IB Geography trip to Birmingham
Form Six IB geographers recently visited Birmingham to secure their understanding of the urban Environments topic and develop their case study knowledge.
Birmingham is a dynamic city that has recently undergone extensive regeneration and renewal, after suffering heavily with deindustrialisation and the collapse of key industries like car manufacturing. Students evaluated large scale renewal around Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square. In particular they focused on the costs and benefits of demolishing the old library, which was a classic example of brutalist architecture, and replacing it with a new modern structure. They then looked at the conglomeration of leisure activities around Symphony Hall and discussed why this happens and the benefits that it can bring.
After a short walk along a section of canal they examined the reasons why many young professionals have chosen to move back into Birmingham – a process known as reurbanisation. Their final two stops of the day were Grand Central and the New Bull Ring. Both are connected and are examples of large scale shopping centres. Students discussed the purpose of regeneration and evaluated its impact on independent and chain shops, local residents, developers and the rest of Birmingham.
By the end of the day the students had developed a much clearer understanding of renewal, the CBD (Central Business District), land uses, reurbanisation and microclimates. This knowledge will put them in a strong position when answering urban environment questions in their exams next year.