Geographical investigations - Rebranding places

Jody Lelean-Smith
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Geography Note on Geographical investigations - Rebranding places, created by Jody Lelean-Smith on 04/30/2013.

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Jody Lelean-Smith
Created by Jody Lelean-Smith over 6 years ago
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Geographical investigations Rebranding places Time to Rebrand Rebranding   Regeneration, rebranding and reimaging of places has become increasingly prominent on government agendas in recent years, especially in areas that have experienced significant economic or industrial decline. Process of renewing places is expensive and often involves physical redevelopment of outdated facilities. Rebranding and reimaging mean more than just improving the cosmetics of a place, also concerned with reputation, spirit and identity. In rebranding there are 4 focuses: Environmental – to improve derelict infrastructure and the quality of the environment. Social – to overcome spiral of decline and deprivation and cycle of poverty. Economic – to improve job opportunities and bring income to the area Political – to raise money for projects through the ‘bid industry’ which is necessary for successful rebranding. The need to rebrand Rebranding may be required in a variety of locations: urban areas, former industrial regions or parts of the countryside and coastal areas. CITIES IN DECLINE Increasing costs of upkeep, developing and remodelling of Central business districts (CBDs). Many CBDs are becoming increasingly congested, inaccessible and expensive. Loss of retailing function from CBDs to out-of-town shopping centres. Loss of offices and commercial functions from city centres to suburban and peripheral locations, such as prestige science parks City centres perceived as dirty and unsafe.   BIRMINGHAM Image for many years was determined by events at the British Leyland factory (later Rover). The impression was that of a city with a disruptive and powerful workforce with weak management. Reconstruction of image in 1990s caught between 2 factors: -Historical importance of the car industry to the identity of the region. -A series of negative associations linked to the industry. Also identified with failures of ‘modernist’ project Modernism was an architectural style in 1950s and 1960s relying on simplistic and often angulay form using iron, steel, concrete and glass. Current wave of remaking is producing impressive new buildings and using culture and identity to drive regeneration. 1976 – National exhibition centre (NEC) opened on greenbelt land near to Birmingham city airport. Late 1980s – International convention centre (ICC) and symphony hall opened. Development of areas around broad street. Extention and refurbishment of Birmingham repertory theatre. 1193 – Initial development by Argent group of Brindley place – 7ha development costing £350m. Now houses sea life centre, Ikon and Royal bank of Scotland. 2003 – Bullring development opened at £530m, creating 8000 new jobs. 2005 – Completion of £40m redevelopment of Matthew Boulton college, teaching over 500 courses to 7000 students. 2013 – First half of redeveloping New Street Station opened 28th April.     COALFIELD COMMUNITIES UK coal industry been in decline for years, during last 2 decades most coal mines in Britain were closed. Between 1984 and 1997, 170,000 coal mining jobs were lost in England. This raised problems for communities built around them: -Areas were characterised by high levels of dereliction and ground contamination, mostly the legacy of mining. -Not a strong tradition of self-employment. -Lack of education and training in populations of coalfield areas. -Proportion of population in 1991 classified as having long-term limiting illness was 15% in coalfield regions, compared to 12% in England on the whole.   COUNTRYSIDE IN CRISIS?   Recently, the view that rural life is difficult and under threat has become prominent. Partly due to media coverage of farming crises, such as the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak. A number of rural pressure groups and interest groups such as the Countryside Alliance have highlighted difficulties faced by rural residents. Created a somewhat ant-idyllic view: -Backward -Unsophisticated -Unfriendly (especially to incomers) -Environmentally damaged -Boring Sleepy & slow These viewpoints have been reinforced by media representation. E.g. Tv shows such as Father Ted Portrays rural people as simple and backward.     PROBLEMS AT THE SEASIDE   Most coastal settlements are dependent on seasonal, resort economy which is shrinking. Many coastal areas have also experienced decline in their fishing industries and this is coupled with high concentrations of migrant labour. Coastal regions can only be accessed from one direction and tend to be remote and difficult to get to.     BLACKPOOL IN DECLINE The Victorian working-class town of Blackpool drew 17 million visitors a year, now struggles to attract more than 10 million. Cheap package holidays drew many families away in the 1980s. Large Northern cities such as Leeds and Newcastle cornered the ‘weekend break’ market in 1990s. Fewer tourists mean fewer jobs. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of registered businesses in Blackpool fell by 6%, but the number in the country rose by 15%. Unemployment is now at 7% and wages have fallen. In 2002, the Average Blackpudlian was paid 17% less than the average Briton, this gap increased to 26% by 2006. 

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