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Urban Enviroment

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mhurd19
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How Urban leisure has affected the environment of Bury St Edmunds
The urban environment that I have decided to do this journal on is the market town of Bury St Edmunds, this small town has a lot of heritage and has seen a lot of change to its urban environment over time, I will go through all the changes that the environment has seen due to leisure.
How Bury St Edmunds to shape The small market town of Bury St Edmunds first took real shape in 1811, the act of parliament formed a body of men to go round and paving and cleaning up the streets (Tim Lambert, localhistories) since 1811 Bury St Edmunds has come across a lot of changes to its urban environment. There are a number of reasons why Bury St Edmunds has needed to change its urban environment ranging from economic growth to its demographic changes and its historical changes all of these changes have made Bury St Edmunds the town it is today. Bury St Edmunds tries to keep to its historical roots even with the forced impact of modernisation changing the landscape. One of the reasons Bury St Edmunds urban environment has had large changes is down to the tourism the town brings in. According to Law (1993:p3) a lot of cities and towns were losing economy and he stated that the tourism industry was growing at a quick rate and it could help to boost a town’s economy by generating more people resulting in a higher income for the place. Bury St Edmunds followed the trend that the rest of the country were doing by using its cultural heritage as an advertisement to attract people to go there. In 1987 Bury St Edmunds opened up its first tourist information centre to give out information on the town and its history and also to give advice on places to visit in the town. Bury St Edmunds main attraction for tourists is its cultural heritage, lots of small towns and cities have resulted to using cultural heritage as its main attraction to offer income producing opportunities and it can be used to make a self definition of a place (Sayyad, N, 2001:1). According to Neezar Al Sayyad (2001:3) there are 3 phases of the change in attitude towards heritage. The first phase, corresponded with the end of colonialism, it intensified the contact between cultures and instituted a period of hybridism, this is often when local indigenous heritage was initiated. The second phase came post colonialism and this is when there became a demand for historic monuments and symbolic buildings to be reserved to resist against homogenising of the 20th century modernism. I believe that this phase could be seen happening within Bury St Edmunds in 1912 when the council bought a main tourist site of the town which is the abbey gardens with the intent to maintaining it and making it free to view by the public. The final stage is today and is loosely called globalization and nations compete in an ever tightening global economy to exploit its natural resources and heritage to attract international investors, it is now the new norm to manufacture heritage to make the history of a place stand out and attract new tourists to boost the economy for the country .
Bury St Edmunds cultural heritage affect on leisure A prime example of how the Urban environment has been influenced by the manufacturing of heritage in Bury St Edmunds is the Abbey gardens. The Abbey gardens is the main tourist destination in Bury St Edmunds and has been for hundreds of years, It dates back to the 7th century . In the 9th century King Edmund was captured and killed here by the Vikings as he refused to renounce his Christian faith, the martyred king became a royal saint after this as it was said that a series of miracles happened after his death. His body was laid to rest here (St Edmundsbury council,2009). In the 11th century the Abbey was developed and Abbot Baldwin deigned the layout of the town of Bury St Edmunds. As King Edmund was killed because of his religious views he died a martyr and this made Bury St Edmunds become a place of pilgrimage and it attracted lots of people to come to worship his grave (poppyland,2006).In the 13th century the Earls and Barons of England assembled in the abbey to listen to the Archbishop of Canteburry read Henry 1s charter. Inspired , they all swore on the high altar to the force of King John to establish a similar charter of liberties, this was then called the magna carter (St Edmundsbury council, 2009). In the 16th century as part of Henry VIIs dissolution of the monasteries the Abbey was given up and given to the people of the town who turned it into a building quarry for the town(St Edmundsbury council, 2009) . There was then three hundred years of neglect to the Abbey and its grounds, after these 300 years it was turned into a botanical gardens by Nathaniel Hodson. He moved plants into the courtyard of the abbey in remembrance of what it used to be. At the end of the 19th century the Abbey allowed visitors in, this was one of the first signs of Bury St Edmunds generating an income through manufacturing its heritage, the visitors were charged one shilling per person and at the time this was considered a lot of money and this was done to keep the undesirables out. The first recorded incident of (Neezar Al Sayyads, 2001) second phase to changing of attitudes towards heritage was shown in 1912 when the council bought the Abbey for £90 per annum with the intention of maintaining the gardens and creating it into a free public space to acknowledge the towns heritage. The Abbey gardens ruins still stand today; the floral theme continues around the Abbey and it has been turned into a family tourist destination with a play park being built for the children and floral designs being placed around the abbey for the adults, the council still own it and it remains free to this day for all of the public.

Bury St Edmunds Industries During the 19th century a considerable change took place all over the country on the urban scene and this was down to the process of industrialisation and modernisation that was taking place (Daunton, M. 2000: 166-173); In the 19th century small towns like Bury St Edmunds were taking up industrial functions, I consider Bury St Edmund’s to be ahead of its time as the main industry there was the green king brewery which had been established since 1799 (greenking, 2010) , another up and coming industry was the sugar beet factory which was started in 1925 and still remains prominent in Bury St Edmunds. These industrial functions attracted new migrants to the town which helped improve the town’s economy and population at the time. A lot of cities in this time were doing similar things and the population was growing rapidly, it was reported that in Nottinghamshire there were only 6 small towns and they had the population of 270,000 and the population for a small town was considered at this time to only be 10,000 (Daunton,M .2000:166-173). In comparison to these small towns in Nottinghamshire Bury St Edmunds had a population of 7665 in 1801 and by 1900 it had doubled to 1600 (Tim, Lambert ,localhistories) this shows that Bury was moving with the industrial revolution and was a prosperous town at this time. The forming of estates and regeneration During this period of the 19th century there was a lot of rebuilding and improving going on to the urban environment. An example of what was happening across the United Kingdom then was in Cullen where a landowner ordered a surveyor to remove a whole town and gradually rebuild a new one, this was done because there were worthless old houses that were costing a great expense to keep and the houses were tumbling down (I.H Adams, 1978:68), this was a very drastic move by the land owner. Bury St Edmunds had a similar problem at this time, there was an old diminishing slum area in 1945 and the council at the time ordered for these areas to be replaced by houses. The first known council estate in Bury St Edmunds was in 1920; the first estate to be built around the area was named the priors and that was finished in 1930. After 50 years private estates started to appear around the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds and the first recorded one was in the 1980s called ‘Morten Hall’ (Tim Lambert, Loacalhistories). These changes completely changed the urban environment; it went from a small market to a larger market town with estates for people to live in so they didn’t have to travel so far to get to the centre for work or leisure. The houses and estates erected are all considered to be very modern compared to the Victorian and Georgian buildings within the towns market centre. The visible differences of the buildings are very noticeable as you can see wooden structures that were used to hold up the market towns buildings opposed to the brick work of the estates today. This gives an insight to the modernisms that have take place to the urban environment.

Old Buildings new purposes Bury St Edmunds is not only recognised for its tourist attractions of the Abbey gardens which hold the body of King Edmund; hundreds of years ago Bury St Edmunds was recognised as a thriving market town. Most of the building that were used for marketing at these times are still around today to be seen, however they do not serve the same purpose as they did all of them years ago. The corn exchange was a building set up for people from nearby towns to come and trade or exchange corn, this was established in 1862(Tim Lambert, Local histories). This building still stands today and it has since been the town hall and it is now changing into a weatherspoons (St Edmundsbury council, corn exchange ) . As you can see in the picture the corn exchange is a very recognisable building and it might be said this modern transformation into a pub does not fit with the rich heritage of Bury St Edmunds.

Redevelopment for leisure One of the most noticeable changes that have taken place In Bury St Edmunds market town is the redevelopment of the cattle market; he cattle market moved from inside the town’s centre in 1827 (Lucy Robinson: 2005)to St Andrews street . The cattle market bought a lot of traders from surrounding towns, they came here to trade or buy new cattle. In 1958 this cattle market was moved to make way for a new car park, the car park was put here because of the need for local people to access the town centre easier. The cattle market still remained every Wednesday but it was reduced to smaller pig pens and lorries (St Edmundsbury council, 2009). After many debates the cattle market made another change which totally eradicated the car park and the sale of cattle. In 2006 the development plans were signed to create way for a new shopping complex and this complex is now known as the arc. In 2009 £105 redevelopment ( was completed by the designers and this had a massive impact on the urban environment of Bury St Edmunds. A lot of the local shop keepers that were left back in the town’s old market place have argued that this new complex has divided the town and will take a lot of business away from the original town. Within in this new complex there are flats for people, a new complex called the apex which has room to hold events and shows and most noticeably of all a large department store which as you can see in the picture stands out a lot in this small market town. Some people have argued that this new development has taken away the historical context of the town, the developers of the arc stated that they were trying to keep to an 11th century grid like layout to keep in touch with the town’s history (historictowns: 2006).

Past and Present In all of what is considered as the old town the buildings remain Victorian and Georgian; the old part of the town was originally a butter market. It has now made the transformation into a modern day high street, like most old market towns which has totally revamped the urban environment. In the original town hundreds of years ago.,r:27,s:0&tx=70&ty=49 In these two pictures you can see the general idea of the change in the urban environment, in the first picture it shows the chemist which was opened in 1910 and next to it is the three kings hotel . In the second picture you can see that both buildings no longer server the original purpose as the chemist has now turned into a w h smiths and the hotel has turned into a burtons. Unlike most of the buildings in the town the post office has been around since 1896 and still remains for its original purpose. There are buildings that have been around for a long time in Bury St Edmunds and have influenced the urban environment from an early age. Buildings such as the theatre royal which has been around since 1819 (Colin Blumenau:2007). Another building that has been around and stayed for its original purpose is the church of St Edmund (Suffolk churches:2007).; when the older buildings like this stay around it gives a good sense of history to the urban environment, most of the towns significant buildings like these are listed buildings and this is to retain the historical purpose of the place. A listed building is ‘ a building of great historical or artistic value which has official protection to prevent it from being destroyed’ (Cambridge press:2008). A great example of a listed building within Bury St Edmunds is the corn exchange it is a grade II listed building like most of the other buildings within the butter market and its protected from having any change done to it to preserve a part of Bury St Edmunds history.

Increased population new demands for leisure
With the increased tourism and industries into Bury St Edmunds this has called for more leisure activities as the population of the town has grown and they are all looking for something to do in their free time. In 1975 the council opened its first sports centre, this was just on the outskirts of the town and it provides leisure activities for the local people. Inside the facility is a swimming pool, basketball court, indoor football and a gym. Also outside is an athletics track that can be used by all. The production of this sports centre has shown that the population of the town has grown which has increased the demand for leisure activities. One of the more famous leisure destinations within Bury St Edmunds is the Angel hotel. The angel hotel has been around for many years, its first owner was Henry Bright in 1606 and he was just using it to house his family ( Henry Bond 1855:712) after his death this became a memorial site for his family it was then used to house other families until it was turned into a hotel in the 19th century. This is now a 4 star hotel and is considered a luxury leisure resort for tourists to the town, this leisure resort in itself brings new trade to Bury St Edmunds economy and it also keeps the theme of the heritage of the town.

A brief summary A quick Summary of Bury St Edmunds urban environment; Bury St Edmunds has throughout time attracted a lot of visitors, some being royalty and others being just market traders, the general sense and feel of the place is a historical one the market town has a rich heritage that has not been totally lost by the modernisations of today’s economies. The high street shops still remain in historical and detailed Victorian/ Georgian buildings, walking around you can get a real feel to what used to be there. With the increased demand for leisure within Bury St Edmunds it has had quite a big impact as it is not only the history and heritage bringing people to this quiet town it is now the leisure activities as well.

Picture References,r:27,s:0&tx=70&ty=49


Colin blumenau , 2007 accessed 9/12/11

Daunton, m. (2000) the cambridge Urban History Of Britain , cambridge: cambridge university press, p.166-173.

Henry Bond, family memorials ,1855 pg 712

I.H. Adams, The making of Urban Scotland (London,1978), p68

Thump, 2010 <> accessed 7/12/11

Lambert, T , ‘local histories’ <> accessed 7/12/11

Law,M., 1993. Urban tourism : London :mansell.Law
Lucy Robinson, 2005 Archaelogical evaluation report accessed 9/12/11

Sayyad, N. 2001. Consuming tradition, manufacturing heritage. Pg 1-pg3

St Edmundsbury council ‘ corn exchange lease hold’ St Edmundsbury council ,’abbey gardens history’ <> accessed 7/12/11

Poppyland, ‘towns of east anglia’ <> accessed 8/12/11 accessed 8/12/11 accessed 9/12/11

Cambridge press 2008

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Urban Sprawl

...URAN SPRAWL: DIAGNOSIS AND REMEDIES Throughout this article, the main focus is urban sprawl and the non-endearing remedies to fix this growing concern. Three influential forces are the end results of urban sprawl: a growing population, rising incomes, and falling commuting costs. Although these sound positive to societies well being, market failures are distorting their positive social desirability. The allocation of agricultural land converted to urban usage has justified the criticism of urban sprawl by not accounting for the benefits of open space, social costs of road congestion, and developers failing to pay for the infrastructure costs generated. The remedies projected for these market failures in hope of alleviating the spatial size of the city are developmental taxes and congestion tolls (1). Critics raise a few questions about urban sprawl and the possible remedies policy makers could enact. But, are they are justifiable? The first one is, is urban sprawl truly a growing problem affecting American society? Throughout the article, Brueckner states both views on urban sprawl: The criticism against it and how to prevent it, and the benefits of urban sprawl to American society. Another question addressed is, is urban sprawl contributing to the decay of downtown areas? With the growth of urban development, the incentive to rebuild land and housing closer to the city center is reduced. This is because developers can purchase large amounts of farmland further away from...

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