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During The Planning Process Of Birley Fields Campus (Mmu), To What Extent Were The Social, Political, Cultural And Economic Values Of The Communit

2168 words - 9 pages

Hulme was not the first site that MMU tried to impose itself on, in fact it was Didsbury where they first proposed to move their new £19 million campus. However in a ‘shock’ move, MMU restrained against fighting the opposition created by local residents. The local community emphasised their issues that the expansion would result in more disruption and car-parking problems (MEN, 2009). An extremely identical case to that of the BFCG, however their points of view seemed to be overturned with minimal compromising. When looking at housing price, unemployment and crime rate figures the spatial inequality between the two is paramount and I would go as far to say that there was an unequal amount ...view middle of the document...

Instead the land was given to the University via a transfer. It seems strange that the Council have disregarded a social urban problem that would benefit from the urban space available and in turn potentially unhinge a whole new social problem: a divided community. Evidence of this already arises in neighbouring towns Fallowfield and Withington where for example if you are not a student you are barred from that particular bar/pub (Redbrick Radio, 2011). The significance of gentrification on the area could rapidly be present, major political entities injecting money into a ‘community run scheme’ could see the community aspect dissipate away in upcoming years. Opposition’s argued that a greater concentration of students within Hulme would lead to a disproportionate number of residents who have no long term aspirations within the area. Moreover once the Campus has been fully up and running and finally starts to thrive with its enrichment of students, Hulme during non term times will become a ghost town, a complete contrast to the former diverse community. It must not be forgotten that when these plans were finalised and agreed, Britain was in a state of financial turmoil and the number of students undertaking Undergraduate study dropped considerably two years running, however none of these derailed the development going ahead which enriches the argument that corporate expansion and growth was the initial catalyst behind the planned proposal.

The divides the campus creates not only on a first hand basis but also second hand (Hulme and Moss Side) is unprecedented. Hulme and Moss Side are bordering areas where before it would not have been clear on first thought, actually which suburb you were in. However, now the realistic vision is that the people of Moss Side will stick together and create their own community, and in turn create a ‘borderland’ around their community. This is because the road that would separate the two areas softly, the B5219 will be occupied completely differently on opposite sides. On the Hulme side students will be occupying the area, and the road known, as Hulme High Street will become the Birley Fields Campus ‘corridor’ instead of becoming an extension to the existing Oxford Road corridor. This corridor created breaks through the community before even being at the entrance gate of the Campus. Evidence is already shaping in the form of services being offered, more fast food takeaways and bars are being added to cater for the 7000 students that will fill the area. Even though the road touches the border with Moss Side, it will completely unused in comparison, as there is simply nothing desirable there for the student population. In turn the people from Moss Side feel unwelcome to the area whereas before the borderland was a completely soft transition between the two communities.

Emphasising this, when completing a first hand person and place account of people occupying Hulme High Street, I found that 70% of people I...

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