Both the two assignments are heavily linked so the bulk of all research will contribute towards both outcomes. There are two subjects that have caught my attention which I would be interested in exploring further. The first is rural living and second is city regeneration.
Coventry is currently engaged a 10 year city centre regeneration plan and the area is certainly in need of a architectural make over. The grey square buildings are repetitive and bland and walking around the centre is often depressing. When you compare Coventry to vibrant cities where money has been spent on development such as Nottingham with its tram system, Derby’s modern shopping centre and Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture 2008 it is clear that Coventry has fallen behind. This alone presents unique opportunities for Coventry, with a population of 323,100 a rise of 14% in the last 10 years has made it the 50th most densely populated place in the UK out of 347 defined areas.
From a commercial perspective,with the new council initiative to regenerate the town centre investing now is quite a lucrative prospect. Regeneration will attract new big brand names to the high street and tempt back existing shoppers who have been taking the short trip to Birmingham to make their purchases. It will also bring new people to the area with increased jobs which will lead to the need for more homes. In many ways the councils neglect of the city has now left it in a prime position to exploit that laxness by delivering some much needed changes.
Photographically this makes Coventry an easy place to produce images, it is not short of dour, drab scenery which would lend itself well to a new topographical approach. There are areas of the city that has seen investment through the university and there are places such as the streets around the cathedral that are very photogenic and would make a compelling contrast to the cities more run down areas. This could easily be presented to show what can be achieved and of course visiting some of the places I mentioned earlier will be able to show what can be achieved through well thought out investment.
For rural living I want to explore contrast between the idyllic ideology held in peoples imagination and the reality of moving out into the country. I want this to focus on those that are after the quiet retreat, often retired couples or business professionals looking to get away from a frenetic city life. The media is often found promoting a peaceful pastoral life with the notion of being awoken by gentle birdsong to a beautiful sunny day with stunning countryside views. However, poor weather, lack of services, prejudice neighbours, isolation and loneliness are all some of the realities faced by people after they have made their move, turning the dream into a nightmare.
This particular subject crosses over with ageing population as my target audience will be retired or retiring people and the issues are often exacerbated by the physical degeneration of their failing bodies.
In order to understand some of the problems that people encounter I did some research and came across this an article from the Guardian Newspaper which highlights some of the issues.
Lack of amenities such as local Doctors and Dentists mean that rural dwellers need to travel further to access healthcare and hospitals are often an even greater distance. This could prove particularly disastrous in an emergency where an ambulance may take much longer to arrive than for someone living in a city.
Loneliness is a problem faced by those used to the company of others. We are social creatures by habit so constant isolation will turn the peaceful tranquility into a forlorn solitude and with family members now so far away the visits will decrease.
A lack of available technology is something that is often overlooked, we take mobile phones and the internet for granted but move out of the city and these services decrease dramatically in there availability.
There are many other issues and a range of things that people do not consider when embarking on such a major life change.
Weighing the two subjects I find them both really interesting. They are both quite opposite with one looking at urban inner city issues and the other looking and life in the countryside. Over all I have chosen to go with rural living as I think the subject matter will have a greater broader interest. I like the concept of people being being duped by the media and how they seem to follow what they are told like sheep and my work can go someway, not to just making people look again at country life but also to become more critical and think differently about the things they are seen and told about.