What is the Inner City?
The Inner City is the land-use zone which grew up around the city centre, it is also known as the twilight zone or zone of transition.
When did the Inner City grow up?
Inner city areas grew up in the 19th century as towns grew rapidly due to industrialisation and the demand for workers in the industries that had grown up. Large numbers moved to the city for work and needed low cost housing close to work due to the lack of public or private transport. This led to the growth of factories and low-cost terraced housing around what is now the city centre.
* high density housing (overcrowding)
* mainly terraced (some used to be back to back houses (back wall of one house being the back wall of another)) in long straight rows
* front doors opening straight on to the pavement
* no front or back gardens (just a small back yard)
* few amentities
* factories providing employment for residents
Advantages of living in the Old Inner Cities:
1. Houses were cheap to buy / rent
2. There was a strong community spirit
3. Houses were close to places of work
Problems in the Old Inner Cities
1. Housing - decayed terraces and in places poorly built tower blocks
2. Pollution - air, land and water pollution, graffiti and vandalism and derelict buildings (old factories etc.)
3. Lack of Open Space
4. Social Problems - high crime rates, above average concentrations of low-income citizens
5. Economic Problems - declining industry, povery and low income and increasing unemployment as factories closed.
The Changing Inner City
By the 1950s/60s, many inner cities were in series decline as the traiditional industries has closed, resulting in high levels of unemployment and a subsequent spiral of decline (see diagram for explanation). Since the 1960s, the Inner City zone has been one of change (hence the terms twilight zone / zone of transition) with a number of schemes (urban renewal, urban regeneration and urban redevelopment) put in place to address the issues of decline and to improve the quality of life in these areas. (see next post for more details)
Follow up Links:
GeoBytes Land-use model: Inner City
Key Term Check:
Inner City - part of an urban area next to the central area / CBD (characterised by housing and industry) - also known as the zone of transition or twilight zone.
Photograph Source: Geography Photos (www.geographyphotos.com)