Drawing on what you have learned about City Road, outline some of the inequalities on a street that you Know Using what I have learned in my study materials, I will compare Green Lanes to City Road, Cardiff for either their similarities or differences relating to Inequalities. Green Lanes is rich in the multicultural area and is home to many diverse communities and retail businesses similar to City Road. One of the visible inequality on Green Lanes is the traffic infrastructure. It’s a constant tension and imbalance of social order to meet the needs of both motorists and pedestrians.
The numerous controlled crossings, although help pedestrians access their destination, in turn has an adverse effect for motorists accumulating traffic and increases social disorder between motorists and pedestrians as they fight for space among the road. Contrasting in comparison is that City Road has developed a better infrastructure for meeting the demands of both the motorists and pedestrians within the community. The most visible being the traffic islands; “the purpose of that is to make it easier for people to cross the road” (Rodney Burman, Material Lives, 2009, Scene 1).
Rodney also explains how there are plenty of crossing points for pedestrians but that too many controlled crossings impact on traffic. Green Lanes is one of the longest roads in the capital. You can find a wide range of restaurants and shops. Similar to City Road because they are both extremely diverse and multicultural. This instantly establishes multiple identities. For example, on Green Lanes, you’ll find a little cafe, called George’s that’s run by Greeks. On their menu, you’ll find a selection of both Greek dishes and English dishes. This cafe is a fascinating place because lthough it thrives off a Greek community, there is also British identity present. George’s also has scenic pictures of London landmarks on the wall, and the decor makes it look like an English cafe, whilst maintaining the Greek sense of community. This can also be seen on City road in one of the restaurants there called the Mezza Luna. Owned by Nof Al-Kelaby, it contains an Arabic theme, whilst also honouring the Welsh heritage by including the Welsh dragon. Both restrarunts have made more than one culture feel invited and welcome. Another inequality I have observed on City Road and Green Lanes is how he impact of the arrival of franchises such as Tescos have had on small, independent business, such as newsagents. In the Making Social Lives DVD, Lloyd Barker talks to one particular newsagents that has been established since 1930, now owned and run by Colin Buttwell. Although the arrival of Tescos hasn’t put him out of business, he does talk about the arrival of Spar 25yrs ago, forcing one of his competitors to close their business. Comparing this to Green Lanes, I found a difference in the impact of arrival of franchises. Tesco’s opened an Express store amidst lots of grocers upplying Greek Produce. Tesco’s is a thriving, popular business, bringing in copious amounts of customers. Having a car park, advantages the company also, as this makes it easier for motorists to quickly stop off on the way to and from work. However, in a mostly Greek community, the local shops have survived, effortlessly relying on loyalty from customers and providing them with the same good quality products they can find back home in their native country. One thing Green Lanes does lack in the community is a leisure centre or sports hall. There’s a basketball court in one of the playgrounds, however, ith it being gated off, it seems to exclude people from going there. The people that tend to use it are groups of friends, potentially making others feel uncomfortable about using it. I noticed a similarity in City Road’s Sports Club. John Cooksley is a coach here and he comments about the type of people that use the club; “it’s quite daunting this big place where it’s all gated off. They want to play, they look in and they’re like ‘oh that looks private and expensive” (Making Social Lives On City Road, 2009, Scene 7). In conclusion, I have shown that there are various inequalities within the ommunity that can have a profound effect on social order and impact on the people and motorists. The businesses that incorporate multicultural themes that include different ethnicities make more people feel comfortable, welcome and safe fulfilling needs that assists with social order. On both streets having a more accessible leisure area would benefit both communities. Word Count: 736 References: 1. Material Lives, 2009, Making Social Lives [DVD], Milton Keynes, The Open University. 2. Making Social Lives, 2009, Making Social Lives [DVD], Milton Keynes. The Open University.