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Urban And Rural

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Urban and rural areas are two terms used to describe populated areas. The main differences between urban and rural areas are how many people live there and how built up the areas are, but there is more to it than that. It is important to understand the perceptions of both urban and rural areas, and the evaluation of living space.

Urban and rural definitions

Let's expand those definitions a little further.

Urban areas are places of high populations and high density, characterised by their built-up infrastructure. They are expanded by the act of urbanisation.

Rural areas are the complete opposite of urban areas, having a low population and density whilst maintaining a lack of large infrastructure.

Urban and rural areas and their perceptions

Urban areas are perceived differently by a range of groups based on their experiences and perceptions. For example, the views of the Victorian era are dramatically different from the current day, and views of both inner-city areas and rural settings are different.

Victorian perceptions

Upper-class Victorians viewed urban areas as dangerous and threatening, with pollution from factories and vast amounts of working-class people living in poverty causing them to turn away. Many of these wealthier citizens began to plan new ‘model’ cities.

Saltaire, a village in Shipley, West Yorkshire, is a Victorian model city. After being built in 1851, the village began to install many recreational buildings that caused it to be seen as a place of luxury to those of the Victorian upper class.

Current perceptions

Urban areas have seen a vast growth of job opportunities in modern times which has greatly improved the perception of urban areas, mainly in the inner city. The presence of universities, hospitals, and access to other high-quality services make them attractive places to live, work, and study, especially because they are close to bigger towns or cities. Alongside this, social and leisure activities have drawn in young visitors and workers from surrounding areas and overseas.

However, there are also negative perceptions of urban areas today. Derelict land, high levels of poverty, and high crime levels have tarnished the view of urban areas. Media perspectives of these areas have added to these negative connotations and many urban areas receive a bad reputation as a result.

Inner city area perceptions

These areas are favoured by young professionals and the density of the area allows for a higher amount of job opportunities. They are also valued by students as the areas have good access to both education and entertainment. Cities are seen as bustling hives of activity and are often seen as 'the place to be'.

Similar to urban areas, inner cities are more likely to experience crime than quieter suburban locations.

Suburban area perceptions

Suburban areas are located between busier urban locations and the quieter countryside. There are usually large housing developments, good road networks, and access to services like shopping malls, supermarkets and leisure activities. Suburban areas are favoured by young families due to the higher numbers of schools and quieter roads. Other notable attributes are the rail networks and older populations of mainly retired people. While suburban areas are often considered safer than cities, they are normally close enough that people can access services in the city, such as hospitals.

Urban and Rural, Suburbs, StudySmarterSuburban houses have much more space and land than inner-city ones, Pixabay

Rural area perceptions

Rural areas are located outside of large towns or cities. People who live here have much more space and are likely to live in a village or far out into the countryside. A very different population lives in rural areas which have completely different characteristics than urban or suburban areas.

The rural idyll

Rural areas are seen as ideal places to live with picturesque landscapes and historic buildings. The old cottage style of housing and relaxed lifestyle (tranquillity) has also brought more to the area. Finally, a sense of community with higher amounts of socialising and less crime has made rural places perfect for older communities and growing families.

The portrayal of rural areas in the media has increased the effectiveness of this view.

Varying perspectives

Rural areas are often home to an ageing population, meaning there are likely to be limited social opportunities for younger people. Alongside this, they can be popular with tourists (honey-pot sites) which can cause seasonal employment and high density in certain months with little to no economic activity during the off-season.

Depending on what a person is looking for, rural areas can be an excellent place to live; there is far less noise pollution and air pollution. Having access to green space is supposed to improve mental health and living on a large stretch of land provides more privacy. However, rural areas can be very isolating. With fewer goods and services coming in and out of these areas, people living are more at risk of loneliness. Retirees who no longer drive are especially at risk. Though rural areas are ideal for older people in many ways, they can be difficult areas for young people as services and house maintenance become more expensive. There are also far fewer job opportunities. While rural areas provide beautiful landscapes and privacy, they can be difficult places to live in.

Urban and Rural, Varying Perceptions, StudySmarterSome areas are entirely isolated, Pixabay

Evaluating living spaces

So how do we go about evaluating these diverse places to study or improve them?

The use of qualitative and quantitative data allows us to represent the quality of living spaces. Qualitative methods (non-numerical) include photographs, postcards, written documents, interviews, and social media sources. Quantitative methods (numerical) include census data, IMD data (Index of Multiple Deprivation), and surveys.

These forms of data allow councils and governments to choose how to develop the areas. What is important to remember is that depending on where people live, they will have different opinions of rural, urban and suburban areas.

Urban and rural differences

There are clear differences between the two types of area. The amount of people and density is much higher in urban areas as well as the size of the infrastructure. Rural areas are typically seen as more idyllic and attractive to older people or families whilst urban areas often attract students or young professionals. Both receive different forms of negative perceptions, however, with urban areas being seen as highly polluted and noisy whilst rural places can be seen as isolated and boring.

Urban And Rural - Key takeaways

  • Inner city urban areas are usually characterised by their high populations, services, and a population of many students and young professionals.

  • In the suburban areas, more young families and older people make up the population and there are many transport links to the inner-city.

  • Rural areas are more isolated and therefore have fewer services and jobs but are more tranquil and better for growing families.

  • The best way to evaluate living spaces is through qualitative and quantitative methods and allow councils to make changes to areas.

Urban And Rural

They are different types of populated areas, characterised by how many people there are and the types of services found there.

Inner city spaces and suburban are two types of urban spaces.

A high population and built environment. High amounts of jobs and services as well as closeness to high-level education and entertainment.

Final Urban And Rural Quiz

Question

What are the main differences between rural and urban areas?

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Answer

The amount of people living there and how built up the area is.

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Question

What are the two types of urban areas?

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Answer

Inner-city and suburban.

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Question

Which is not a Victorian view of urban areas? 

That they are filled with pollution

There is a high level of poverty

The buildings are intimidating


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Answer

The buildings are intimidating

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Question

What are the two types of methods used to collect data when investigating the quality of living space?


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Answer

Qualitative and Quantitative.

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Question

Which population group favours inner-city areas?


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Answer

Young Students and Professionals.

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Question

Which population group favours suburban areas?


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Answer

Young Families.

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Question

True or False? Older people prefer isolated rural areas.


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Answer

True.

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Question

True or False? There are fewer high-level education oppurtunities in inner-city urban areas.


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Answer

False, there are more.

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Question

What are two negative influences on current-day perceptions of urban areas?


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Answer

Media influence, derelict land, high levels of crime and high levels of poverty.

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Question

What is the term that refers to ideal lifestyle in a rural lifestyle?


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Answer

Rural Idyll

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Question

Why do younger people not enjoy rural areas?


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Answer

Because they can feel more isolated with less entertainment or social installments.

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Question

Which of these is not a qualitative method? Photographs, postcards, interviews, or index census data?


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Answer

Index census data

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Question

Are there more or less job opportunities in inner-city urban areas?


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Answer

More

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Question

Which group enjoys rural areas more? Young Professionals, Retirees or Students


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Answer

Retirees

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Question

Which of these is not a type of urban area? Inner-city, rural farm, suburbs


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Answer

Farm

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Question

What did wealthier, victorian citizens begin to plan after turning away from urban areas?


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Answer

'Model' Cities

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Question

Who uses qualitative and quantitative data to choose how to develop an area?


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Answer

Councils and governments.

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Question

What term describes a rural area that attracts tourists?


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Answer

'Honey Pot'

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Question

Which of the following is not a benefit of the ‘Rural Idyll’? Picturesque Landscapes, Fewer services, Relaxed lifestyle or tranquillity


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Answer

Fewer services

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Question

True or False? Media does not affect the ‘Rural Idyll’.

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Answer

False, it has in fact made ot more effective in recent years.

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