic Group
% Living in Area 1
% Living in Area 2
% Living in Area 3
White
85.8
90.8
96.7
Black Caribbean
2.0
5.5
1.6
Black African
0
0
0
Black Other
1.9
0.2
0.5
Indian
0.8
0.2
0
Pakistani
6.2
1.3
0
Bangladeshi
0
0
0
Chinese
1.9
0
0
Asian Other
0
0
0.3
Other
2.5
2.0
1.0
Table 5
SO 6 (Ethnic Groups)

Figure 8 – Ethnic Groups Living in Area 1

The population of Area 1 is overwhelming Caucasian, making 85% of the residents here. Although quite small, the number of ethnic minorities (Caribbean and African Blacks, Indians, Pakistanis and Chinese) makes up a significantly greater proportion of the population in Area 1 than in the other areas studied.

Figure 9 – Ethnic Groups Living in Area 2

90% of the population in Area 2 is Caucasian. Caribbean Blacks are also a significant presence, making up about 6% of the residents. The Pakistani population is small compared to that of Area 1, comprising only 1% of the Area 2 population.

Figure 10 – Ethnic Groups Living in Area 3

Results of the study show that over 95% of the residents of Area 3 are white Caucasians, the largest proportion of the three areas studied. Caribbean and other Blacks make up about 3% of the population, and other Asians comprise 1%. People of African, Pakistani, Indian or Chinese ancestry are not present.

Tenure
% of People In Area 1
% of People In Area 2
% of People In Area 3
Owned Outright
16.4
2.0
27.6
Buying
33.6
8.1
37.3
Rented Privately (Furnished)
12.3
0.8
14.9
Rented Privately (Unfurnished)
16.8
0.8
2.2
Rented With a Job or Business
2.7
2.0
0
Rented From a Housing Association
16.4
5.3
12.9
Rented From a Local Authority
1.8
80.9
5.2
Table 5
SO 20 (Tenure)

KEY FOR FIGURES 11-13:

O = Owned Outright                         B = Purchasing                       RF = Private  Rental

RJ = Rented From Employer             RH = Association Rental       RA = Public Rental

RUF = Private Rental, Unfurnished

Figure 11 – Tenure In Area 1

The results of the study show that a half of Area 1 residents either own their houses outright, or are in the process of purchasing them. The smallest percentage are those renting from an employer or in connection with a business (3%) and those renting from a public government authority (about 1%).

Figure 12 – Tenure In Area 2

In Area 2, where the population is overwhelming elderly, the large majority of residents (about 80%) rent from a local governmental authority. A small number rent from an employer or in connection with a business.

Figure 13 – Tenure In Area 3

In Area 3, 70% of the residents either own their own houses or are in the process of buying them. Another sizable percentage rent privately (20%) or from a housing association (10%). There are no residents who rent from an employer or in conjunction with a business.

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
Population Base
The study of the three areas reflects some interesting demographic charactistics, from which we may infer a number of facts. The predominant age group living in Area 1 – male children under age 4 and young adults aged 25 to 29 – indicate that the majority of the residents consist of young couples with small children whose economic resources are limited, and therefore will probably only be able to afford this type of housing. Area 2 is inhabited by a large number of elderly, many of whom are pensioners. Since Area 2 is a Council Owned Estate, the residents are not required to pay for nor participate in upkeep. In Area 3, there is a fairly even distribution of young people aged 19 and under, and adults between ages 30 and 50 as well as younger adults aged between 20 and 29. The first two groups are likely to consist of stable families with two children who are the offspring of men and women working in the professions. The third group consists of university students living in large houses that have been converted into flats. The population of people aged 60 and over are probably long-time residents who stay because of the quality of life and easy access to transportation.

Ethnic Groups
Most of the residents of each area studied are Caucasian, however the difference in the numbers of ethnic minorities are interesting in what they reflect. In the area with the lowest Caucasian population, there are significant numbers of Asians, Pakistanis and Caribbean Blacks. It is likely that these people are relative newcomers to the U.K., and currently lack the resources to live elsewhere. In Area 2, there are few Asians, but a substantial number of Caribbean Blacks. Since most of the residents here overall are elderly, chances are that the Caribbean Blacks in this area are also elderly, and have resided in the area for some time. Because the houses in Area 3 are quite expensive, there is a far smaller number of recent immigrants residing here.

Tenure
There is a great deal of variance here. Because house prices are lower, a substantial number of people in Area 1 are able to purchase their houses. Those who aren’t are renting privately; these are students and other transient people, or young couples seeking short-term lodgings whilst saving for a house of their own. Most Area 2 houses are rented from the local governmental council because of the redevelopment that took place during the 1980s. Since the council now owns these houses, they also deal with the upkeep – a part of home ownership for which many elderly pensioners have neither the funds nor the physical inclinations. As Area 3 is inhabited by those enjoying higher incomes, most homes are under private ownership. Those who have resided there for many years probably own their homes outright, but recent homebuyers will be spending many years paying off large mortgages.

Conclusion
An analysis of the data gathered shows clear differences in socio-economic characteristics of each area, which are reflected in the patterns of tenure and ethnic makeup of each area.

            Unfortunately, the data from the census was quite dated, which will have some effect on the accuracy of the study.

LIMITATIONS

The study has proven the differences betwixt the subject areas, but because of the limitations of time and the dated nature of some of the data, the study was less accurate. Recommendations for improvement are as follows:

Hypothesis A
DENSITY:
Greater accuracy could be achieved by using a metre wheel to measure the areas, then consulting later census data. An actual survey of people living in each house would also have resulted in greater accuracy.

AGE OF HOUSES:

Dating houses from materials used and from surrounding street names gave a good approximation of age; however, the city library also contains records that can enable one to date many buildings absolutely.

SIZE OF HOUSES:

Consultation with an estate agent and a study of advertising brochures of houses in each area would give far more specific information.

Hypothesis B
Aerial photographs would allow one to view the rear of these houses, thus confirming the nature of land use for situations in which information was limited to what could be gathered from the front. In addition, updated maps that were of a uniform scale – not available for the present study – would have made for more accurate results..

Hypothesis C
The study was based on information over fifteen years old, and therefore not likely to be accurate. Unfortunately, the most recent data has yet to be released. The only way to have gotten an absolutely accurate picture of the socio-economic characteristics of each area would have been to actually interview each household; however, this would have been quite time-consuming, and many people may have been unwilling to participate.

CONCLUSION

The study clearly demonstrates the differences to be found in various areas of Sheffield. These differences are to be found in the age and size of houses, the building materials used, the types of houses, the use made of the land and socio-economic status of the residents. Generally, houses are larger and density decreases as areas built up farther away from the CBD.

            These results prove no relationship between the age of houses and their location relative to the CBD, because of redevelopment and rehabilitation of older, decaying neighbourhoods. Additionally, whilst housing standards and quality generally increase with distance from the centre, industry and lower- and working-class housing also develops along key transportation links.

            Land use appears to resemble a mixture of Hoyt and Burgess urban land use models. However, data in the present study is insufficient to prove this beyond doubt, and would require study of additional areas of the city.