Changes in Guilford's Central Business District from 1968 to 2002.

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Changes in Guilford’s Central Business District from 1968 to 2002


The changes of many aspects of a CBD from the 1960s to the beginning of the 21st century had been immense, the changes nevertheless is an important feature of human geography that needs to be carefully studied. In order to achieve my aim I will have to identify the changes in land use from 1968-2002 in the CBD of Guildford and also compare the changes that had been made over the time. I will locate the areas with high and low pedestrian counts, and also the areas of high and low land value, both of which would give me a better overview of the CBD area. It will be equally important to identify zones of recent assimilation and discard to identify the changes. An investigation on the future changes of the CBD of Guildford would also be helpful to reach a higher degree of the understanding of the CBD and to explain the changes as our world today is advancing at an extraordinary pace in recent decays in many areas that already have, and definitely will cause great impacts on our lives.


The understanding of Guildford’s economical structure would help us to explain the changes of the CBD since structure of any CBD is largely affected by the local economy. Statistics has shown that the economy of Guildford is relatively good compared to other cities of similar size, Guildford has an area of 104 squared miles, the population stands at 129,500, and out of whom 61,420 are economically active, the unemployment rate is at 0.7%. The population density is 4.5 people per hectare and the mean income (Surrey) is £23,000. Within the industrial sector, there are about 5020 businesses in Guildford Borough, the distribution of the working force shows that 81.7% of employees are based in the service sector, 9.5% of employees are based in the manufacturing sector, 4.4% are based in the construction sector, and another 4.4% are based in the primary industry. Guildford had already established itself as an important city in surrey, many major transportation links passes Guildford such as A3, the large railway station exemplify that Guildford has already became an important junction to link up the railway systems in the area. (Details see map illustrating the transportation links of Guildford)

Land Use

Due to the wealth and fast development of the western world in the 20th century, in the more economically developed UK, commercial and financial activities often dominate the land use in the CBD. Because of the outstanding qualities of the accessibility of the CBD area, large chain stores, department stores and stores of specialist good often choose the site where people can access easily e.g. by busses, trains or cars. Furthermore the companies that chose its site in the CBD often have higher turnover rates so that they are economically able to rent the property and benefit from the high visit rates. Many stores of similar purposes such as clothes stores are often close together in the CBD to increase their sell by "comparison shopping" or in another words impulse buying because in such way the consumers are encourages to visit a certain site, it is often not strange to see certain shops of the same function are located closely in the CBD. The CBD is in many cases the financial centre, also caused by the attraction of the good accessibility and transport facilities. Large car parks are essential for the employees when they go to work, vast transport network and equipment gave the accessibility to others to reach the companies or other financial institutes for closer contact. The facts that the essential bodies of finance and others such as law firms are in the area close together also facilitate the running of the businesses.


In the CBD the areas of high pedestrian flow are often located at the inner core of the CBD where the large department, chain store and businesses are located. However within the CBD the pedestrian flow may vary since many of the high street areas have banned vehicle in recent years and there for will probably have more people walking pass. The development of the country would possibly affected people in the CBD, e.g. the percentage of car ownership had increased since 1968 and in the modern days that more people could have easier access to the commercial activities in a CBD. Government policies also affected more the commercial and financial activities, when the CBD had became far to crowded, many companies, retailers decided to move out of the city in the 1980s and early 1990s. However the decentralization was discouraged by the government and the pattern has changed once again. In recent years the shop floor space in the CBD is 63%, where in the 1980s it was 90%. The commercial activities are so important is because of the high demands from the consumers as shopping became a leisure activity in the 1970s, and the shopping malls and supermarkets out side the CBD with large car park suit the demand and the pressure is on the CBD, in another word since the malls provide every thing less people will go to the CBD to shop which would lower the pedestrian counts. Even the consumers are moving away, there is no doubt that the CBD has the highest land value in the city, and in the UK there is also no doubt about the pattern of increasing land values, especially the fast growth rate in the south where Guildford is located. More importantly the demands of the consumers had dramatically changed that the pattern of shop can not be the same for 1968 and 2002; in fact more people must rely on fast developing information technology that was not present in 1968, with the clock frequencies of the processor doubling every 18 months, not only the prospect in the future is unimaginative, the impact of which had in the past 20 years that I am able to look at, had enabled chain stores to develop, the electrical goods stores to increase… The changing of the pattern in the world of retails would also impact the distribution of different categories of shops in a modern CBD; the independent retailers would be severely weak when competing with the richer chain stores and transactional companies and there for would possibly be less as a percentage of all the shops with in the set boundary, the number of chain stores would increase as they are more profitable due to their larger share of the market. Although the pattern stated had been the case in many cities across the globe, but in the context of Guildford’s special case, a few alternations have to be made. The speciality of Guildford’s CBD, that is its advantage or great variation in retailing, would occupy most of the CBD area thus other tertiary activities would be relocated else were. The reality is that in 1995 Guildford was ranked 25th out of 95 shopping centres in the country based on the number of multiple retailers present; more recently the Experian Retail Centre Ranking placed Guild ford in the top 20 of 1100 shopping centres surveyed across the country, based on retail floor space, multiple floor space, number of multiple outlets, number of comparison outlets, vacant floor space, number of service/miscellaneous outlets and number of key attractors.

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The peak land value intersection (PLVI) within the CBD would be around the highly dense commercial and financial activities where in Guildford they are very likely to be around the regions of High Street and North Street, I think that the pattern of land value may be the same in 1968. However within the CBD where space is limited, companies sometimes move to areas around the CBD, such as the newly formed research park where it is equally accessible. I think that the possible site for the assimilation of Guildford's CBD is on the west of which where the Fairy ...

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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This report becomes stronger towards the middle and end. The aim and introduction are a little weak and unspecific and the level of written English makes it a little difficult to understand. However some high level analyses are performed on the data and detailed discussion of the results includes interlinkages within and between data sets. Although some data are still unclear because they have not been shown or included in the report itself, the analysis and explanation of the results shows a high level of geographical knowledge and understanding. The evaluation is strong, looking beyond basic limitations of primary data collection and also extending to show the conclusions may be affected as well as looking to alternative, more detailed data that would improve the accuracy. However, proof reading is required to improve spelling, punctuation and grammar.