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Friday, 4 January 2013

1.   Describe the changes taking place at the edge of an HIC city you have studied (9)

The edge of a HIC city that I have studied is the Southside Reading area around junction 11 of the M4. In the past the area was mainly dominated by landfill sites and old gravel pits, the most significant building was the Courage Brewery.
The first major development was a new dual carriageway, which was built to relieve pressure from the A33 to Basingstoke.
The next development was the relocation of the Reading Football club from the hemmed in inner city location at Elm Park, to the brand new Madjeski Stadium in the outskirts of Reading. Next to the stadium there is also Reading Gate, which s an out-of-town shopping centre. Reading Gate includes many well-known shops such as B&Q, DIY Supercentre Comet and BHS.
Reading International Business Park was developed to cope with the rising demand in business space. Green Park is another business and science park; it is being developed over a 10 year period and will eventually accommodate a workforce of over 7000 people. When it is completed green Park will be one of the largest business parks in Britain.
Another project that has been approved is the Green Park Village. The Green Park Village is a new community to the west of the Green Park. The development includes 700 high quality energy efficient homes and a lake. It also includes a railway station and a primary school.
Reading Gateway is the space between the Stadium, Green Park and Reading International Business Park.  It is a mixed scheme of at least 850 homes, business space and a hotel on the existing sewage treatment works at Manor Farm Road.
Kennet Island is another housing project. It is located halfway between Reading Town Centre and the M4 motorway.  Part of the development is covered by an initiative set up by the government called “My Choice Homebuy”, this aims at giving first time buyers a chance to get on the property ladder.  Most of the land was previously used by Reading’s water treatment works.

2.   Explain the reasons for the changes you have identified in your answer above (9)
The decentralisation of residents and businesses to the rural urban fringe has been caused by many different factors.
Suburbanisation is the outward spread of the urban area, often at lower densities compared with the older parts of a town or city.
In 1901 the population of Reading was 73000, now it was population of around 160000. This growth has forced the town to change.  There were some sites which were in urgent need of regeneration, so the council devised its South-West Reading Development brief in 2000. These proposals include, improving accessibility and developing an orbital transport service.
Urban Sprawl is another cause, it is a result of Greenfield development, and Inner cities have been neglected because of the advantages of Greenfield development. These advantages are that Greenfield sites allow you to build bigger, companies are often free to build as big as they want Also parking is not an issue. Greenfield sites have loads of space dedicated towards parking. Parking lots mean an even bigger draw for possible consumers.
Liability is also not an issue as there are almost no environmental problems with Greenfield sites this means that there is less or no liability. Because of this lack of environmental liability banks are more likely to offer you a loan to develop Greenfield sites
Tax incentives are also a bonus; there are few tax incentives to develop Brownfield sites. In suburban areas the costs of water, energy construction labour and waste disposal are often less also environmental impact reports are not required prior to development.
 One of the reasons people move out of the city is that they do not feel satisfied with the inner city life; this is caused by different push factors. The housing is old, congested and relatively expensive. There are various forms of environmental pollution. Unused lad is costly.
There are also some pull factors that draw people towards the urban fringe. The Land is cheaper so the houses can be larger. Factories are more spacious and have parking facilities. Proximity to major roads allows for easier and quicker customer contact. 
There has also been an increase in out-of-town retailing, with large purpose built superstores. There is easy accessibility because the superstores are located next to major roads. There are also large free car parks to park your cars. On the other hand in the city centre there is congestion and expensive parking. These out-of-town shopping centres are also designed with leisure activities included so that there is something for all of the family.
Industrial estates, business parks and science parks will be attracted b the availability of labour nearby, better accessibility, cheaper land and the attractive setting.

Mega Cities

Answer the questions on Mega-cities from the market place activity.
What are mega cities (4 marks)
Megacity is a term used to describe a city which has a population over 10 million. In 190 there were only 4 megacities, in 2010 there were 24 and it is estimated that by 2015 there will be nearly 30 megacities, half of which in Asia.
Explain the factors that have led to emergence of megacities (9)
Cities need high population growth in the city and the surrounding areas (this supplies migrants to the city) to grow. The population boom in many countries only started a few decades ago, especially after the Second World War the population growth increased. Large rates of rural-urban migration among young adults plus increased natural increase due to advances in technology and health services. Better hygiene leads to a higher natural increase and an increase in life expectancy. City dwellers are able to specialise which increases the productivity. Cities are sited on trade routes which provide good communication, for example rivers roads and railways.
There is a reduced need for agricultural labour combined with the loss of farm land. Greater productivity in the agricultural sector means fewer workers are needed and greater opportunities in the city. Growing industrialisation poor farming methods and climate change all contribute to the loss of farm land, for example China looses 3-6 thousand sq km of agricultural land each year.
Similar specialised activities, like banking, will cluster together in cities this leads to a large pool of workers which leads to an increased efficiency. This creates a multiplier effect which is the idea of momentum, once a city gains success it leads to more success. There are more jobs so more people come which means there are more people who need goods and services, which creates more jobs, and the cycle goes on.
Economies of Scale show that there are advantages to be gained from one megacity instead of many smaller cities. In Megacities there are financial savings to be made from transport, communication between people and businesses will be easier. Better schools will be located in cities this means there is a better educated workforce in cities. These people increase the overall productivity of the city raising its GDP. The city dwellers now have a high level of education are rich and are diverse this leads to more cultural activity which can be a consumer good. This also leads to greater economic development, this also attracts migrants.
Megacities contribute a large proportion of the country’s economic activity for example Bangkok has around 10% of the population but contributes around 30% of the GDP for Thailand.

3.       Describe the problems associated with megacities (6)
Use your textbook, the geofile on megacities, our newspaper article and the link to the market place notes here. Make sure that you use the textbook pages 149-151 and the Geoactive
In Megacities there is a high competition for land which leads to land being expensive and unable to meet demand. This leads to s greater amount of high rise flates. These reduce the availability of green spaces and can diminish the quality of life for those living there. In LIC cities many of the rural to urban migrants are looking for cheap, low cost housing, this is why millions of people live in temporary shanty towns and squatter settlements. Slums can be built on hazard-prone land and lack basic services like health education sanitation and transport. This means that in Slums there is ill-health, low life expectancy and crime.
In Megacities congestion is an issue as walking or cycling to work is not really an option. Designing a transport system takes time and money. Public transport systems are much more space efficient than cars. However it is not easy to plan as megacities grow fast and in an unplanned way. London has tried to control the problem by introducing the Congestion Charge. In Sao Paulo they have found a solution, they have the most complex bus system in the world today. They have many bus lanes. Everywhere in the city is on a bus route. This means that the bus travels faster than cars.
A lot of energy and resources are used in cities. Many LICs and MICs are not connected to the national grid, or connected unsafely. Only 50% of people have piped portable water and these are the cities there the population is growing the fastest.
There is a social segregation which leads to an opportunity gap. Poorer city dwellers do not have access to the same opportunities and services. Large cities encourage criminal activity because it is easier to hide. Megacities have serious quality of life issues but as megacities keep on growing the positives must outweigh the negatives.

Comparing Suetonius and Tacitus- Incest
Suetonius is direct with his accusations and does not really show reference to any of his sources . he says “ NO one doubted that he wanted sexual relations with his own mother”. This does not actually stick to the stereotype fully because although it is still a immoral relationship it is the the upper class woman who is offering herself. “He included among his mistresses a certain prostitute who they say looked very like Agrippina”. This show the lengths Nero went to to simulate being with Agrippina. “ Whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, the stains on his clothes afterwards proved that he had indulged in incest with her”.
Tacitus however is almost the complete contrast to this. Tacitus cites his sources carefully.  He says “ the Author Cluvius writes that Agrippina took her desire to keep power to far as to offer herself more often to a drunken Nero, all dressed up and ready for incest” This is generally along the lines of the stereotype of the time. However Tactitus also offers another perspective to the story. He refers to Fabius Rusticus. “Fabius Rusticus writes that it was not Agrippina, but Nero, who was eager for incest”.  This is again not strictly following the stereotype. However he does later say that “ a number of authors agree with Cluvius and general opinion follows this view.

By the end of his life Alexander believed he was a god. Comment
AO1: 10 AO2:10 AO3:10                                                    
Alexander was brought up to believe that he was descended from Hercules, and hence Zeus, this was mainly due to his mother, Olympia.
He was then subjected his followers to a forced polykenysis which meant that they had to kiss him on the cheek because they were of a lower rank than him. This was regarded as a barbarian, Persian, custom.
In the East the idea of a ruler being divine was unknown. However it was acceptable to Egypt and to the Greeks. The Greeks would give honours if someone was superhuman or had completed superhuman tasks, like Hercules.  For the Greeks there was no sharp distinction between god and men.
When Alexander visited the Oracle of Ammon at Siwa he first had to cross the desert and face many dangers. According to Plutarch Alexander asked two questions to the Oracle, whether any of Phillip’s assassins escaped and more importantly whether he would conquer the entire world. Before this Alexander was called by the priests as the son of Ammon. The Fact that Alexander wanted to publish this statement of him being the son of Ammon shows that he wants to be portrayed as the son of a god.
Plutarch also suggests that that Alexander used his divine status for purely political motives. Alexander restored the exiles which overstepped his legal right as the leader of the Corinthian League. However this interference could be justified if he had higher status i.e. that of a god.
There is some evidence suggesting that Alexander was seeking recognition for his “divine status”. There are records of discussions both in Sparta and Athens about dive honours for the “Son of Ammon”.
Alexander was also faithful to Zeus. He was always brought up to believe that he was descended from Heracles, and hence Zeus, by his mother Olympia. This is shown as before the battle of Gaugamela he sacrificed to Zeus.
Plutarch was writing his biography in parallel to Julius Caesar, who was deified. This means he could adjust the facts to make the two lives more comparable. Plutarch was also a priest at Delphi so this would have influenced his opinions. Arrian is openly biased towards Alexander. They are both writing long after the events actually occurred. Both the sources are strongly against the Persians, when they call them “barbarians”, this would be important when talking about when Alexander adopted Persian customs and Persian Dress. The sources are also inaccurate as they are often quoted to have said that the Persian Army was one million when it was in fact only 60000. 

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