How Cities Work. An Introduction by Barrie Needham

By Barrie Needham

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Such journeys have been made possible by increased personal mobility endowed by the growth of car-ownership, especially in rural areas. (Whereas in 1945 there were about 1,500,000 private cars and vans in Britain, in 1967 there were more than 10,000,000. 72 in rural districts (Royal Commission, 1969, Vol. Ill, pp. 21, 22). It is an interesting question whether the higher 34 How Cities Work: An Introduction car-ownership in rural areas is a cause of the longer work journeys into cities, or an effectl) Who are the people who commute into the city from its rural hinterland?

7%, or 5709 square miles, for green belt submissions. And of these submissions, 2540 square miles have been formally approved (Gregory, 1970, p. 1, modified by green belt confirmations since 1970). In defence of our omission so far you might say: but only three green belt proposals have been confirmed, around London, Oxford and Birmingham. But that is no defence: all green belt submissions are treated as de facto green belts even though not officially approved. Another defence might be: but population statistics show that the movement of people out of towns into the surrounding rural areas has not been stopped by green belts.

31, derived from Best and Coppock, 1962). So towns can accommodate fewer people, and the extra people move out across the town's boundaries. People are able to live in rural areas although jobs and services remain in the towns (see Chapter 3) because so many households now own cars. So far we have talked about people moving out of towns and into rural hinterlands. But how many of the people who emigrate from a particular town settle in the rural hinterland of that town? In a special study of some Midland towns, the Royal Commission Floods and Overspills 41 on Local Government (1969, map 16) found that in some cases up to 60% of all the people who left a town moved into the rural hinterland around it.

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