My hypothesis is: ‘Quality of life increases as you travel away from the business district of London.’ Quality if life is the level of enjoyment and fulfilment within the local community taking into account economic, political, social, and environmental conditions. Indicators such as car ownership, unemployment and tenure can be taken into account. The business district of London is Canary Wharf (Docklands).
I have visited numerous areas and have analysed a number of factors in order to decide whether the ‘quality of life increases as you travel away from the business district of London’. I will be focusing on one factor that affects this; I will be looking at how traffic affects the quality of life. I believe that as you travel away from the business district, the traffic will decrease, and as a result the quality of life will increase. I will be focusing mainly on the environmental aspect of quality of life, although I will also use some other indicators. I will decide how much of an effect traffic has on quality of life, and why quality of life increases as you travel away from the business district.
Traffic has a large effect on the environmental and social aspect of people’s quality of life. Traffic kills thousands of people each year, traffic fumes kill up to 34,000 people in Britain each year. Researchers also estimate that traffic fumes are to blame for more than 250,000 cases of chronic bronchitis, and more than 500,000 asthma attacks across Europe. Particulates from pollution are also believed to cause cancer. The cost of treating illness associated with traffic pollution across many countries exceeds the costs from traffic accidents. The health effects of road traffic pollution are estimated to cost the UK over £11 billion a year. Traffic-related air pollution remains a key target for public health action in Europe.
In this conclusion I will set out my study and determine whether my hypothesis ‘Quality of life increases as you travel away from the business district of London’ is correct.
East Smithfield was the busiest street I visited, however street also recorded bad marks across the whole environment. East Smithfield recorded bad marks for both the questions on quality of life and quality of environment, so therefore traffic had degraded the overall quality of life. Another one of the busiest roads was Commercial Road, however just as on East Smithfield, the traffic seemed to have correlation with the environment and it seemed to degrade. Along with East Smithfield this street recorded lowly marks for the quality of life.
The least busy road I visited was Patriot Square however in this case the environment survey seemed to record top marks for the street. On my quality of life survey all questions were answered positively, further proving the fact that traffic has major effects on the quality of life.
Also, the streets which were nearest to the business district also had the most
traffic, and as a result the worst quality of life. The furthest streets had the least traffic, and the best quality of life. This means that there is a correlation; as you travel away from the business district, the better the quality of life.
So as a result my hypothesis: ‘Quality of life increases as you travel away from the business district of London’ is in my opinion correct. Traffic is a factor in this. Traffic affects quality of environment very much, and as a result degrades the quality of life. Traffic has much significance on the environment as traffic can be blamed for causing air and noise pollution. As you travel away from the business district, the amount of traffic decreases. Simultaneously, the quality of life increases, proving that there are links within.
However, I believe that there are also other factors leading to the quality of life increasing as you travel away from business district. There may be a cycle of urban deprivation. First of all, there could be a decline in manufacturing due to deindustrialisation. This may lead to industries, and also the most wealthy and mobile people, to move out of the inner areas of the city. There may as a result be much obsolescence of environment and property. The poorest sectors of the society may be left behind which causes social problems. This results in a lack of investment by local authorities, and results in a spiral of decline.
On the other hand, I believe that quality of life could also decrease as you travel away from the business district, due to the flagship development of the area (Docklands). As a result, new industries and business then relocate to the area, leading to the cycle stopping and the quality of life increasing.
I will now describe the reasons that may have influenced the outcome of my results on the day I conducted the environmental surveys, quality of life surveys, and traffic surveys on four roads in London.
First of all I visited all of the roads at different times, so as a result some roads may have had more traffic going through it at a particular time. Therefore affecting the amount of traffic shown on the traffic survey and also the environmental survey, as the road would have looked busier and as a result uglier, resulting to lower environmental marks for the roads and also lower marks by pedestrians. Also, some roads may be less crowded at a particular time and therefore resulting in better traffic and environmental surveys.
Also pedestrians may just have answered without paying attention as they may have been in a hurry and rushed answers, or they may not have taken the surveys seriously and just guessed their answers. Both these results would have been void as it is not a reflection of their own personal opinion. They may have lead to unrepresentative results.
Also at the particular times of the day it had been raining, this in turn may have resulted in more negative environmental surveys and questionnaires than on other roads because the rain would have made the environment look much uglier, and in turn produce more negative results for the road.
For the environmental survey I was reliant on just one persons view and each person has different points of view, each view is subjective which in turn may have given more positive or negative results. The results would not be identical to everyone in their position.
For my traffic survey I only had enough time to count each roads traffic for five minutes each, which I would multiply by twelve in order to receive an average traffic count for one hour, however this process in inaccurate as traffic is not equivalent every five minutes and in fact there are different amounts of traffic every five minutes. It is only an estimate.
On the busier roads such as East Smithfield, the pedestrians would mostly be workers as there are many office blocks around the area, so they may have wanted to get the questionnaire over with to get to work. Also they could have been stressed and tired due to work, and given negative results. On the less busy streets such as Patriot Square, people were more likely to be residents thus resulting in positive results.
Furthermore, there are a number of indicators which could be used to measure deprivation levels of areas. I only looked at environmental and social factors. Economic and political factors also could be used to measure deprivation levels. Economic factors can include inequalities in ownership, wealth, and income. It can be measured using indicators such as unemployment, car ownership, home ownership, and levels of income. There are also political factors that may include inequalities in areas to decision-making processes. It can be measured using indicators such as proportion of the electoral voting in local elections, and proportion of people participating in community volunteering.