Had a rather packed experience during the weekend of our study tour, spent Saturday in Alnwick and then Sunday in London. One day travelling 160 miles north followed by about the same distance to the south the following day. Regardless of the exhausting train rides both ways, it was an eventful and highly enjoyable experience.
It was apparent, from both trips, that development in England follows a similar pattern in terms of sprawl and layouts of cities and towns. Sheffield itself is bound by the ring road that is almost an impermeable boundary by which sprawl is contained within the city center. This was also observed in towns across the North Eastern coast and London itself, although to a much grander scale.
In one sense, the containment of sprawl has left the countryside almost untouched, whereas in Australia houses scatter the horizons and farms all but occupy and envelop the natural landscape, the United Kingdom countryside is devoid of the stagnant farms that all but engulf the scenery. A quick question raised to this notion was: where are the farms? How is the produce for Britain provided? While most countries have some considerable amount of produce locally grown and processed, England relies heavily on imports for the markets produce demands, with exceptions to some towns being renowned for their distinct growth in one particular commodity.
In many ways, England follows a path similar to Australia’s way of life, although it should probably be stated the other way around (Oz comes first in all discussions here in the UK anyway), there are stark differences through which society grows and develops in relation to its past and future heading. While looking out the window of the trains on the way to Alnwick, we saw a number of towns dominated by the same rooftops, as we peered through the trees it became clear; the houses were all identical, in every way shape and form. While heritage infused, such a development would never be approved in any suburb of Australia, instead keeping to the changing trend of contemporary form, England would much rather return to an earlier era.
- Phineas Istratoaie (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning)