How Do Different People View Diverse Living Spaces?

Urban Places

  • Perception of places is dependent on lived experience and understanding of the area. During industrialisation, urban places were perceived as being dangerous and threatening Victorian London, as they were the hotspots of crime, prostitution and corruption.
  • Urban areas today in the UK may be more attractive than previously as they are retail based, invite tourism and attract young people and migrants, due to the range of economic and social-leisure activities on show.
  • Some urban areas, such as Newham, are still seen as undesirable and threatening by residents/outsiders because of high crime rates, low environmental quality, high deprivation rates and poor population characteristics and reputation.
  • This is gathered through quantitative data, media representation and from those who have lived experiences.
  • Suburban areas are family based residential areas whilst inner city areas are populated by commuters and workers of the city.
  • The desirability of these regions is perceived differently depending on demographic groups by age, ethnicity and life-cycle stage.
  • For instance, the inner city may be desirable for a migrant due to being near the city and having a large cultural base but may not be perceived well for an elderly resident due to the busy nature and potential lack of care opportunities.


Rural Places

  • Like urban areas, rural places are seen differently by groups of people because of their lived experience and perception of those places.
  • Rural places are often seen as idyllic because of their tranquillity, natural landscape and historical/cultural associations.
  • For instance, Hardy’s Wessex and the Bronte landscape are famous for being home to popular British authors.
  • Others view the rural regions unfavourably because of their remoteness, limited social opportunities and limited range of services, high transport costs, population characteristics and reputation, gathered through quantitative data, media representation and lived experiences.
  • For instance, in Taunton, Somerset, the nearest hospital is at least 50 to 70 minutes away from the village centre.
  • Some view rural areas as remote areas, others see them as retirement villages and holiday landscapes.
  • Attitudes vary greatly, and this can be further explored through undertaking questionnaires or interviews to gain knowledge on how people view rural areas.


Evaluating Living Spaces

  • You can determine whether people have a positive or negative view of you chosen area by collecting statistical evidence on opinions, lived experience and attachment of individuals can be done as a tally on whether people like living in the area along with what age group they are in, ethnicity, gender and length of residence.
  • The more statistical evidence you collect, the more reliable and valid your conclusions will be. Stronger the evidence, better the conclusions and higher the mark!
  • You can also use media to discover the presentation of your area. Media can provide contrasting evidence and pinpoint characteristics of your area and how people view it.
  • It is also important to understand different representations of your area and how this can influence the perception of cultural and demographic issues and conflict.