GCSE Geography Assessment: ————————————————- Investigate the extent to which Meadowhall could be described as “ environmentally friendly”. By Emma Fitzpatrick 10R Introduction “ Investigate the extent to which Meadowhall can be described as environmentally friendly” The centre was first opened on the 4th September 1990. The 80 acre site was and still is a Brownfield site which means you can build on this land. With a floor area of 1, 500, 000sq ft, it is the seventh largest shopping centre in the U. K. With over 280 stores, the centre attracted 19. million visitors in its first year of opening, and now attracts about 30 million visitors a year. It took two years to clear the land of waste, and there was 100, 000 tonnes of waste from the toxic site by the River Don. The main reason the centre is so successful is because of its location. The centre id located at junction 34 off the motorway-“ The M1 is the lifeline to Meadowhall. ” Meadowhall can be extremely busy in the run up to Christmas, and the January sales. There can be up to 140, 000 visitors at Christmas just the day after Boxing Day. The reason I have chosen to investigate Meadowhall is because it is local.
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Analysis-positives Meadowhall is one of the largest out of town shopping centres in the U. K, and it could be described as “ environmentally friendly” because it was the first U. K shopping centre to develop an on-site recycling facility. The recycling centre was opened in 2006 and has been ongoing for the past 6 years. The centre recycles 97% of waste from retailers and customers, with the remaining 3% going to incineration; no waste goes to landfill. The waste is sorted into paper, plastic, cardboard, cans etc. by a conveyor belt system to separate out the different types of waste.
Also they have set up lots of initiatives and measures to give people other sustainable transport to get to and from Meadowhall, for example: * Cycling initiatives- including bike-safe training, biker user group for Meadowhall employees (BUG ME) and Dr. Bike; * Free fuel for electric cars; * Personalised travel information for busses, trams and trains; * Adult andfamilycycle training launched march 2008- offering free training for employees; * The Passenger Transport Interchange. Primary benefits for the staff: * Last year on average 5 employees per month switched to sustainable travel modes.
In terms of staff only 20% use a car to drive to work; * 55% of employees use public transport, 16% car share, while 7% cycle, walk or use motorcycles; * In terms of visitors, public transport has increased by over one percentage point while the number of visitors driving indicates a significant level of car sharing at 16%; * 400 staff last year requested a personal travel plan. Secondary benefits: * Helps to aid the reduction of local traffic congestion; * Improves access for staff and visitors- more time working and shopping and less time queuing in traffic; * Reduces carbon footprint for staff and visitors.
Also Meadowhall has its own public transport interchange, making it the only shopping centre in the U. K that combines a bus, rail and tram interchange as well as making it the centre easily accessible to both the local region and the rest if the country. The “ catchment” area is a one hour drive which covers an area as far as north as Harrogate, south as Leicester, east as Hull and Grimsby and as far west as Manchester. There are approximately 25 million visitors each year. And since the PTI has been added to the centre, it has the best public transport services of any shopping centre in the U. K. lso because most people use the M1 to travel to Meadowhall, it actually saves fuel than going on the back roads through the country side, because if you travel at a constant speed on the M1, you won’t use as much petrol and it won’t take as long, because on the country roads there usually is a lot of turns and corners which might take longer than just going on a straight road whit very little corners. Also it’s not good for small towns because of the congestion charge. Another positive is that they spent ? 50 million pounds on improvements, bins and air-con. However this is also a negative impact as well.
One of the most recognisable positive impacts is the large windows which let’s in a lot of natural light in so in the summer they don’t have thousands of lights on but, they let in a lot of heat as well so they have to use air-con (which can be seen as a negative impact). And in the winter they are helpful because they let heat in so they don’t have to turn on the heaters. Although, when it’s dark/night they turn the lights on the outside of the building on even when Meadowhall isn’t open, so that can be seen as a negative impact too. Also there is a bore-hole that they use to collect water from beneath the Earth.
The water from the bore-hole is collected into a giant master tank. All the storage tanks are connected onto a “ network” which ensures 90-95% of all water used by customers and retailers for flushing toilets is derived from rainwater harvesting or bore-hole water. Meadowhall began harvesting rainwater in 2006. Four giant water storage tanks collect rainwater and condensation from air conditioning. This is then used throughout the shopping centre for cleaning, flushing toilets and watering the external landscape areas. Also the cost of water to Meadowhall has decreased since this movement has been put in place.
One of the other positives about the transportation is that they have a free electric car charging port so people can charge their cars. In addition to the cycling initiatives, Meadowhall is encouraging people from Winkobank and Tinsley to either walk or cycle to Meadowhall with the network of paths that have been placed. Also, they encourage more people to use public transport by having cheap deals sold exclusively within the centre for bus, tram and train. Plus only 20% of the staff at Meadowhall uses their car to travel to the centre, and the remaining 80% use other forms of public transport (refer to figure 5. ). Also, more than half of the bags I have collected for my survey about whether shops use bags that can be recycled or could not be recycled(refer to figure 4). Analysis-negatives Furthermore, there are some negative impacts to Meadowhall. For example: * 87% of shoppers travel by car and only 13% by public transport; * They don’t advertise how environmentally friendly Meadowhall is; * They have over 12, 000 free car parking spaces which means more people will chose to travel by car; * Although they do have Electric car charging ports, there sn’t any sign posts to tell/show people where they are; * They turn the lights on at night even when it’s not open,(however they do use low energy light bulbs). Transport Although Meadowhall has plenty of initiatives to try and persuade people to use public transport to go to Meadowhall, only 13% are using it to get to and from Meadowhall. And I think this is because of all the free car parking spaces, so if they charged people to use the car parking spaces, more people might use the bus, train, tram etc to travel to Meadowhall.
Also if there were sign posts to show where the electric car charging ports it might encourage more people to use/have an electric car because if every shopping centre had a car charging port they might be able to make moremoneyto make that centre more environmentally friendly. Also the M1 is a negative because most people are using their cars to travel to Meadowhall, than using public transport, which causes morepollution. Refer to figure 6. 3. Windows Even though the windows are very environmentally friendly they do let a lot of heat in which means they turn on the air-con which uses a lot of energy.
EnvironmentEven though Meadowhall has put many initiatives together to make the centre more environmentally friendly they don’t advertise the environmentally friendly it is –internet, TV, and the website. I think that if they did decide to advertise the eco friendly side of Meadowhall, they might encourage other shopping centre’s to do the same thing. And compared to the Trafford centre, Meadowhall doesn’t seem very environmentally friendly. Refer to figure 6. 2. Water Butt
Although they harvest a lot of rain water and water from the bore-hole, they only use 35% of it, so 65% is wasted. The Trafford Centre The Trafford centre is also environmentally friendly like Meadowhall because they also have many initiatives in place, and hoping to put in place. For example: * They want to divert 100% of the waste from the centre to not got to landfill sites; * To install sensor lights in the corridors, to cut down on wasted energy; * Switching to LED lighting systems which use a fraction of the power to the older system; * Halving the length of time heir automatic taps run, from 10 seconds to 5 seconds, saving 350, 000 litres per year; * Limiting the length of time their Christmas decorations are switched on; * Cutting the amount of time their escalators, plasma screens and lightings are switched on; * Following a greener office policy which encourages all staff to switch off lights and computers that are not needed. Also compared to Meadowhall, the Trafford centre is more environmentally friendly because they advertise how eco friendly they are, and they have put more initiatives in place than Meadowhall to cut down the amount of energy they are using.
The Trafford Centre – Recycling Since 2009, the Trafford centre declared its ambition to be the greenest shopping centre in the UK. The environmental services department comprises more than 34% of the Trafford centre’s staff, and each processes more than 100 tonnes of waste each week – since October 2010 100% of the overall waste has been diverted from landfill. Currently they recycle a host of materials; these include: * Cardboard; * Scrap metal; * Glass; * Paper; * Magazines; *Foodwaste; * Plastic bottles; * Coat hangers;
Since 2006 they have continuously improved the percentage of waste that has been diverted from landfill. For 2009 hey diverted 58%. For 2010 they diverted 70% and for 2011 they hope to have achieved 85%. The centre was awarded the environmental award at the Trafford Business awards, the centre achieved gold standard in the “ Business Tidy Awards”, and the Sceptre award for Environmental Best Practise. Conclusion In conclusion I would say that Meadowhall can be described as “ environmentally friendly” because since 2006, they have put 6 travel initiatives in place so visitors can use a more sustainable use of transport o get to and from Meadowhall they have their own recycling plant, bore-hole, four giant water storage tanks, and they have large bay windows that let in light instead of using thousand of lights. However, there are more things that can be done to make Meadowhall more environmentally friendly is by advertising hoe eco friendly they are, turning the outdoor lights off at night and encouraging more people to use public transport. My Consumer Choices
Usually I would rather go to Meadowhall than go to my local area (i. e. Town) partly because Meadowhall has a more range of shops like H&M and River Island which my local area doesn’t. I typically buy clothes and bags from Meadowhall because there are more shops which are larger than the ones in my local area, where I typically get school things like school clothes and equipment because there are more school shops in my local area and more stationary shops as well.
Normally I either get my parents to take me and bring me back home if I’m only going with one or two friends but if I’m meeting a group of friends I find it easier to get there by going on the train with them but I think I should try and use the train more because its less pollution than getting one of my parents to take me. I very rarely take my own carrier bags because I most of the time I don’t buy very much. I think by asking my parents to take me has a knock on affect because every time I ask them to take me to Meadowhall I’m increasing the amount of pollution in the air even though I’m not even driving.