By Sarah Muscat
Finding a home away from home is a difficult task, however Heaton managed to truly exceed my expectations with its shops, community living, leisure facilities and above all its proximity to university.
The qualities of Heaton were further discussed during the Place Economics lecture, as part of the Principles and Practice of Urban Design module. The ‘Place Quality Analysis’ tool was employed to assess Heaton, based on nine main criteria; the urban form, distinctiveness, connectivity, environmental quality, safety, green places, public realm quality, services and adaptability.
Heaton is characterized by terraced housing, with some contemporary architecture along Chillingham and Shields Road. Although not particularly distinctive, Heaton is very well connected to the town centre and is only 15mins away from Tynemouth by metro, enabling one to reach beautiful scenarios in no time. Heaton itself is rather clean and green, with active streets and a bustling high street. It also offers plenty of leisure facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, gym, pubs, restaurants and cafes. An NHS health centre, banks, pharmacies, various places of worship, etc are all within a maximum of 10mins walking distance, making Heaton truly a convenient place to live.
Moreover, Heaton has all the assests to develop from a ‘mixed/transitional neighbourhood’ (the result attained when using the Place Quality Analysis tool) into a hot market area, through the adoption of small measures such as the introducion of cycling lanes, more activities set up within Heaton, etc.
On a personal note, I would recommend Heaton to all those who want to experience the best of city living without the nuisances of the city centre.