Geography Gcse Coursework Cbd

Central business district (CBD)

The land in urban areas is used for many different purposes:

  • leisure and recreation - may include open land, eg parks or built facilities such as sports centres
  • residential - the building of houses and flats
  • transport - road and rail networks, stations and airports
  • business and commerce - the building of offices, shops and banks
  • industry - factories, warehouses and small production centres

The CBD in the city centre is where most business and commerce is located.

Features that identify the CBD

Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham

  • High/multi-storey buildings.
  • Expensive land values.
  • Department stores or specialist shops, like jewellers.
  • Shopping malls and pedestrian precincts.
  • Cultural/historical buildings, museums and castles.
  • Offices, finance, banks, administration, town hall (business sector).
  • Bus and railway stations (transport centres).
  • Multi-storey car parks.

The CBD is located in the centre because it is:

  • a central location for road/railways to converge
  • the most accessible location for workers
  • accessible to most people for shops and businesses

To help you remember how to identify a CBD, think of a city you know. In your exam give named examples for the features listed above.

Back to Urban environments index

In this section you will be tackling the question “Where was the CBD in St Ives in the 1970s?”. In today’s session we have talked through how best to tackle this as well as analysing the GOAD map together. It is however important that you don’t rely just on what the GOAD map shows. In order to get to the highest marks it is important that you recognise that secondary sources may have an element of bias and it is important to try and cross-correlate from a number of sources before drawing a final conclusion.

The following is a brief guide / checklist of how to complete this section:

1. Give a brief introduction to this section (i.e. what are you intending / trying to do in this section and how)

2. Analyse the GOADmap (make use of the analysis grid that we completed in lessons, a blank is available here to help you structure your thoughts if you were absent). Using your ideas from your sheet – take each street in turn and talk through its charactersitics in the 1970s – i.e. main types of land-use etc. – discuss them in relation to your expectations of a CBD. Also identify any other key features such as bus stops etc. which may be identifed on the map. It is worth ending this by acknowledging what the map can’t show

3. Write up supporting background information – you should be doing some background research into what St Ives was like in the 1970s using other secondary sources such as St Ives Town Plans, 1970s St Ives, other websites, books, photographs (or even interviews with relatives / friends – if you do this – keep a clear record of your interview so it can be evidenced for initiative marks). (you may be able to locate old photographs through the Resources Centre, St Ives Library or even the Norris Museum).

4. Finally – drawing together what you have found from the GOAD map and the other resources – draw your final conclusion as to where you think the CBD was in 1970.


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