A 'gravitational map' of UK cities

Maybe this is a project not a question but has anyone seen a map showing the gravitational fields of UK Cities? i.e. How far North do you have to go from Brum before you feel a closer association with Stoke on Trent or Manchester than Birmingham. I’m not thinking of this in cultural terms but as a mathematical model based on population/jobs/wealth size. Anyone?

Am not seeing how this is calculated. I’m sure people in, say, Sutton Coldfield feel less closely associated with the city than, say, Hall Green people do, even though they’re the same distance away…?

I wonder if a train map could offer some insight into this?

I don’t drive, so I’m reliant on public transport to get around. With this in mind, when I was living in Worcester, Birmingham was always the hub of my travels, as it was often the location of connecting services. Even when travelling to London from Worcester, I would occasionally go via Birmingham because it was cheaper than going direct on the First Great Western.

I’m using trains as examples, but it’s the same with roads I guess. Is it not that most (if not all) major metropolitan areas exist because they’re the location of ancient crossroads? Markets and the like springing up because of the increased chance of encounters with travellers.

I dunno, what do you think?

In my experience, people in Sutton Coldfield tend to make an active choice on how they are associated with Birmingham. Depends on how snooty they are :wink:

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Isn’t that because Sutton Coldfield has more green around it, a bit of a gap and higher value housing? I live in a village that is pulled by Cannock, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham, in increasing distance and size. I live in Staffordshire but rarely go to Stafford because there’s more towards Birmingham.

I don’t want to include trains. I think it would give Crewe and Swindon undue influence :smile:

I think the transport is pulled in by the gravitational field. Birmingham isn’t the ancient crossroads, Wall is, then Tamworth. The M6 was pulled South of the A5 by the development of West Midlands. I’m not sure why Birmingham happened where it did, when the raw materials and energy came from the Black Country. Canals?

I’m not even sure what I’m trying to find out. The idea came to me that it might be enlightening. I’m trying to learn, not to prove an existing theory.

An alternative view would be how the existing network of nodes and arcs would reach gravitational equilibrium, like star fields, if the towns could move. Or have I gone too weird now? Oh hell, it would have to be infinite or everything would collapse to the centre. I’m not willing to sacrifice trips to the beach for a theory.

Brilliant concept. I think as far as many of the Black Country towns are concerned, particularly with respect to the ‘Greater Birmingham’ thing, that Birmingham has a repulsive field not a gravitational one and it’s more a case of how far out do you have go before you reach the Lagrange point and progress toward seeing Birmingham as a positive proposition.

The name ‘Greater Birmingham’ is the problem, not the idea of becoming a single authority. Expecting the #BC to co-operate with being assimilated is ridiculous. It shows a complete lack of understanding of the Black Country. Wolves folks love Brum but they define themselves by not being from Birmingham.

btw The original thought was triggered by the economic theory that super-cities will emerge because population size is related to per capita income. I thought this might break down once the Internet became the primary networking method but I have new faith in geography. Place matters or this community wouldn’t exist.

Absolutely agree. I’m all for a change of name if it moves the region forward

Why not MegaCity 0.1.0?

Megacity, surely?

I’ve written a blog on this idea, with a bit more information:

I think it’s time to ‘projectize’. I plan to make my coding mistakes in public so feel free to jump in and mock me.

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