Spatial Citizenship is an educational approach at the intersection of citizenship and geography education. Spatial citizenship describes an individual’s ability to interact and participate in societal spatial decision making through the reflexive use of geo-media (e.g. maps, virtual globes and GIS) regarding consumption as well as production and communication. Spatial Citizenship gains particular importance through the emergence of the Geoweb. Its main theoretical reference points are emancipatory forms of citizenship and the mature and reflexive appropriation of space.
Spatial Citizenship can be distinguished from traditional citizenship education approaches in many respects:
The geographical reference point of Spatial Citizenship is the (mature) appropriation of space, based on theories of action-oriented social geography and new cultural geography. These approaches contend that human beings constantly appropriate spaces, as they attach meanings to geographically located physical matter in order to prepare it for their own actions (Werlen 1995). Spaces in these concepts are regarded as being socially constructed. To a large extent, the attachment of meaning works unconsciously, following socially accepted, mainstream categories and discourses. Meanings given to physical objects determine the actions deemed possible. For instance, a field of asphalt in a city centre might have a two-fold meaning (or multiple meanings) – it may be interpreted as a parking area as well as a place for ball games, with both meanings competing for dominance. As soon as one meaning becomes superior, which is a result of social power relations, the other meaning declines, becomes invisible, and eventually is not used any more. The superiority of a specific meaning over another one might be supported by artifacts representing meanings attached, such as signs on buildings, structural modifications of the physical environment, or symbols and explanations of the socio-cultural significance of places and objects in spatial representations visualized via geo-media. A mature appropriation of space therefore includes the conscious attachment of meaning as well as awareness of meanings being attached to physical matter by others. It includes a sensibility to the multitude of meanings transported and hidden by a mainstream discourse. Keys to the mature appropriation of space are therefore the deconstruction of socially produced meanings, as well as the ability to communicate one’s own, potentially contradictory meanings and negotiate them with others.
Young GeoInt professionals gathered at USGIF headquarters to learn to use OpenStreetMap software. The software allows users to edit a satellite map almost any way they would like.
John Slifko's insight:
Mapping your own neighborhood and community as well exploring the world? Democracy is the free and open flow of information in considerable part. Can we hit limits of information flow that impringe on privacy in the geostpatial digital world? Or....?
Son movimientos absolutamente diversos que crecen en culturas y contextos diferentes. Pero tienen tres rasgos comunes. Se inician por Internet, viven siempre en la red y desde allí van y vienen al espacio urbano, son rizomáticos.
Finding Materials: This site is designed for geography students and teachers to find interesting, current supplemental materials. To search for place-specific posts, browse this interactive map. To search for thematic posts, see http://geographyeducation.org/thematic/ (organized by the APHG curriculum). Also you can search for a keyword by clicking on the filter tab above.
As the 2015 general election beckons, a civil society group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has threatened that the non-passage of the petroleum industry bill (PIB) may trigger apathy in the elections.
John Slifko's insight:
A part of Nigerian civil society has drawn a line with the might of big oil money. What are the short and long term possibilites?
UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.
"Just as you shouldn’t trust everything you read or see on television, you should never blindly trust information just because it is on a map. All maps posit arguments. Maps present information about how something is. All maps posit arguments. Maps present information about how something is. Just as there are no unbiased arguments, there are no unbiased maps."
Classrooms should be spaces that students don’t want to leave. Some communities are still hesitant about these futuristic looking learning spaces and have resorted to older, traditional physical spaces. Hopefully, they will begin to embrace changes to better prepare students and move them in the 21st century global economy.
Singapore has built skywards and taken back land from the sea to accommodate its booming population. But as the city-state runs out of options for future growth, it's looking underground to build infrastructure, offices, and even public spaces.
John Slifko's insight:
A different direction in city planning of the future?