[Talk-GB] Suburbs in London/Brum - big edits

Andy Robinson ajrlists at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 08:51:48 UTC 2014

I reverted the Birmingham changeset not because its necessarily wrong or because it wasn’t discussed, I did it because I (and others) didn’t feel comfortable whether the bulk change was right or not. There is a good dialogue on the changeset with the original editor and that will continue. It’s actually a good thing that the issue has come up because it forces the debate and that debate should be based upon a review of what the situation is locally for each place. There is plenty of evidence online and from local knowledge to make logical decisions.


It’s not likely to be as simple as saying everywhere within a city boundary is a suburb. A simple example is the town of Sutton Coldfield which recently regained it Royal Town status, Its officially a town in every traditional sense yet it is part of Birmingham though devolution of powers back to the town from Birmingham is slowly (very slowly) happening with time. There is no gap in the conurbation between what is known as Sutton Coldfield and the rest of Birmingham. It’s not considered a suburb of Birmingham as it’s a town destination in its own right and locals who hail from it would always say they were from the town and not the city of Birmingham.


Ultimately most cities as we know them now have been created for purely administrative purposes. Birmingham was a relatively small place originally and the City could easily have been called Aston if political wrangling had turned out differently in the past. The administrative area of Birmingham collects many merged towns, villages and hamlets which in some cases have very distinct and separate characteristics more in keeping with individual identity rather than as part of a larger place. I believe it’s important to both respect and acknowledge this.


Anyway, I’m sure even a within Birmingham debate about naming will have some disagreement but I hope we can work towards a logical and informed decision on each place name used, including those within the wider west midlands beyond the original Birmingham edit reverted.





From: Richard Mann [mailto:richard.mann.westoxford at gmail.com] 
Sent: 20 November 2014 08:17
To: Talk GB
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Suburbs in London/Brum - big edits


I guess the problem is that quarter/suburb just isn't a natural-english hierarchy, whereas we do know what town/suburb mean.

What is certainly clear is that distinct town centres in the London suburbs are not the same as other suburbs, and deserve a separate place type. place=town has served that function for a while, and appears to be the local style. It can be changed, but affects-lots-of-users changes like that are better discussed (by just doing it and waiting for the reaction, if by no other means).

Someone should add a note to the wiki about the fact that sometimes place=town is used for major centres in a conurbation. I can't actually see a better alternative at the moment.Using place=quarter in London is just asking for further misunderstanding.


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