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What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline

What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Well this is certainly one way of ‘solving’ their pollution problem.  Tourists upset, no problem, give them a backdrop to pose in front of.  I find this just crazy; rather than trying to clean up the air the government is instead covering over the problem.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 7:43 PM

In the short term this might be a workable solution, but definitely not a long term one. To be clear, I think posing in front of a large representation of what the city should look like is ridiculous. There are still harmful pollutants surrounding the area and all the other pictures will show the reality of the situation. Honestly, one doesn’t need to stand in front of a poster showing what the city looked like, one could just superimpose the image of themselves from the comfort of their own home. Yet, tourists seem to be taking their pictures in front of the poster anyways without any regard for the environmental harm occurring the area. So on the other hand, I give points to the country for being creative enough to try and appease the tourist. I am not quite sure how much of their economy depends on tourism, but the fact that the country is dealing with a long term issue and still thought about how to make the most of it economically was a smart move on their part. Now, I will only continue to respect what Hong Kong does if their government actually steps up to the plate and starts regulating the boats that are causing “more pollution than… anticipated.” Also, I will actually say the solution is horrible if the use of this backdrop acts as an enabler (i.e. without pressure from a decrease in tourist, the country then decides not to regulate for the long term benefit of the country until later). It will be something interesting to watch over the next couple years. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 11:55 AM

This article is a little sad. If you're traveling across the world and want to take pictures for memories, using a backdrop would not be the first thing that comes to mind. Tourists use a backdrop to show the Hong Kong skyline on a clear and sunny day because you have trouble seeing it most days due to all of the pollution. It's crazy that you cannot even take a picture of the actual skyline because the pollution is so bad. This temporary fix has overlooked that actual problem here. People are fascinated that they are being provided with an alternative of what it would look like but something should be done so that people can actually experience the real thing. This backdrop is putting a band-aid on the issue in the mean time but all of this pollution is not safe and something needs to be done to start fixing it. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 7:17 PM

Major cities in the world should take a deeper look into controlling pollution problems in their cities.  At some point, these places will no longer attract people to live in these areas, thus lowering the impact that these industries may have.  But as long as people are still living here by the millions and there is tourism, and buisness is booming, nothing will be done about the issue.

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Water and Development

Australia's engagement with Asia: Water - a case study on Flores

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video shows a positive side to globalization.  The Australian organization that worked with the people in these rural villages to get them access to clean water.  The quality of life when up hugely when the people could access water in their homes.  The hours needed to trek to the wells was eliminated and the water have created jobs and better quality of life for the villages.

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Jye Watson's curator insight, June 23, 2013 10:29 PM

year 7 water

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2014 5:23 PM

In Indonesia, many areas lack clean water. This makes it hard to keep residents healthy. World Vision Australia works with Indonesian towns to set up pipelines to the clean water sources to transport it to the areas of dirty water. This helps the villages work together and benefit off having clean water to drink and uncontaminated food. This improves life in Indonesia and they are very thankful for it.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 2014 8:38 PM

The children of this village were once sick and could not regularly wash their hands due to the fact water was hard to find, and if it was found the quality was poor. World Vision helped by building a pipeline, which brings clean drinking water to this village. They can now bathe regularly and drink clean water.

Having this clean water also benefits the community from an economic standpoint. The abundance of clean water now attracts educators to their village and it also helps with creation of bricks. These bricks can be sold and can be used for their home improvement projects. 

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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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David Ricci's comment, April 30, 2013 9:47 AM
Japan clearly has their job cut out for them due to the geography of the country. Thier land has very limited airable land making agriculture extremely hard to maintain. The mountainous terrain also makes travel much harder for these people. Because of this their population like stated in the video has been pushed to hotspots like the yamato region. Japan has developed their culture solely based on how disconnected they are from the rest of the world. Japan is a chain of many islands so they have to import alot of their goods. This means having good trade partners, always making new trade partners, and avoiding conflict. This didnt work so well looking back at world war II. Unfortunately they must either become more self sufficient like chris said, or they have to stay on the good sides of alot of other countries.
Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I found this video disturbing.  Maybe because we have train safety taught to us were they stress that you need to stay away from the tracks, here the people are sitting next to a train track and even have goods for sale that the train drives over.  I think it is interesting how they reclaim the space but the mom in me worries about kids getting run over by the train.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 10:42 PM

Seeing the vendors prepared for the arrival of the train is impressive. They have grown accustomed to knowing how to avoid the train and then set up shop once again, as if the train never crossed their path. It shows how the residents use their countries entire space, it is using the land to your advantage and may even speak on crowded the city is.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:15 PM

On the one hand this disturbed me. All I kept thinking when I saw the people go back on the tracks is that they could easily be killed.In fact, I wonder how many accidents have ever occurred near this area. All it would take is some sort of malfunction on the train in which the horn wasn’t sounding to provide ample warning or someone gets in another person’s way so there isn’t enough time to close down the shop. On the other hand, this made me realize just how efficient a population could become at using space. Everything was timed so that the entire area moved out of the way without an issue. So rather than let any land go to waste, the area uses it despite the risk to its population. Though it really isn't like the population has a choice though. So in instances where there is such overpopulation, it is interesting to see how well the society can adapt to the phenomenon. I do wonder what would happen if the country becomes more developed and the population declines. Would this type of land continue in the future or be disband? I know that in our country there are many laws that would make this illegal, but our country also has the space avoid developing the land in such a manner. When comparing it to the laws of the United States, I would think the country would eventually drift away from this use of land when possible. However, now that I watch the video, I have a new appreciation for maximizing land and I hope that the efficient could continue. Just in a less scary manner. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2:51 PM

Talk about using every inch of space available to you.  I find this video crazy not only because of the safety hazards, but just how people seem to go about this like it is normal.  This would never take place in America!

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, July 25, 2013 7:47 PM

Slums also known as favelas, squatter settlements

John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:11 PM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:07 PM

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

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The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

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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Serge Dielens * Soci(et)al Marketing Communication expert @ EdgeCommunication.be *'s comment, May 7, 2013 2:55 PM
Visiter des bidonvilles, nouveau trend pour touristes en mal de nouveauté? Je me souviens avoir personnellement visité SOWETO en 2000, avec un groupe de journalistes belges. Nous avons logé chez une dame qui cédait une partie de sa maison pour se faire un peu d'argent, pour contribuer aux frais de ses deux fils étudiants à l'Unif. Ce fut une expérience inoubliable. Nous n'avons pas entendu le son de sa voix, elle nous servait à manger en silence et même si nous ne savions pas très bien comment réagir, nous avions l'impression que nous lui venions en aide, d'une manière ou d'une autre. En tous cas, la visite de ce bidonville fut pour moi éclairante.
Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:36 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, 2014 11:57 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.

 

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Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade

Tunneling through Andes to speed global trade | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent's greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for...

 

At the NCGE conference, noted author Harm De Blij mentioned a daring project that would link Eastern South America with the Pacific as engineers were planning to tunnel under the Andes mountains.  Here is a link to an article on this intermodal transportation project that would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic.  Government officials in both Argentina and Brazil have described the  project as a matter of "national interest."  

 

Tags: transportation, LatinAmerica, globalization, industry, economic, development, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article expresses the need for better transportation in South America.  The need to bridge the Andes to better move trade goods from the pacific to Atlantic sides of the mountains.  This would have a huge effect on the economies of the two countries involved as well as an impact on international trade, just as the Panama Canal did when it was built.  The ability to cut through a mountain range and build a rail system is amazing and hopefully this vision of transportation can happen.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:53 PM

While on the outside this article seems to be highlighting the interest in trade and mobility many have in South America in fact it's showing the political maneuvering of China. The Chinese are looking for ways to get around using the American dominated Panama Canal. It will be interesting to see how China's presence continues to grow not only in South America but also in Africa and the Middle East.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, February 14, 7:49 PM

The transportation and global industry is growing economically fast and that is one of the most important part of the global business. Latin America along with eastern Asia who are big in the global trade route do businesses and find trade routes enough to provide sufficient production will obviously boom the trading business and create a new spatial opportunity for global industries.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, February 19, 1:06 PM

Rail proves to be a very effective way of transporting a large amount of goods cheaply overland as my freight conductor friend likes to remind me as I ask him why hasn't trucking phased out your job yet. Except he reminds me in more colourful language. Building a tunnel that drops shipping costs from $210 to $177 is a huge boost in savings. What always interests me is the private interest taken in South America and this tunnel is no exception. It's proposed with no help from the government or funding. Fees to use the tunnel would pay for it. Too much privatization or too much government ownership always a red flag for most people. If cheaper prices for imports from Asia and Chile outweigh the concerns for the Argentine, then this project just may be worth the initial 3.9 billion dollar price tag for that long hole in the Andes.