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Investigating our local area: QCA Unit 6

What's the area like where you live? Chances are it's a town or city. Around the world, more and more people are leaving the countryside and squeezing themselves into big towns and cities.

Wherever we live though, we all need certain basic services like shops, schools, hospitals, libraries, petrol stations and leisure facilities. People living in rural areas often have to travel a long way to get the services they need. There may not be a bus service so they have to own a car.

Take a close look at your own local area. How is it changing and why? Are you happy with the changes? Many city centres, for example, are dying out. The centre is the oldest part and as the city expands, the outskirts develop their own shopping and business areas leaving the city centre run down. But 'urban renewal', or 'regeneration' is bringing some of them back to life. Even old dock areas and industrial sites can be turned into modern places to live and work.

But we also need to protect the countryside from the expanding cities. To stop cities becoming too large, some are surrounded by areas of land known as a 'green belt' where no building is allowed.

What changes would you like to see in the future and how can you help with this?