Social Segregation and Road Surveys

If you are doing a roads study, then you will probably be measuring parameters such as:

Measurement Equipment Units Chart and Graphs
Number of Vehicles Data Recording Sheet    
Types of Vehicles      
Sound Levels

1. Qualitative Sound Level Recording Sheet

2. Decibel Meter

dbl Qualitative Sound Level Recording Sheet

Pollution from PM10s

(Particulate Matter 10um primarily from diesel engines)

Sticky tape - dab onto roadside and then stick onto white paper!   Use your own 'greyscale' on a scale of 1-10 and put a number value to the colour of the sticky tape
Speed of the Vehicles

1. Stopwatch

2. Tape measure

Measure the distance between two fixed objects (e.g. lamp-posts) and time how quickly the vehicles pass between the points.

metres / second


Environmental Quality  e.g. estimate the amount of litter, graffiti, broken windows, peeling paint, along the road Select five criteria with which you can judge how 'clean' your  sites along your road transect. Create your own scoring scheme using a Likert Scale

Sample Recording Sheet

Land Use - you may record this if looking at 'socio-environmental' change along your road Blank Map for you to complete using your own key.


Housing Density - you may also record this if studying social and environmental change along your road transect Blank Map for you to complete using your own key.



All of the equipment may be borrowed from the Earth Studies Department - ask your teacher

Some very successful projects result from the systematic sampling along a road - especially ones that radiate outwards from Birmingham city centre. Roads that are popular for this style of investigation are the Stratford Road - A34, the Warwick Road - A41, the Coventry Road - A45, the Bristol Road  - A38, the Pershore Road - A441. The drawing of isolines showing change along the road and correlating parameters such as numbers of vehicles and decibel levels produce some excellent statistical analysis.

Make sure you understand the Geographical Theory behind your investigation. Doing a transect out of Birmingham along a road, you will undoubtedly pass through different 'urban areas' and these may exhibit differing qualities of life for the inhabitants. The theory behind this involves the concepts of deprivation and segregation - two topics covered in your Year 12 Human Geography course.

One of the key text books you must read is Drake and Lee - The Urban Challenge.