Geography 200
Follow
Find tag "NorthAmerica"
98 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

 

In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article gives a nice comparison between American and European car use.  It points out cultural differences as well as governmental policy differences that lead to different views on public transportation and car usage.

more...
Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:15 PM

Its easier for European countries to commit to cycling, walking and taking public transportation for the simple fact that their travel distance is shorter to that of the United States. A trip that can take Europeans 30 mins to travel can take Americans 45-60 mins of travel, depending where they are centrally located. I can agree with Europeans committing to using other alternatives to getting around their city versus using a car. They are more inclined to participate in physical activities, they are lowering their fuel emission, all in all, its a better decision for the environment.

Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 7:51 PM

According to this article, “U.S. (transportation) planners” look to Europe for inspiration as the planners try to decrease Americans’ “car dependency.” Instead of giving answers about how to solve the “car dependency” issue, the author provided nine reasons for why Europeans walk and bike more. Ideas like how the European infrastructure was built (i.e their zoning laws, highways, and biking/pedestrian lanes) were discussed. I found the implication that European’s were able to walk more because residential areas and businesses were intermixed the most interesting of all these reasons. It could never really matter because most of America’s land is already developed, but it did make me remember an earlier study mentioned in the article in which 70% of Americans wouldn’t walk a mile when they could. Triggering this just made me think that intermixing our buildings wouldn’t matter because we are too lazy to walk. Some may come back with the idea that a lack of relaxed pedestrian and bike lanes prohibit this option. However, with the amount of sidewalks around, I just keep thinking it all goes back to how much we exercise (which isn’t much). So honestly, it is an unhealthy attitude that planners need to change. Meaning some drastic action would need to occur in order to actually change people’s habits.

 

 More drastic ideas like decreasing government subsidies on oil, taxing cars, and implementing policies that “shifted behavior” (i.e. no parking zones) were also explained. However with oil companies and car industries around, I don’t actually see lobbyist letting that happening in the short term. Ironically, the article mentioned that the reason U.S. planners were thinking about how to change transportation was because the model the county uses is “unstainable.” This means the transportation system cannot be maintained for either “environmental, social, or economic reasons” (see included link for definition). Thinking about these factors, I just kept coming back to oil. Environmentally it is a fixed resource, socially people want less of it due to climate change, and economically it is typically more costly. What this all means is that an alternative energy source is needed. When that eventually happens, America will probably believe the transportation system is sustainable again regardless of “urban sprawl” and lack of “public transportation.” I say this because the author pointed out how America thought itself stable during the 80’s and 90’s when energy prices were low thereby implying the bigger issue is the oil needed to change people’s behavior. 

 

Overall, the author did provide an in-depth list that made me pay attention to the cultural and government differences between America and Europe from the way space interacts with these regions.

 

*http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/sustainability/#bookmarksubSustainableTransportation

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.

 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Bizarre Borders


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video was entertaining and informative.  I was aware of some of the information he related but was unaware of the “no touching” zone and I found it amusing.  The saying that good fences make good neighbors is taken to an extreme here.  The odd shape of boarders has always been interesting to me.  Reasons why a boarder has a shape are always interesting and sometimes amusing.

more...
Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 5, 2014 8:45 PM

This video shows how political geography does not always match up perfectly with physical geography, showing how the "no-touching zone" between the US and Canada has led to several border irregularities. It's very interesting to see how a seemingly straight border on a map is actually an odd and irregular jagged line that defines the political boundary. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 29, 6:31 PM

Craziest thing I've ever seen!  The poor kids on Robert's Island that has to cross through Canada to go to school.  I think it's crazy that the borders were defined when they didn't even have a complete map.  Taking a guess obviously didn't work out.  It seems very difficult to define a border.  

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, February 12, 6:39 PM

Sometimes borders between frendly neighbours like Canada and USA are less protected than borders between countries with conflicts.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

The true cost of oil

TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

 

This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

more...
Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

NYTimes Video: City of Endangered Languages

New York has long been a city of immigrants, but linguists now consider it a laboratory for studying and preserving languages in rapid decline elsewhere in the world.

 

This is an excellent video for showing the diffusion of languages in the era of migration to major urban centers.  It also shows the factors that lead to the decline of indigenous languages that are on the fringe of the global economy and the importance of language to cultural traditions.   Here is the article related to the video available. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article and video were very interesting.  They point out how a city full of immigrants can help preserver a dying language.  The work being done to learn about and preserve these obscure languages is great.  The fact that in New York you will hear language spoken more there than in their home country is astounding to me and very interesting.  This fact is key to preserving these language as they are from areas of the world were the technology level is much lower and less likely to be preserved.  It is also interesting as it shows where people are coming from to live in NY.  The city draws immigrants like a sponge draws in water and this adds to the cultural mosaic that is NY city.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Factories are finding that years of doing business overseas has withered what once was a thriving textile and apparel work force in the United States.

 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article highlights the biggest problem in the American job market today, the skill gap.  People have been told for years that the only way to a good job is to go to college.  This is not always true and this article highlights this.  There are skilled trades out there but no one skilled to do them.  This problem needs to be addressed so that the unemployed work force can be trained to do these types of jobs.  Young people today seem to feel that the only way is a college degree but this article highlights the other paths to work which are through skilled trade labor.  People complain that nothing is made here but there are reasons for that and when companies try to bring industry back to America they encounter the skill gap. 

more...
Miss. Dinsmore's curator insight, October 29, 2013 8:28 AM

News concerning sewing and apparel

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 3, 2014 4:06 PM

Manufacturing companies have to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing or staying domestic.  Many companies have chosen profits over quality and safety by outsourcing jobs over the past couple decades.  Outsourcing of jobs is a product of globalization.  However, the internet and other informational resources are also a large part of globalization which have allowed citizens of the United States to be exposed to what is actually happening in these outsourced manufacturing factories (similar to the role photography played in exposing behind-the-scenes truths of the United State's domestic manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution).  The demand for domestic-made products is increasing, and companies are listening.  However, the years that these jobs have been overseas have allowed not only the specialized skills of domestic workers to disappear, but also the creation of stigmas towards these jobs.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:16 PM

This article is quite interesting.  Everyone seems to complain that more product needs to be made in the USA instead of elsewhere in poorer countries.  This company in Minnesota is doing just that.  After receiving complaints about not enough product being made here they decided to leave countries where safety is not such an issue and bring it home.  Now the problem lies with finding skilled workers here.  Being a 'sewer' isn't very glamourous and not appealing to the youth of America.  This being said, it is going to be very difficult to bring jobs back to America when no one here is interested in putting the energy forth to gain the skills needed to hold these positions. 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article was interesting because it showed how modern immigration patterns are not that dissimilar from historic patterns.  People come to a new country and they settle in an area that has relatives or familiar people already living there.  The formation of ethnic enclaves is the example.  People are choosing to self-segregate when they immigrate to a new homeland because it is the familiar with in the strange.  Perhaps once the new immigrants have acclimated to Canadian society they may move out of the enclave areas but they also may stay.  It is an interesting example of how people cluster together with similar people when they move to a new country.

more...
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 9:15 PM

It is amazing that over 600 people come into Canada a day and settle into areas that used to be quite little farming land. These areas are now home to North Americas second largest Asian communities. Canada now has 260 ethnic enclave neighborhoods and they are an important part of Canadas landscape. They are mostly moving into the suburbs where land is cheaper and in my opinion I think they are moving there for job and because they concider it safer. They are also closing down the business of the families that have been their forever and cant compete like the greek families.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 1:15 PM

This article contains details about the Canadian immigrant population boom, mostly from east Asia, which began in the 90's. Unsurprisingly, many of these immigrants settle into communities with others whom share their culture. These Canadian ethnic enclaves differ from those in the US because most immigrants are choosing suburban areas (where the cost of living is lower) rather than being relegated to an urban "ethnictown." However, these enclaves are not entirely a product of economic equality as the average earnings for a recent immigrant are only 61% of a Canadian-born worker, limiting their ability to move elsewhere.

 

Conversely, the immigrant communities which become economically successful are seeing many of their sons and daughters move away to the city or other suburbs as they are more fully integrated into the Canadian culture and if there is no influx of new immigrants into these enclaves they begin to die out. This seems to indicate that long-standing ethnic enclaves are at least partially the product of economic inequality than a desire to preserve culture.

Gubert's curator insight, February 11, 5:17 AM

XIPHIAS Immigration is one among the Top Five Immigration Consultants in India according to The siliconindia as Top Five Most Promising Immigration Consultants. www.xiphiasimmigration,com

 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

more...
Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control.