University of Leicester
1976MaundDJMPhil.pdf (16.6 MB)

The urbanisation of the countryside: A case study in Herefordshire.

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posted on 2016-12-05, 14:11 authored by David J. Maund
The increasing urbanization of the countryside is a process which all advanced societies are experiencing at the present time. As a consequence the once simple and distinct division between rural and urban no longer applies. Usually urbanization of rural communities is considered to be the process of intensification of typically urban behaviour as a result of the diffusion of ideas and behaviour patterns from the towns and cities. The majority of geographical studies have been concerned with the impact of the town or city on the surrounding area, particularly, the changing land use pattern and the resultant planning problems. Within the framework of the rural-urban dichotomy or continuum model attempts have been made to identify a transitional zone, which is neither urban nor rural in function, often called the rural-urban fringe. Unfortunately these impact studies have tended to concentrate upon changes in the structure of land use and morphology, and relatively little attempt has been made to examine changes in demographic and social structures involved in the urbanization of the countryside. This is rather surprising since the· changes involve the whole society, whether adjacent to a metropolitan centre or a small town. This study reviews the traditional geographical interpretation of the urbanisation of the countryside, both in terms of process and place, and suggests an alternative approach, behaviourlistic in conception, as a framework for analysis. The testing of this framework is in 46 Communities in Herefordshire. Firstly, a socio-spatial classification is made. Then an analysis in terms of social structure, behaviour and attitudes is developed in an attempt to show that groups of communities have distinctive characteristics and are ordered spatially. Finally consideration is given to the various agencies involved in the residential land conversion process and their role in producing social change in the countryside.



Lewis, Gareth

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Geography

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Masters

Qualification name

  • Mphil



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