My definition of geography

Geography is the study of the Earth and the relations of humankind with their environment. An environment consisting of landscapes, mountains, rivers, climate, wildlife and the people by whom it is inhabited.In class we have studied the topic ‘Settlement’ using the secondary sources of textbooks, videos and teacher/class discussions. We have decided to put theories we have learnt, in class, into a practical situation – on a fieldtrip to Llandudno, North Wales on 14th June 2005. Evidence of data and photos will therefore provide us with primary sources and hopefully prove at least one of the studied theories.LlandudnoSite:With its unique combination of Victorian style and Edwardian elegance, Llandudno is the largest holiday resort in Wales. It stands on a peninsula, jutting out into the Irish Sea, between the twin headlands of the limestone rock known as Great Orme and Little Orme. On the other side of Llandudno lies the River Conwy. Llandudno is part of Conwy County Borough in the UK. It is situated in an area of outstanding coastal and mountain beauty, in North Wales, and stands at the gateway to the renowned Snowdonia National Park, just 20-minutes drive away.A Street map of Llandudno. Llandudno in relation to the rest of the UK and North Wales.Physical Features:The town boasts two superb beaches – the North Shore, backed by large Victorian hotels and attached to its 2,295 ft pier (one of the longest in Britain and built in 1878). The beach also offers donkey rides (popular for over 125 years), boat trips, Punch and Judy shows and many summer events and activities. In contrast, the West shore is quieter, with miles of sandy shoreline backed by sand dunes, with excellent views westwards along the coast towards the Isle of Anglesey and Puffin Island.For the best views, however, you can reach the summit of the 679ft Great Orme using either the Great Orme Tramway, the longest cable operated tramway in Britain, or by taking a cable car ride of over a mile. At the top, you can find a visitor centre and summit complex with a bar and restaurant. You can also visit the 4000 year old copper mines, and explore the underground passages. Opened in 1994, the 1,500 seat North Wales Theatre on Llandudno’s Promenade has quickly established itself as the leading theatre in the area, and has a variety of top-quality entertainment on offer throughout the year.The Donkey rides on the beach.A tramcar climbing the 1 in 4 ascent on the Great Orme Tramway.Economic Wealth and History of Llandudno:- Llandudno’s history is closely linked to the copper mines which once thrived on the Orme. However, mining collapsed in the 1840s, and Llandudno became a Victorian resort.- It capitalised from new road and rail communications from both Manchester and Liverpool and also by the new Victorian craze which was known as sea bathing.- Generations of the Mostyn family have been instrumental in preserving the rich heritage of Llandudno and promoting the development and economic prosperity of the area.- Llandudno uniquely combines the Victorian splendour of a coastal resort with the modern attractions and amenities of a bustling town. By doing so, it attracts many tourists which provide it with a healthy economic wealth, however…- …Improvements to the A55 road which runs through North Wales have had a negative affect for businesses as they have had to move in order to attract conference visitors and business tourists because of increased day-trippers to Llandudno.- Some attractions in Llandudno are: 2-mile-long promenade and beautifully preserved pier, shops, top quality entertainment in the magnificent 1500-seat North Wales Theatre, excellent restaurants, trams, a dry ski slope and lovely beaches.The 2,295 foot long Llandudno Victorian Pier,greatly admired by Sir John Betjeman, was built in 1878.Aim of StudyDuring the fieldtrip to Llandudno, my general aim is to study the North Wales seaside resort in terms of land use, urban morphology and its sphere of influence. I will achieve this general aim with supplementary aims, which are as follows.Firstly, I aim to investigate land uses in Llandudno, in order to prove either the Burgess or Hoyt models already studies in class. So, I will take the secondary class work to the primary location, Llandudno.Secondly, I aim to discover Llandudno’s Sphere of Influence through a process of separate studies such as traffic and pedestrian counts and a questionnaire.My third aim is collate notes on building and environmental quality of specific sites in Llandudno.I will use a range of strategies, as a process, to enable me to complete the above aims.Finally, an overall aim is to compile a conclusion of the study and a greater understanding of processing and assessing information.Burgess and Hoyt Models – The TheoriesIn order to achieve my aims, the theories need to be understood.Land use models are used as theories to explain the layout of urban areas. A model is used to make complex ideas simpler to understand. There are two main land use models that apply to urban areas in MEDCS (More Economically Developed Countries) – The Burgess and Hoyt Models. One of these two models should apply to Llandudno, which is my first aim to achieve on the fieldtrip to Llandudno.The Burgess Model (also known as the Concentric model)The concentric ring model (below) was devised by Burgess. It split the land use of the city into rings, starting from the centre. The idea was that urban areas grow equally in all directions, with the oldest, most dense housing being found closest to centre.These definitions of each zone apply to all Burgess Models.CBD: Central Business District; contains the major shops, offices and entertainment facilities.Inner City Zone: An area of old housing and light manufacturing industry. This area dates back to the Industrial revolution when it filled with coal-fired factories and tenement housing blocks.Low Class Residential: An area of poor quality housing, although the conditions are better than the Inner City Zone.Medium Class Residential: An area of housing which was built between the wars. It is mainly semidetached housing and council estates.High Class Residential: An area of expensive housing on the outskirts of the city. It also stretches in to the countryside beyond the city.The Hoyt Model (also known as Sector Model)The Hoyt model (below) has land use concentrated in sectors radiating out from the city centre. For example, factories may be concentrated along a river, canal or road to form a zone of industry. This would attract low-class housing, but repel high-class residential land use.Factories concentratedalong rivers, canals, Low-class residential located rail lines or roads close to industry to save commuting costs. This is anexample of attraction of competing land uses..High-class residential district located away from industry and low-class districts. This is an example of repulsion of competing land uses.Sphere of Influence – The TheoriesMy second aim of the fieldtrip is to discover Llandudno’s Sphere of Influence, but what exactly is the Sphere of Influence of a town or city?The terms Sphere of Influence, Urban Field, Catchment Area, Market Area and Hinterland all mean the same thing. It is the area served by the goods, services, administration and employment provided by a settlement (or Central Place) and which provides agricultural produce and leisure facilities (such as country parks, golf courses, etc) for the settlement. Spheres of Influence can be measured by looking at catchment areas of schools, delivery areas, hospital areas and so on.Small Central Places have small Market Areas because the goods and services they provide are low order (i.e. everyday goods such as bread, milk and newspapers). Large Central Places have larger Market Areas because they provide a wide variety of high order goods and services (such as specialist shops, a large hospital) as well as low order goods and services. Therefore, people will travel further to use them. This leads to something called Central Place Theory.

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