A case study in urban geography
This is an urban geography case study of selected residential areas in Newcastle upon Tyne. The content is aimed at Geography students, particularly those studying for A-level, SQA Higher/AH or similar level pre-degree courses, but may be of interest to others.
The reference materials page has links which will allow you to build a profile of any other settlement area in the UK allowing you to compare it with the urban areas on this site.
This site is not a platform involved in campaigning for or against particular housing developments or on urban issues in general. Where appropriate, links are provided to sites and sources covering a range of views. Thanks to those who have taken the trouble to submit a comment and apologies for not publishing it.
This site was reformatted to improve readability on a range of electronic devices in February 2017.
Using the site
How you use these materials depends on the examination you are preparing for. You need to get the specification or syllabus and check what it says you need to know. This is available from your exam provider’s website (e.g. AQA, EdExcel, OCR, WJEC, SQA).
Common themes for urban geography topics are land use patterns and characteristics, urban social and economic differences including deprivation (or relative variations in affluence between areas) and change over time such as regeneration or revitalisation (including rebranding). Some of these differences relate to tenure (private rented, socially rented, owner-occupied housing) and location (inner city, suburban, outer edge).
- Using the information and links provided you can complete tables or spreadsheets of information for the areas you are interested in for each of the themes or topics included in your course specification.
For each area some key information is given: a postcode, a link to a Bing map, a link to Geograph square(s) for that area and a link to the Government statistics on that neighbourhood. The Census for 2011 is also useful.
Postcodes are a good way of identifying urban areas at a useful scale (perhaps less so in rural areas). The postcode chosen for each area has been carefully selected to give you a realistic impression for that area. For more complex areas, more than one postcode is given. The reference materials page has more about using postcodes. The links are for these postcodes.
Bing maps give you a Bird’s Eye view which you can turn around. This makes it easy to see what the street pattern and housing types are like. You may also want to look at Google maps using street view (just feed in the postcode or use the map on the home page).
Geograph This is a link to the main OS square for the area and has contributed photos for that area in general (many taken by Geography teachers). Some areas are larger than others and more than one map square may be suggested.
Neighbourhood summary links to an Office of National Statistics page for the chosen postcode. All 32,482 neighbourhoods in England have been ranked on a range of topics, together with a ‘deprivation’ ranking. The most deprived neighbourhood in England has a rank of 1. The summary includes information on the ranking and the components which made it up (e.g. health, education, occupations, benefit claimants). The summary also gives you an idea of housing tenure in the area and the age structure. The ‘more’ tab allows you to download tables in spreadsheet format.
Index of Multiple Deprivation (relative affluence) If deprivation was uniformly distributed across England, 10 per cent of local areas in each town or city would be in the 10 per cent most deprived areas in the country. In 2004 Newcastle was the 20th most deprived city/urban district but had improved to 37th by 2007 and 66th by 2010. Since 2010 Newcastle upon Tyne has seen over 60% of its output areas (LSOAs) experience a positive shift in the multiple deprivation index [Lichfields blog http://lichfields.uk/blog/2015/october/19/cities-and-deprivation/ Newcastle Map]
The 2015 statistics for England update those issued in 2010; most of the data used for these statistics are from 2012 to 2013.
- England Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-indices-of-deprivation-2015 You can download an Excel spreadsheet summary.
- England Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 map: http://dclgapps.communities.gov.uk/imd/idmap.html
- England index of multiple deprivation postcode lookup: http://dclgapps.communities.gov.uk/imd/idmap.html
- Guardian article and 2010 map for comparison: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/indices-multiple-deprivation-poverty-england
Images – a note about using them
Some of the images on this website were taken between 2000 and 2003 and there will have been changes in these areas since then. Some images have been updated in 2014 and 2015. If a coloured link is provided in the caption you will be able to access a large size image (some are on Flickr). I own the copyright on my own images and some rights are reserved (to be clear an attribution, non commercial, no derivatives Creative Commons 4.0 applies – this lets you use the images for educational purposes providing you credit the author and don’t edit them). Users should check links to material I have shared.
You can also check these websites for additional images:
- Geograph Photographs, information and maps for every OS grid square in the UK (and Ireland). Can search by postcode. http://www.geograph.org.uk/
- Photographs of Newcastle photo blog http://newcastlephotos.blogspot.co.uk/p/photographs-of-newcastle.html
- Flickr Try different search terms and don’t forget to look for pools or groups. http://www.flickr.com/
Haven’t I seen this somewhere before?
This case study was first launched as a website in 2003 and hosted for many years on a BT internet website. In 2012 BT pulled the plug on the site. The site was fully reconstructed and updated in December 2012. It has been updated since, with additional areas, and a number of images replaced in 2014-15. You are particularly welcome to suggest corrections and amendments as the author no longer lives in Newcastle and no longer teaches A-level Geography.
The areas selected were originally chosen to complement an urban geography field trip undertaken by A-level students.
You can contact the author Kay on kay[dot]1707[at]gmail[dot]com