London – a world city
Key stage 5 Geography
Enquiry question: Is London a city for people or for profit?
Knowledge and understanding
• The rapid growth of financial services has led to London’s reinvention as a world city
• London’s status as a world city is reflected in new architecture and growing inequality
• The increase of the ‘super-rich’ in London is leading to gentrification
• One of the main aims of regeneration in east London is to bring about convergence
• Urban field-sketching +/or photography
• Ethnic/gender representation survey
• Wealth/poverty mapping
• Gentrification questionnaire
• Housing affordability survey
• Partnership/conflict matrix
Most students will be able to:
• Identify visual evidence of London’s many functions as a city
• Annotate a sketch/photo to highlight changes in function and architecture
• Compare London population data with ethnic representation in the Square Mile
• Select indicators of wealth and poverty and map them along a transect
• Use a questionnaire to find peoples’ experiences of gentrification
• Investigate cost of housing in east London to calculate affordability
• Draw conclusions about the impacts of London’s status as a world city
• Have background knowledge of the concept of a world city
• Be familiar with a map of London and the locations they will visit
• Use Booth’s Poverty Map of London to consider how they could map wealth and poverty today
Meet at Tower Hill station. Explain that during the day we will travel from the centre of London, eastwards to the Olympic Park to consider whether London’s status as a world city makes it a city for people or for profit.
Location 1: Tower Bridge. Walk to Tower Bridge. Point out features that exemplify London’s past and present functions. What do students consider to be London’s major function now? How is this reflected in the skyline? Students draw panoramic sketch/take photos of London skyline. They annotate changes in London’s functions and architecture.
Location 2: Royal Exchange. Walk or take tube from Tower Hill to Bank. Visit Royal Exchange. It represents one of the original functions of the city (trade) and is now a space for luxury brands and restaurants. Inside or outside, students count men in suits to quantify the representation of black/Asian men. Compare this with black/Asian representation in London’s population. (Point out other groups, less easy to identify, may also be under or over-represented eg working class)
Location 3: Liverpool Street/Spitalfields. Take tube from Bank to Liverpool Street station.
Point out to students this zone marks the edge of City. There is a sharp divide between wealth and poverty, but also a process of gentrification. Ask students how they would map wealth and poverty today as Booth did in 19th century. They choose one or two suitable methods from the resource sheets. Then, working in groups, they use their ideas to rate levels of wealth and poverty along a transect, west to east, across Spitalfields. Each group works in one square on the transect. Share the groups’ results to complete a new wealth/poverty map. How does wealth and poverty change along the transect? What is the evidence of gentrification?
Location 4: Stratford. Take train from Liverpool Street to Stratford. From the town centre bridge, point out to students evidence of regeneration in Stratford – Westfield, Olympic Park. Explain that the aim of regeneration is to bring about convergence – to bring living standards in east London up to the London average.
Walk through Stratford Centre to the Broadway. Students visit estate agents to investigate the cost of housing and calculate affordability for different levels of income.
Sheet 1: London's functions
Sheet 2: London skyline
Sheet 3: Men in suits
Sheet 4: Mapping wealth and poverty
Sheet 5: Measuring deprivation – quality of life
Sheet 6: Measuring deprivation – shops and services
Sheet 7: Measuring deprivation – housing density
Sheet 8: Spitalfields transect
Sheet 9: Housing affordability survey
Students review their experiences from the day, trying to draw links between them. What impact does London’s world city status have on the city skyline? What about the impact on areas outside the city centre, and further east in Stratford? Can the drive for profit be met at the same time as peoples’ needs?
Sheet 10: London - a world city