The central issue of this essay is to outline how material things on city road favour the activities of some groups of people over others, I feel this question should be answered in three ways, there seem to be three distinct social factions, Students, Low Income and Ethnic minorities. I plan to break down each of these points and sum up with my answer to the question.
City road has a very large Student population, including a municipal college on the road. (Material Lives Scene 4) The bars and restaurants offer regular student deals for drinking and food, (Connected Lives Scene 4) that will bring in more students, that will in turn discriminate the locals from enjoying the street of an evening and into the night. This is highlighted (Learning Companion page 21) with the municipal club and its members and there comments. The local college is municipal college this lead’s to a degree onto my next point of this being a low income area. The type of students that occupy this type of college are proportionally immigrants and low income students, the sort of courses they offer appeal to this element of society(Material Lives Scene 4).
As it seems with any student rich environment they generally appear in low income areas, a good example of the low income are Part worn tyres for sale and the municipal working mens club, there comments and attitudes towards the area and the street agree with my perception of low income. Also the perceived element of crime, again the element of the imagined past and class separation, with an example being the Sports Club, the locals feel unwelcome or intimidated by the building (Learning Companion 1 page 25).
(Material Lives Scene 4) Alterations 4 you is another example of the type of business that thrives in a low income area, fixing and repairing old clothes.
There also appears to be a large young parent population, although the material aspect does not really cater to these, possibly why the convenience and cost of the Tesco local gets so much work and is slowing destroying the small family Businesses, example Colin Buttwell (Making Social Live Scene 3).
The ethnic minority population has a large influence over the area, and a lot of the shops are catered for them. A good example being Xquisite Africa and Sana Silk The Largest Sari Showroom in Wales (Making Social Lives Scene 6). This facilitating of their needs would appear to be the priority of City Road, which then guides us to the the segregation this creates, the immigrant population seem to keep themselves to themselves which does seem common all over the world, a group huddle together to create there own community within the surrounding community, carving out there own piece of home. These walls that they put in place to protect themselves and there identity, segregate them and cause the issue of us and them, and so they create their own environment and shops, to facilitate and cater to their needs.
In conclusion, I believe City Road is a Low Income area, and is designed as such, with no real effort put in by the local authority to change this. They have attempted to brighten the area with coloured bollards and ground level development of the college to improve perception of the street, (Material Lives Scene 4) but this seems to be it. The road is a thorafare for commuters and only locals stop and shop there.
The material things favour the ethnic minorities over the locals. The students and younger population are very well catered for with restaurants and pubs, food deals and drink deals, but unfortunately this doesn’t help bring in large sums of money for the area, the nature of students and young people not having the finances. This also creates two completely different versions of City Road that of daytime and that of night time, each one creating its own environment and its own material values.