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The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.

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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 5:36 PM

I don’t find nothing right about tourist visiting the slum, I feel that the tourist are violating there privacy. They are human being not some historical landmark. If the tourist are not helping this people why are they going? If you are going to visit this places do it because you want to help them, not because you think is interesting their way of living.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 8:57 AM

Moral questions are always fun. Personally I don't think going to see slums is all that exploitative in itself, but I would make a distinction between guided tours that cost money, and self-directed tours though. In a guided tour you are paying money to walk through a community and view what life is like for those people, but in a self-directed tour you are just another person walking down the streets and viewing whatever you stumble upon. There are plenty of tours within neighborhoods of different economic value the world over, but these tours are scrutinized because the people touring are as wealthy, or less wealthy, than the people living there. I don't think that a poor community changes this dynamic in an immoral way, as the perceptions of which group is superior come from the own minds of those who feel uncomfortable with it.

 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:41 AM

This article rises in interesting question.  Are tours of slums exploitive or beneficial to the slum dwellers?  On the one hand the tours could feel like exploitation and the tourist is viewing attractions at a “zoo”, on the other hand it brings people far removed from slum life in contact with it and can change people’s point of view on the slums.  It can be beneficial if the tour guides donate money to the slums or jobs are sought by slum dwellers to become tour guides.  The question is should slums be hidden away from view or opened up to tourists so that they can see the hardships first hand.  I think that this is an issue that is not clearly black or white; there are many shades of gray involved in this issue.

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Infographic: Palestinian homes demolished

Infographic: Palestinian homes demolished | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
Report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation says 2011 was a record year for Palestinian displacement.

 

This infographic comes from the group Visualizing Palestine. This corresponds with the UN's recent statement that Gaza 'will not be liveable by 2020' given Israeli policies.


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Nic Hardisty's comment, September 4, 2012 9:16 AM
What a powerful infographic. To think that the international community (in large part) has idly watched 160,000 Palestinians become homeless, with little more than a few harsh words, is staggering. While these displacement policies are not exclusive to Israel, Israel does stand as the most public modern example of this. This problem transcends race, ethnicity, culture, or religion- it is simply one group dominating and subjugating another, and these actions should be recognized and condemned by global community.
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NPR: In The Hills Of Rio, Shantytowns Get A Makeover

Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, is trying to remake its hundreds of favelas.

 

There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?   


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Derek Ethier's comment, September 30, 2012 4:01 PM
Rio is clearly trying to clean up their slums so they do not embarrass themselves on a national stage. During events like the World Cup, all eyes are on the host nation so they do all they can to improve all aspects of their country. Unfortunately, Brazil cares little for their people and more for the money the World Cup will flood into their nation.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 6:02 PM

The facelift that Rio de Janeiro is receiving in anticipation of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 is sapping up a large amount of Brazil's resources, resources that some lower class Brazilians argue should be allocated to improving roads or schools. The government led make-over reminds me of the upper-class driven gentrification of urban areas in places like NYC that were previously neighborhoods for lower-class residents. I don't think we will be able to understand the effects of this remodeling until after the Cup and the Olympics have come and gone. If Brazil keeps it up and continues to "improve" outlier areas, what will Brazil look like in 20 years?

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 10:04 AM

There are urban geography applications obviously, but what about the cultural, political and economic logic of purging the slums before "the world comes to visit?"  We've seen this recently in Beijing and in other sites of international events.  Why now?  Why not before?  

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TIME: 10 Fastest Growing Cities of Tomorrow

TIME: 10 Fastest Growing Cities of Tomorrow | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

Many cities are large; the rate at which these ten cities highlight a distinct spatial pattern and separate them from the rest. Which regions have the fastest growing cities? Which regions don't? Why geographic factor account for the rapid growth?

CITY                Increase by 2025

1.  Delhi          6.4 million

2.  Dhaka       6.3 m

3.  Kinshasa  6.3 m

4.  Mumbai   5.8 m

5.  Karachi    5.6 m

6.  Lagos        5.2 m

7.  Kolkata     4.6 m

8.  Shanghai  3.4 m

9.  Manila      3.3 m

10. Lahore     3.2 m

 


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NYTimes: For Some of the World’s Poor, Hope Comes Via Design

NYTimes: For Some of the World’s Poor, Hope Comes Via Design | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
“Design With the Other 90 Percent: Cities,” a show organized by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, shows how the problems of millions of the world’s poorest people are being addressed.

 

Last week was heavy on the #OWS movement (I was speaking at a forum on my campus, so it was most certainly on my mind).  On the flip side, what about the 1%?  Do any of their foundations and charitable donations seek to counterbalance poverty in some of the slums?  This is a timely reminder that while the system may be imbalanced, there are great people and fantastic projects all around the world bringing hope to communities, one person at a time.  


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NYTimes: In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find Skyrise

NYTimes: In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find Skyrise | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

Incredible paradigm shift as a skyscraper is converted from a symbol of wealth is occupied by squatters.  The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside.  A complex web of geographic factors need to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation.  The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

 


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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, February 21, 2013 9:35 PM
The fact that one resident featured in the video said she has "nothing to complain about" says a lot about the housing situation in Caracas. She didn't seem to think she deserved to live in a better environment- instead she accepts the unfinished skyscraper with rudimentary services and no sewage removal. It is a shame that Caracas hasn't been able to meet the housing demands of their growing population. I'm sure the issue is more complex, but it seems like this oil-rich nation should be able to build proper housing for its citizens. Also, 2,500 squatters is an astounding figure. Just to put it into perspective, my neighborhood (in Providence) has a total population of 2,669. I can't imagine all of us being crammed into one building without electricity, air conditioning, or proper plumbing.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 6, 6:49 PM

 Incredible paradigm shift as a skyscraper is converted from a symbol of wealth to a building that is occupied by squatters.  The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside.  A complex web of geographic factors need to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation.  The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 11, 9:23 AM

Squatters occupy a building that was constructed to symbolize great wealth in Venezuela including a landing pad on the roof and floors to occupy office buildings. Due to a financial crisis, the building was never finished and squatters have taken advantage of this empty building. There is no windows, plumbing or an elevator to reach the higher levels of this skyscraper. Because of this, many safety issues have risen, including deaths. There is no other place for these squatters to live, it has become their home and they are temporarily making the best of it.

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Population 7 Billion

Population 7 Billion | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Just 200 years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet, and over the next 150 years, that number grew to 3 billion. But in the past 50 years, the global population has more than doubled, and the UN projects that it could possibly grow to 15 billion by the year 2100. As the international organization points out, this increasing rate of change brings with it enormous challenges."



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olivia estrugo's curator insight, November 26, 2013 12:37 PM

WORLD POPULATION

Alison Antonelli's curator insight, December 4, 2013 6:36 AM

This should definitely be a major concern for the human planet becasue if people are multiplying that quickly and staying alive longer than the futre could be facing some serious problems. For example; the food supply could run low, shelter could definitely become scarce, diease could become a high risk becuase there are so many people that are close which means they could be sharing a number of things. 

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 3:58 PM

This is just a clarification that the world population will continue to grow bigger and bigger, and along with that UN projects will increase. 

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Bridging the Digital Divide

This is an inspiring project that seeks to elevate poor slum-dwelling Indians by providing educational resources to children.  As free computer terminals are made available, their literacy skills soar and possibilities are widened.  Visit the projects homepage at: http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/ ;


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 27, 2011 6:51 PM
I think the hole in the wall program is a positive outcome for the children. They are learning to work cooperatively with others. They are also learning to play and work with programs that are used frequently in other areas of the world. These children may not have resources to teach them vocabulary, or phonics, or the alphabet but with these computers that are able to learn. As they learn they can then teach others, it is has a great educational value to help later in their lives. These children also get to see other parts of the world. They don't just see their world of poverty but it will also get them to think and view life with more light and better views.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 2:50 PM
This is a fantastic program that I'm excited to hear about...education for the disenfranchised is one of the best vehicles for positive social change.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 11:35 AM

As a child, most of us probably didn't particularly learn through technology or computers but through other hands on methods.  In these slums, getting school supplies which we are fortunate to have may not be so easy.  There are just so many people and living conditions make it harder for each child to be benefit equally.  That being said, these computers just might benefit the youth in the long run.  It might not be traditional, or even equal at times yet it is a type of improvisation that can probably be helpful.  In the video you could see the kids waiting in line, wanting to use the touchscreen, wanting to learn.  It is an abstract approach to education, but with the growth and diversity, it just might work effectively.

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Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects

Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is modern cosmopolitan Bangkok, the second most expensive Southeast Asian city after Singapore.  Along with explosive city growth, the demand for urban housing has increased substantially. Due to a lack of sufficient and affordable housing, communities have settled into the cracks, eliciting a diagnosed social and institutional ‘pocket-urbanism’ that forms barriers of interaction among communities, and certainly between communities and authority figures...


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:45 PM

The poor of Bangkok have been settling their communities in the cracks of wealthier areas, creating a phenomenom of "pocket-urbanization." The artical talks about an emerging "ethical turn" in architecture. People will certainly enjoy their lives better when they are empowered in their own living situations, but also we have seen how poor infrastructure is a target for the worst of natural disasters. Rebuilding these areas would be good for many parties.

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Time: The 10 Biggest Megacities Today

Time: The 10 Biggest Megacities Today | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

This article links the growing global population with the rise of megacities in the developing world.  

 

The largest megacities are:

 1.  Tokyo            32.5 million    

2.  Seoul             20.6 m

3.  Mexico City  20.5 m

4.  New York     19.8 m

5.  Mumbai        19.2 m

6.  Jakarta          18.9 m

7.  Sao Paulo      18.8 m

8.  Delhi              18.6 m

9.  Shanghai       16.7 m

10. Manila          16.3 m


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Detroit: The 'Shrinking City' That Isn't Actually Shrinking

Detroit: The 'Shrinking City' That Isn't Actually Shrinking | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
We're often told that Detroit has been abandoned—but the metro area is stable, and addressing sprawl is still a challenge...

 

Population size and physical size...not always as correlated as one might assume in this age of urban sprawl.  This details some of the difficulties in revitalizing abandoned sections of a city when the economic motive to expand outward is so easy. 


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