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Aerial view of a suburban neighborhood

Inequalities in your neighbourhood

A good way to explore your environment is to draw a map of your neighbourhood.

This isn’t intended to be a formal map to put on your wall (though you can if you like) it is a representation of the places that are important in your day-to-day life – the places where you work, visit or shop. Some people will draw big maps, and others are just a few streets.

Please sketch your map, thinking about the services you have nearby, the distances you need to travel — between home and work, for example — and, the demographics of the people who live near you.
Look for indicators of equality or inequality. For example:

  • What sorts of shops and restaurants are nearby?
  • Are there areas of derelict land and disused retail units, or manicured green spaces and public areas?
  • Are there attractions or sites of historical significance nearby? Do tourists spend time in the area?
  • Are homes privately owned, council or housing association houses? Are there signs of homelessness, substandard housing or empty homes?
  • How do people travel around? What sort of public transport is available?
  • Where are the people concentrated and how population dense is the area?
  • What health and social care services are available?
  • Where do people work, and where do they spend their leisure time?

These observations will serve as a point of reference for you as you investigate the inequalities where you are, over the next few weeks. As you think about what’s going on where you are, we hope you’ll also consider what role you might play in improving it.

Please do not put identifying details like addresses or major landmarks on your map. When you are ready, please snap a photo of your map and post it on our Padlet board.

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This article is from the free online course:

Tackling Inequalities Through Health and Social Care Design

University of Dundee

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