The changing urban hierarchy in Scotland

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Arizona]On: 02 July 2014, At: 18:00Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: MortimerHouse, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Regional StudiesPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>The changing urban hierarchy in ScotlandR.D.P. Smith aa Department of Town and Country Planning , Edinburgh College of Art, Heriot-WattUniversityPublished online: 04 Feb 2007.</p><p>To cite this article: R.D.P. Smith (1978) The changing urban hierarchy in Scotland, Regional Studies, 12:3, 331-351, DOI:10.1080/09595237800185281</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) containedin the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose ofthe Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be reliedupon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shallnot be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and otherliabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Regional Studies, Vol. 12, pp. 331-351. Pergamon Press, Ltd. t978. Printed in Great Britain. Regional Studies Association. 0034-3404/78/0601-0331 $02.00/0 </p><p>SfB Aa3 U D C 711.43:453 </p><p>(411) </p><p>The Changing Urban Hierarchy in Scotland R. D. P. SMITH </p><p>Department of Town and Country Planning, Edinburgh College of Art, Heriot- Watt University </p><p>(Received August 1977: in revised form October 1977) </p><p>SMrrH R. D. P. (1978) The changing urban hierarchy in Scotland, Reg. Studies 12, 331-351. An extension o f earlier studies relating to England and Wales with which it is as uniform as the different conditions in Scotland permit. All significant centres are identified as at 1951 and 1971 and changes recorded. Results indicate a slow fall in the number o f significant centres and in the role o f three o f the four city centres. The growth o f a number o f regional centres is identified, not only in the central belt where other growth is concentrated, but in the rural periphery. Associations are demonstrated between changes in population, facilities and retail trade; the locality population is the most closely linked but local newspapers are the most sensitive indicator o f change. </p><p>Central places Urban hierarchy Scotland 1951-1971 </p><p>Spatial association o f change </p><p>Tins Is THE third in a series of articles in Regional Studies discussing changes in the status of central places in Great Britain over the past forty years. The two earlier articles (SMrrH, 1968 and 1970) dealt respectively with England outside Greater London, and with Wales. The present article covers Scotland in the period 1951-1971. Although long delayed, it is on a similar basis to its predecessors so far as conditions permit, but the techniques of analysis are not quite so crude as those previously used. </p><p>C O N T R A S T S B E T W E E N S C O T L A N D , </p><p>E N G L A N D A N D W A L E S </p><p>The initial basis for the previous studies was the work of Professor A. E. Smailes (SMAILES, 1944). It was in order to be able to draw some comparisons with Smailes' conclusions and those of subsequent authors such as CARRUTHERS (1957 and 1967), CARTER (1965) and GREEN (1950) that the hierarchical form of analysis and presentation was adopted. The writer accepts, and acknowledged in the article on Wales (SMITH, 1970) that the reality is a continuum within which centres are constantly adjusting their roles. The present article attempts to go into some of the relationships which may be observed as this happens, in particular those between facilities and population changes. </p><p>However, for ease of analysis, presentation and grasp of the infinite complexities of </p><p>reality it 'is convenient to postulate a hier- archy, particularly so since the basis of the studies is the presence, absence or duplication of particular facilities, many of which hold a clear position in the special hierarchy of one service, such as the Postal and Tele- communications centres. If for no 'other reason it would be desirable to retain comparability with the studies of England and Wales. All the same, adoption of a hierarchical concept need not blind the reader and it is hoped has not blinded the author of this paper, who is chiefly interested in the actual functioning of the system as it affects forward planning of the physical environ- ment. </p><p>In attempting to secure comparability, however, several problems arise. The first is fundamental--Smailes ' study of the con- ditions in the late 1930's did not extend to Scotland, and so far as the writer is aware there is no comparable past essay which does. It was therefore necessary to undertake this work for a more recent base date before the main study could begin, and in fact the collection of data was begun about 1951, on the spare-time basis which has been followed throughout. The subsequent ready avail- ability of only certain data sets for 1951 has affected the basis for the 1971 classifications to some extent. </p><p>A second problem arises from the physical nature of Scotland. With a much lower overall population density than England; the </p><p>331 </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f A</p><p>rizo</p><p>na] </p><p>at 1</p><p>8:00</p><p> 02 </p><p>July</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>332 R. D. P. Smith </p><p>role of the smaller central places which serve rural areas becomes of more general concern in Scotland. Any study of the hierarchy should ideally extend to the whole system, rather than taking as the cut-off point a level selected somewhat arbitrarily many years ago on the basis of English conditions. Conversely, lowland areas are limited in extent, and this inhibits the development of any Christatlerian pattern of regularly-spaced centres while ensuring that there is in certain areas a highly-developed urban system. What regularity, if any, could be expected of a hierarchy in such conditions? With large areas of mountainous moorland, thinly-stretched communicat ions, lengthy peninsulas and numerous islands and groups of islands, and the slow mingling of three main cultures over ten or more centuries, there is ample scope for regional peculiarities to persist even in a country which by world standards is very small. As will appear below, there are indeed substantial differences within Scotland. </p><p>Another, though for the purposes of this study less significant difference f rom England is the recent foundation of many places which, though not perhaps very far up the hierarchy, have some importance within it. Glenrothes is perhaps the most recent example, but Grantown on Spey is only one of the more important of many small towns founded during the late 18th and early 19th century. The fundamental redistribution of population from west to east during the Highland clearances of that period, followed by intense concentration into urban centres in the Lowlands during the rest o f the 19th and early 20th centuries, changed the whole pattern of central places; since then while the overall total population has remained fairly constant due to persistent net emigration, there has been a continuing fall in the population of most rural areas and increased urbanisation, the latter culminating in a virtual explosion of population from the congested inner-.cities into small towns and new satellite communities. Could stability of functions be expected in such conditions? </p><p>It was therefore thought desirable to include some population parameters in the study, even though this would reduce com- parability with the England and Wales research. But much more crucial from this angle were the numerous ways in which a different social, economic and legal system in Scotland affects the definition of the various facilities and activities which together com- prise a central place. </p><p>Whatever the reader's view about the </p><p>significance of the Scottish Nationalist pheno- menon as a political force, there can be no doubt that it reflects the fact that Scotland is a comparatively isolated, and very different, sub-system within the United Kingdom. This shows clearly in the broad pattern of metro- politan labour areas (WESTAWAY, 1974, p.61). While all the English and Welsh areas are contiguous, indeed in many places over- lapping, none of the Scottish areas as there defined shares a common boundary with any English area. Although one must observe that Dumfries has been omitted, though only just below the threshold, and that Aberdeen's contiguity is apparent rather than real, the overall pattern is clear--that of a cluster of areas in the central belt of Scotland, well separated from the much larger English cluster which also embraces parts o f Wales - - the only populous parts. </p><p>Under a separate legal and religious system this isolation has led to the persistence of differences which under many circumstances might not have remained. Unti l compara- tively recently wages were lower, in some cases much lower than the Great Britain average, and there was consequently low car ownership, a different diet, and smaller homes. A tradition of small houses, and in the urban areas of tenement flats has led to a higher density of urban population. Steep slopes have led to a stretching of the apparent distances between functionally distinct places, which consequently adjoin more closely than in England, and as a result it has been necessary to define more carefully what in spatial terms is meant by a central place as an entity distinct f rom other such places which adjoin. At the same time it must be recognised that in the early 20th century in the Lowlands at least there was an enormous increase in accessibility along certain axes within and between these closely-spaced towns due to the extensive growth of extremely cheap t ramway systems; though these have all now vanished their replacement bus services remained, at least up to 1971, a potent factor in facilitating the interdependence of centres. In the rural areas, by contrast, where even for the car owner accessibility is not high due to the limitations of the road system, there is a very high telephone penetrat ion--telephone connections doubled in ten years from 1963, and nearly one household in two throughout Scotland had a telephone by the early 1970's: a penetration second only to that o f London and the South East of England within the U.K. (SCOTTISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD, 1976). </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f A</p><p>rizo</p><p>na] </p><p>at 1</p><p>8:00</p><p> 02 </p><p>July</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p></li><li><p>The Changing Urban Hierarchy in Scotland 333 </p><p>The actual differences in terms of some significant central place activities may be wor th setting out in some detail, if in a rather random order. To take the Scottish financial system first, there are no branches of the Bank of England in Scotland, and the joint stock banks are operated separately from their English associates. But in 1950 there were eight different banks, each with its own branch siting policy; by a rapid series of mergers this has been reduced to only three; at least one of which is wholly owned by an English bank. Much rationalisation of branch offices is under way in certain areas as a result of this and other changes such as com- puterisation. </p><p>The Scottish legal system is entirely separate from the English system, and in Scotland solicitors carry out many functions which are the task of estate agents in England. Land tenure is on a different basis and the domestic property market is a much smaller, though fast-growing, part of the whole. This must affect the distribution of the legal profession, as must the local government system, which during the period of this study remained unchanged, but with a much greater decentralisation of decision-making to smaller counties and even smaller burghs than in England. The county districts or landward areas were also not administered independently of counties as in England. </p><p>In retailing there remain many differences. The less varied diet is one cause; the almost total lack until very recently of a system of retail markets is another, such that the English 'market town' is not precisely to be matched in Scotland. Woolwor th stores, so wide- spread in England even in the 1930's that Smailes made them a cornerstone of his studies, were still colonising places of a similar importance in Scotland during the study period. O f the groups which now dominate much o f the department and variety store trade in England, only Marks and Spencer extensively colonised Scotland before the 1950's and some other English household names, such as Sainsbury's and Debenhams', did not trade in Scotland at all, or at least to any recognisable extent, at this time. </p><p>As will emerge later in this article, the newspaper press seems to play a fairly critical role in the smaller central places; that is to say the weekly press. The Scottish daily press is quite distinct f rom the English or 'national' press, the principal exception during the study period being the Scottish Daily Express which was, however, edited and printed in </p><p>Scotland entirely separately. Each of the four cities of Scotland retains its own morning and evening papers and there are distinctively different Sunday papers. An unusual rote was played until recently by the weekly Oban Times, which had a wide overseas readership as a result of past emigration from the western Highlands and islands. </p><p>The educational system too is different, having had an independent development and at one time having been far in advance of England. Schooling was widespread much earlier in the 18th and 19th centuries, but the pattern has been slower to respond to modern changes. The move from primary to secon- dary schools tends to occur later, and that from sc...</p></li></ul>


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