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Developing Spatial Literacy
Learning the spatial skills of Geography
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Public Spaces Worth Caring About...

http://www.ted.com In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good....

 

Kunstler impassionedly argues that American architecture and urban planning are not creating public places that encourage interaction and communal engagement.  We should create more distinct places that foster a sense of place that is 'worth fighting for,' as opposed to suburbia which he sees as emblematic of these problems.  How should we design cities to create a strong sense of place?  What elements are necessary?  Warning: He uses some strong language.   


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Mary Burke's comment, April 15, 2013 12:24 PM
I appreciate what this guy is saying. I wish we could build places worth caring about. We need more people like Mr Kunstler. But I don't things are as bleak as he depicts. He picked some of the ugliest places there are. We do need a sense of place. Right now we get that in our homes. I think what Mr Kunstler is talking about is a community based sense of place that could be created just with the kind of buildings we make in the space. Maybe we could create a friendly atmosphere with well designed buildings. We need to start somewhere to make people not so afraid of each other.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:44 AM

Everyone in the world should care about places if it is small or not known but a place has it own character that some people enjoy while other do not want to know about. Every place has it significance that many people have not noticed because they are blinded to it. People should really have an open mind when it comes down to experiencing new places and learn about its history or anything that you did not know about it.

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Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going

Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
A new study suggests vehicular travel affects children's ability to navigate their neighborhood and connect to their community.

 

We learn about the places around us by exploring.  Literally our mental map is formed by making choices (in part through trial and error) and that process strengthens our spatial perception of the neighborhood.  Research is showing that kids with a 'windshield perspective' from being driven everywhere are not able to draw as accurate maps as children for who walk and bike their neighborhood.  The built environment and the transportation infrastructure in place play a role in developing spatial thinking skills for young minds. 

 

This is a compelling article with some important implications.  What are the ramifications for geographers?  City planners? Educators?  Families moving to a new neighborhood?   


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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 10:52 AM

We may not realize it but when we take our kids out on drives to run errands or if we move to a different area we are ruining their understanding of the area they live in. Children often have a hard time of figuring out where they are if they constantly in a car looking at new places. This can cause them to lack a sense of direction and maybe have trouble remembering streets or landmarks near their homes. 

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The Body in Public Space

The Body in Public Space | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

Here are some seemingly eclectic topics.  All of them center around the appropriateness of the body being displayed publicly and the cultural norms that shape how we think about the issue.  I've included a sensational restroom, public nursing, top-free protests, and of course, the Kate Middleton scandal.

 

Tags: culture, popular culture, gender, place, space.


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Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 26, 2012 10:11 AM
Hilarious! The breasts of women are human parts of a woman which should be respected because it is where a human being feeds. It is a symbol of life.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 30, 2012 8:07 PM
This cartoon clearly shows how breast are sexually marketed in our society and how we will can accept the fashionably sexual display of breast in public yet consider breast feeding offensive. In many ways this cartoon seems to show how some social norms seem to interfere with common sense as we should be more critical of the sexual advertisement of breast while breast feeding on the other hand should at the very least be tolerated.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:37 PM

I think the men who prohibit public breast-feeding of babies should be starved.  I have a baby cousin, whom I love dearly, and I would hate to delay his lunch as much as anyone else would hate to have their own lunches delayed.  To prohibit public-breastfeeding is cruel, discriminatory, and hypocritical, as these prohibitors were likely publicly breastfed at some point in their infant days.  A message overall about other people acting 'scandelously'- get over it.  Grow up.  I don't like having to hear from or about you, and it takes away from my definition of a perfect world when I see people starving my baby cousin.  Culture should accomodate to the entirety of the population, not a majority.  After all, as for babies- we've all been there, and as for old people- we'd be lucky to live that long, but we'll llikely be there too.  I don't think we should be governed by someone that some people elect and other people don't vote for, because it's really not fair... it would be better and a compromise to not be governed at all!  So don't be critical, be understanding... Peace and Love!

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Location always matters!

Location always matters! | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

Even the three little pigs need to know the basic tenets of geography.


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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 10:57 AM

This image has a lot to do with geograpy because of where the pig placed his new home. Location is key when deciding where to place a building or home. If a new mall is being built they want to make sure they put it in a popular area where people are like in a city.  In this example the pig placed his home right next to  a sausage factory where this factory could use him to make sausage. He probably should have built his home in an area away from the factory like in a neighborhood. 

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A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics

A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
The most successful investors in restaurants consider how a style fits an area and track who their customers are, said Hudson Riehle of the National Restaurant Association.

 

A successful business model for restaurants is about much more than quality food at an affordable price.  Ask your students: what geographic factors are important in starting a restaurant?  What variables might make an otherwise attractive location less appealing?  What would ensure a return on your investment? 


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 6, 2012 8:42 PM
It's always important to consider an investment, especially one as great as a restaurant. Like Mr. Ruban said "be prepared to lose the money". You can't possibly foresee all the problems that will occur, but one of the best ways to increase profit is to pay attention to your demographic. Cater to the audience you wish to bring in, and do so in the right area, that will greatly increase your chances of success.