Changes At The Edge Of A HIC Cities

The Rural Urban Fringe

The rural urban fringes also know as just urban fringes are the areas between built up towns and open spaces of fields and such like. Here the countryside is being taken for the outward growth of these towns and cities, this is most evident in the suburbs.

Greenfield Sites


A greenfield site is stereotypically flat, away from large cities and open land. This land is great demand for housing, industry, shopping, recreation and the needs of the public utilities, such as reservoirs an sewage works.

Brownfield Sites

field site is land previously used for commercial uses or industrial purposes. The land may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution. This has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up, but the cost of this is huge. The overall cost of a project on a brownfield site would therefore also be huge compared to the overall cost of a greenfield site.

Push Factors

One reason would be because of the feeling of dissatisfaction in a city such as:

  • Housing is old, congested and relatively expensive.
  • There are various forms of environmental pollution – air quality is poor, and noise levels are high.
  • Companies find that there is a shortage of land for building new shops, offices and factories. As a consequence, what unused land there, is costly.

Pull Factors

  • Land is cheaper so houses are larger.
  • Factories can be more spacious and have plenty of room for workers to park their cars.
  • Closeness to main roads and motorways allows for quicker and easier customer contacts.
  • New developments on the outskirts are favoured by the personal mobility allowed by the car.

Land Types

Retail Parks


In HICs towns and cities rural urban fringes there has been a great increase in out-of-town retailing, with large purpose-built superstores, modern malls and shopping centres. The amount of superstores and access to them has increased since 1980 because of how everyone now has a car and the stores are right next to the motorway junction.

In city centres or CBDs shoppers have to deal with traffic congestion and pay and display parking.

Industrial Estates


These are areas of modern light and service industries with a planned layout and purpose-built road networks. These need to be built around people who will work.

Business Parks


Theses are areas created by property developers in order to attract firms needing office accommodation, rather than industrial units. These often include leisure activities such as bowling alleys, ice rinks and cinemas. These need to be built in an area where business works are.

Science Parks


These are usually located near to a university or research centre with the aim of encouraging and developing high-tech industries and quaternary activities

Case Study: Southampton

Southampton has a population of around 200,000 and for a long time the area within was confined to the peninsula between the Itchen and Test estuaries. Since the 19th century, however, the built up area has spilled out over to the east of the River Itchen. For much of the time since the end of WW2 (1945), the growth of the built up area has been held back by a green belt – a tract of countryside in which urban development was prohibited. In the time before the war the cities economy prospered, largely due to its port. This economic growth attracted workers and with them their families. This would mean there would have to be housing for them but because of the green belt housing had to be built in places such as Totton, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh and West End. This became Southampton’s detached suburbs or commuter dormitories.

Nursling Industrial Park

The main business on this large estate located beside the M271 are so-called service industries, of which distribution and storage are the main ones.


Southampton Science Park

Southampton Science Park is a 17-hectare development in a prime location close to the M3 motorway to London. The Science Park provides high-quality office and laboratory space in attractive landscape surrounding. Companies such as BskyB and Merck rub shoulders with young, fast-growing technology companies in fields such as nanotechnology. The result is a thriving business and research community over 60 companies. All are attracted by the Park’s strategic location, the quality of the environment and access to some of the UK’s leading scientific expertise at the University of Southampton.


Hedge End Retail Park

This out-of-town shopping centre is one of the largest retail parks in the south of England. It is located just off the M27 and is home to Marks and Spencer’s, J Sainsbury, Homeworld, Curry’s PC World, as well as stores selling ranges of bulky goods.


Adnac Business Park

This development was only approved in 2008. It is a 74-acre site and its first occupant will be the Ordnance  Survey which produces all maps of the UK. The park is earmarked for major office developments and `large space` occupiers like the Ordnance Survey.



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