Saturday, February 24, 2007

Building on the housing theme.... and Sustainability

A recent discovery is TELLYADS.
It has over 2500 UK television ads to watch, and obviously quite a lot are relevant to geography, and we shall look at some of these (literally as well as analytically) when we come to the People as Consumers section.

Let's look now at a cartoon. What is the message here ? What is a footprint ?

Of course you should be able to work this out.

And what about the second one ?

What comment is being made about consumerism here ?

The cartoon is one of many which have been made available by INKCINCT cartoons: an Australian site.

The cartoons can be found at the INKICINCT site.
The copyright on the cartoon is with the artist: John Ditchburn, who has kindly made them available to not-for-profit and educational websites (and weblogs) such as this one.
Thanks John !

OK, here are some sites to help you with the LA21 task (that's Local Agenda 21 remember....)
First of all there's BUILDING FOR LIFE.
This promotes building to an excellent standard for the residents.
There's also the INSIDE HOUSING site and Forum, which offers the latest housing news.
Then there is the site of CABE. This is an organisation which has won GA Awards for its products in recent years. It stands the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the latter being a 'posh' term for urban areas...

The website has an interesting story on the home page at the moment, which suggests that 4 out of 5 new homes that have been built are "not good enough". They have asked people who live in new houses to comment and here is an example from Derby. Mr. Cassidy's group, for example, might find it useful to compare this description with some of their 'local' examples:

"We feel safe there"

"I purchased a Miller Home on the Royal Country Park development outskirst of Derby in Chellaston. I relocated from Kent. From the moment we drove into the development we knew what we would be getting and in fact it has exceeded everything we expected! The housebuilder was great (with a two-year warranty to rectify any remedials), so much so I worked for them in customer services dept for a year or so. The development is large; however it is clean, tidy, all houses are different and most have garages/parking spaces. (Most drivers don’t put their expensive cars in the garage, however). I feel safe there. I feel my daugher is safe to walk from the local school. It is a lovely place to live and we are very happy - in fact so much so we would purchase another house on the development if we wanted to downsize/increase upwards! I get annoyed with these so-called experts advising us all that these developments are 'faceless, dull, boring etc' – but maybe I am the same? It’s quiet despite the amount of families that live on the development. We don’t get problems here, we get peace and quiet. It’s a haven!"
Wendy, Derbyshire

CABE also offer resources as a free download, for example the very helpful booklet above called "WHERE WILL I LIVE ?" which was produced in association with the Geographical Association, and of course has tremendous relevance to the Pilot GCSE.
Those were some more housing resources, which will help you with your coursework.
Remember the basic idea, developed by Paula Cooper and colleagues.
You need to take an area of King's Lynn. This has to be an area of reasonable size: not a single street, but not a whole ward. I would suggest an area of around one square kilometre would be about right (remember that this is the area covered by one grid square on an OS map.

Use an online mapping service to get a map if necessary.

A story from this week's GUARDIAN newspaper about the change in a Manchester area: one of the Millennium Communities (Warning: contains a rude word, oh well, at least that guarantees that you'll read the article....)

A final housing site to mention is an excellent one: HEMINGWAY DESIGN.

Wayne Hemingway is someone who is perhaps better known for being a fashion designer for Red or Dead.
He is also, however, very much into planning, and is a qualified planner.
The site has some great materials on the building projects, such as Staiths in London, which the company is involved in. They offer notes, virtual tours and pictures - everything you could want - this is a great site!
Here is some more assistance for your coursework:

The 13 THEMES of LA21, or LOCAL AGENDA 21 as you know it ! (I hope....)


  1. uses resources efficiently and keeps waste to a minimum
  2. keeps pollution to a level which natural systems can cope with
  3. the diversity of nature is valued and protected
  4. meets local needs locally, where possible
  5. everyone has access to at least basic needs, such as good food, water, shelter and fuel at reasonable cost
  6. everyone has the opportunity to undertake satisfying work in a diverse economy
  7. people's good health is protected
  8. access to facilities, services, goods and other people are not achieved at the expense of the environment
  9. people are able to live without fear of personal violence from crime or persecution
  10. everyone has access to skills, knowledge and information
  11. all sections of the community have a real say in what happens in their area
  12. opportunities for culture, leisure and recreation are readily available to all
  13. the local distinctiveness and diversity of the area is valued and protected
Remember that we discussed some of the points above and how they related to your area.
Also think about that last point in bold, how does this relate to your area - what are its local distinctiveness ?

Why not try and find 13 suitable images for the 13 things (you're not superstitious are you!?)

Another resource I have is produced by the RTPI and is called "THE HYTHE CHALLENGE". I got it last year from the Royal Town Planning Institute - check that you haven't got a copy in your own school. I think it was sent to all schools in the Eastern region at least.
It takes the form of a CD ROM with a virtual tour, and two spiral bound booklets.
The booklets are a Teachers' Manual and a Student Activity booklet.
I will be using some sections from this in the next month or so. The more I look at this unit, the more there is that we could potentially do. There's so many interesting things to take that little bit further.

The pack brings together the local knowledge of professional planners, real-life case studies and original source material. It was written by Heather Blackwood, Head of Geography at The Stanway School and John Deasy, Director of Business & Enterprise at St Benedict's Catholic College. There were only 2 mentions on the web, and one was where I'd mentioned it on GeographyPages. Anyone else out there use it ?

KES students: Your challenge is tell me where Hythe is - prize for first person with the answer

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the longest post yet !

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