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Kabul, A City Stretched Beyond Its Limits

Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.

 

Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan?  This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul.  This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.   

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:34 AM

I am very surprise that people still live in Kabul because of all the wars. If those wars continue they could probably die by any attack or any thing else that can kill them. They are in the middle of devastation. They can get killed at anytime. But some people live a bit well because they are not so close to the fighting war. But also the city of Kabul could probably see an increase in there economy because more and more people want to move there because it seems that there economy is getting better. In Kabul there are many stories available that some of them just break your heart.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 11:49 PM

The podcast details the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan. War has caused a population boom in the city as people migrate away from the war-torn areas of the country to the safer city. There are some serious problems with transportation infrastructure in the city and the population increases have only made the problem worse. War has also increased opium production and trade. The city is now dotted with opulent looking "Opium Houses" which are shoddily constructed and just rubble waiting for the next earthquake. Outside the metropolitan area of the city, planned communities of the more wealthy and educated are cropping up, leaving the city itself full of the poverty stricken with no place else to turn.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 12:38 PM

Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul has seen a population influx due to war refugees and people trying to find more opportunity.  However, this desert region cannot support all these people, especially now that many of the resources have been used up.  There isn't much food, electricity, and water.  Many resources have to be shipped in from private vendors, making it even more expensive.  The government does not help and people cannot afford to leave (those that can leave typically perpetuate "brain-drain" in the area).  However, overlooking the cityscape are "Poppy Houses" and other developments, which are gated, developed communities build on money from the opium trade and which have access to water.  This illustrates the global pattern of the rich benefiting at the poor's expense.

Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective:  Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon