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The University of Southampton

From shipping to shopping: the changing face of Southampton

Published: 15 March 2002

The latest issue of the University of Southampton's monthly magazine, Dolphin features a fascinating article about changes to the City of Southampton and the way it has constantly transformed itself to remain a thriving and diverse centre.

Professor Steven Pinch of the Department of Geography profiles the city and its recent development in the article From shipping to shopping? The transformation of Southampton.

Professor Pinch delves into the history books to discover what Daniel Defoe, J B Priestley and Jane Austen thought of the city. The three had contrasting thoughts, while Defoe and Priestley were both unimpressed, Austen found Southampton to be less claustrophobic than Bath, writing: "Have you ever been at that lovely spot which combines all that is enchanting in wood, land and water with all that is buxom, blythe and debonair in society...?"

Professor Pinch's article also traces Southampton's dramatic growth, the development of the City Centre and plans for the future. He writes: "Perhaps the most important lesson to be learnt from Southampton is the value of economic diversity. Despite all the changes of function over the years the city has never completely transformed from predominantly one function to another... thus Southampton still has a significant manufacturing base, it still has important port functions and it still attracts shoppers as well as tourists."

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Notes for editors

  1. Professor Pinch's article first appeared in the journal Cities, Volume 19, Number 1, 2002, pp71-78 Copies of Dolphin are available from Press and Public Relations.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £215 million.
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