IGCSE Geography Case Studies



Case Study 1 (El Salvador)-difference of housing

  • The capital of El Salvador, San Salvador where you find people living in informal housing just a couple of metres between people in luxury detached houses.
  • Santa Elena is part of San Salvador, where the wealthy locate and it is also where the US embassy is located:
  • You find large houses out of permanent building material such as brick.
  • Large gardens and private car garages.
  • Modern Amenities such as an indoor toilet, working electricity and running water.
  • Well maintained features of the house.
  • Many even contain high technology luxury features such as swimming pools, air conditioning and games rooms.
  • Permanent tarmac roads with gates and driveways.
  • Many luxury services such as restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.
  • On the other hand:
  • A few metres down the road in between the Pan-american highway, you find informal housing known as "champas."
  • The housing is on marginal land, near a polluted river and squashed between the country's busiest road, characteristics of houses inlcude:
  • Housing is temporary and made out of scrap material such as plastic, corrugated steel and wood.
  • Houses are very small often with only one room where the family eats, sleeps and lives.
  • No inside toilets and no running water. The area is open to the sewers and open fires causing health risks.
  • There are no proper roads just made tracks which makes rubbish collecting very difficult.
  • Land is marginal and vulnurable to hazards such as flooding and landslides.
  • Limited local facilites and services except for small tiendas.
  • High crime rates, high unemployement and poverty.

Case Study 2 (GATESHED)-rural shopping centres

  • Gateshed is a large scale shopping centre on the A1 main road in Gateshed near Newcastle.
  • Advantages of the site:
  • Metro centre in Gateshed has about 1.3 million people living withing 30 minutes. It had been opened in 1986 and sold to Capital Shopping Centre for $500 million.
  • Site chosen beacause it had been a relatively cheap area of land previously occupied by a marshland. It was a fairly flat area with room for expansion and was built on a designated enterprise zone so planning controls were more relaxed and was exempt from taxes.
  • It is adjacent to the western by pass with 2 km of frontage with good transportation links ot the North East modern road network.
  • Adjacent to main railway station, with its own railway.
  • There is free parking for 100,000 spaces, special spaces for the disabled drivers, bus and rail stations and rail stations for rail motorist
  • Inside the mall there are 400 shops and 40 eating places.
  • It creates a very pleasant shopping env. , wide tree-lined malls with good ac,one kilometre of glazed roof to let natural light in, seating places, escalators and lifts for the disabled.
  • Leisure had been a major part of the project with a ten screen cinema, a space city for computers, a covered fantasy land for children with children shops . A 150 room luxury hotel has been built on the premises…


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