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The Geography of Coventry

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The Geography of Coventry Powered By Docstoc
					On a world map the co-ordinates for the city of Coventry are 52o 24' latitude north
and longitude 1o 30' west. Coventry is a unitary authority in the UK government
office region of the West Midlands. However, it also still retains historic links with the
county of Warwickshire, with which it more readily identifies. The population of
Coventry just exceeds 300,000 people making it the sixteenth largest city in the
country. (The population of the West Midlands conurbation is almost 2,300,000.)
Coventry city covers an area of some 9800 hectare giving it a population density of
around 31 per hectare.
  Coventry as a place isn't mentioned until the middle of the 11th century. Until then
the area in what is now Coventry was at the eastern end of the Forest of Arden and
would have been occupied by a collection of individual settlements, almost all of
which would have been small farming hamlets mainly following the course of the
River Sherbourne. During Saxon times the River Sherbourne is known to have been a
river of some significance, supplying both fish and drinking water.
  The surface geology of Coventry is mudstone and sandstone that would have been
deposited at the time the glaciers retreated during the last ice age. By and large the
surface geology is rarely more than 10m thick. The dominant bedrocks in Coventry
are sandstones from the Permian/Triassic ages with some clay deposits, whilst to the
east and north of the city there are Carboniferous deposits, which include coal
measures. The abundance of timber from the Forest of Arden means that traditional
buildings around Coventry were constructed from timber frames with thatched roofs.
  As well as the River Sherbourne, which is navigable by very small boats, there is the
River Sowe in Coventry and Finham and Canley Brooks. Apart from that the city
contains no significant geographic features. The elevation of the city centre is about
90 metres above sea level, which is just about the average for the whole of the city. In
the North West it rises to 130 metres dropping to about 70 metres in the south east.
  The climate in Coventry is typical of England, being a temperate one. With most of
its weather systems arriving on the prevailing westerly winds, the average temperature
in January is 30C and July it is 160C. On average Coventry receives less than 750ml
of rainfall a year which, being fairly close to the Welsh hills and mountains, much of
the rain being carried by the prevailing winds is deposited over Wales before reaching
the city. The average expectancy of rain in Coventry is about 150 days a year. The
temperature in January is lower than might be expected for a city in the middle of
England. This is because the city is centrally located in the landmass of England &
Wales and so does not benefit from the blanket effect of the North Atlantic Drift.
  House prices in Coventry vary across the city dependant on the suburb in which they
are located. Traditionally the most expensive area has been to the west and south in
the 'CV4' postcode area. The overall average price for a house in Coventry
is ?144,000. The average price of a four bed roomed detached house is ?40,000 lower
than the national average at ?280,000 which is about the average for the West
Midlands area. A three bedroom semi-detached house is ?164,000, below the national
average of ?185,000 but slightly above the regional average. A two bed-room terraced
house in Coventry typically costs ?130,000, about the regional average but 10%
higher than the national average. At around ?110,000 for a 2 bed-roomed flat,
Coventry is a cheaper place than other parts of the west Midlands to buy a flat; this
figure is also significantly lower than the national average. With house prices in
Coventry some 35% below those in London the city is promoting itself as dormitory
'town' to the capital. Its excellent transport links to the south make this feasible, giving
a commuting time comparable to travelling from say Brighton to London. In view of
this the city has embarked on an ambitious programme of house building, with a
target of building 24,000 new homes by 2026.
  Coventry city council has 18 electoral wards which each return 3 councillors. The
city is divided into 3 parliamentary electoral constituencies, which each return one
Member of Parliament, to the House of Commons. Being part of the West Midlands,
the citizens of Coventry are represented in the European Parliament by West Midlands
MEPs.
  Interestingly, Coventry was the first city in the world to 'twin' itself with another
international city. It was first twinned with Volgograd in Russia in 1944 and as an act
of peace and reconciliation with Dresden in 1959. It is now twinned with 24 other
cities worldwide, the most recent of which is Jinan (China) in 1983.

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