Harefield Urban or Rural?

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‘Harefield Is A Rural Settlement’: Discuss

Harefield is a settlement placed a few miles between the towns of Uxbridge (4 miles), Ruislip (5 miles), Northwood (3 miles), Harrow and Watford (both 8 miles), Slough (10 miles) and Central London (13 miles). Technically, as Harefield isn’t that far away from those towns, it isn’t a rural settlement (Index of Rurality). However I shall discuss that later. The characteristics of Harefield as a settlement are a mixture of rural and urban factors; it has wide open spaces and is surrounded by fields, but it is also built up in some places and has a high street. Harefield has mainly small country lanes as its means of transport, which suggests rural, but then it is on a main road, and has lots of transport facilities; at least three buses run through it, and a true rural settlement would usually have only one or two bus routes through, and once or twice a week at that, not the regular service that it actually has.

I am discussing whether Harefield is or isn’t a rural settlement. This subject is difficult to land on a yes or a no, as Harefield has a wide mixture of both urban and rural characteristics. To help me decide on one or the other I shall apply the Index of Rurality to Harefield. The Index of Rurality was created by a man called P. Cloke (1977). It is constructed of the factors Cloke thought would tell whether a settlement was an urban or a rural one. The Index of Rurality consists of:

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  1. Female population: 15-45
  2. Occupation structure
  3. Population change
  4. Commuting out pattern
  5. Distance from an urban centre (50,000+)
  6. Population over 65 (%)
  7. Household amenities
  8. Population density
  9. Inward migration over the last five years

To apply this to Harefield I shall look at Harefield and then compare it to the Index.

  1. The amount of women 15-45 is a more or less balanced statistic, as there is an almost equal amount of old and young women around Harefield
  2. The occupation structure of Harefield is mostly in teaching, small shops and farming. The shops focus on mainly selling food, ...

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