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Year 10 HMSG Geographers explore Newport: regeneration and a new shopping experience

May 9th, 2016

In the Lent Term Year 10 Geographers ventured to Newport to explore urban structure and change. Pupils studied an urban transect, starting in the north-east at Langstone Business Park and finishing at Tredegar House and its surrounding industrial zones and business parks in the south-west. Pupils considered the importance of motorway connections and pressures on greenfield site developments. Two housing areas were investigated and surveyed, pupils gathered data on housing and environmental quality, and considered the importance of re-using brownfield sites as part of a sustainable future for the city.

In the afternoon our focus shifted to Newport’s rapidly changing central business district & inner city areas which experienced economic and environmental decline between the 1970s and 1990s. Pupils explored current issues, in particular, the numerous urban regeneration projects designed to re-use vacant and derelict land and create new business, housing and job opportunities. Newport is now marketing itself as a ‘smart and connected city.’ Referring to its excellent transport links and growing university sector.

Newport faces stiff competition from the surrounding cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol, but is also having to compete on a number of levels for investment and jobs with the rest of the UK, Europe and even globally.

Pupils undertook a number of activities in the city centre including a land-use survey of the main shopping street and a visitor questionnaire. Pupils noted the growing problem of vacant shops along Newport’s High Street. This is a growing phenomenon around the UK with increased competition from out-of-town retail parks and online shopping. Pupils concluded the day with a visit to Friar’s Walk a new £100 million Indoor Shopping Centre development which opened in Autumn 2015. The city council hopes that this project will halt the decline of the High Street.

Mr. N Meek
Head of Geography


Pupil comments

“Throughout the day I learnt a great deal about the geography and land-use change of Newport. It was a very interesting trip and it helped me learn many new and important skills.”

“We learnt a lot about the ‘new’ Newport and the trip really changed our view of the city.”

“It was great to learn about geography so close to home, it showed us the relevance of what we are learning in the classroom first hand. A really enjoyable day.”

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