The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.
This crowd-sourced mapping project is an great example of how a community can work together (using geospatial technologies and geographic thinking) to mitigate some of the more pressing issues confronting the local neighborhoods. Many optimists have argued that Detroit has "good bones" to rebuild the city, but it needs to built on as smaller scale. This project helps to assess what is being used by residents and should stay, and what needs to go. Want to explore some of the data yourself? See Data Driven Detroit.
In this map, all Zip codes with more than 500 people are ranked from 0 to 99 based on household income and education. The 'Super Zips' rank 95 or higher. The map at the top shows the highest concentration of the nation’s 650 Super Zips. The typical household income in a Super Zip is $120,272, and 68 percent of adults hold college degrees. That compares with $53,962 and 27 percent in the other zips mapped. Washington D.C. shows a powerful bifurcation: One-third of Zip codes in the D.C. area are considered ‘Super Zips’ for wealth and education and large swaths of the metropolitan area are considered food deserts.
This weekend I had the privilege of flying essentially from Boston to Washington DC at night and was mesmerized by the vast urban expanse beneath me. It was the greatest concentration of wealth in the United States as well as the some of the most blighted regions of the country. What explains the spatial patterns of highly concentrated wealth and poverty in the biggest cities? Are cities a causal factor in wealth and poverty creation? What does this zip code data tell us? What accounts for the spatial patterns in your region?
Facing religious discrimination in the Hindu-dominated job market, many are forced to assume fake identities.
This is not that uncommon in India unfortunately. As the articles states, a government commission was appointed in 2005 to investigate the degree to which Muslims were disadvantaged in social, economic and educational terms. The commission concluded the socio-economic condition of most Muslims was as bad as that of the Dalits, who are at the bottom rung of the Hindu-caste hierarchy, also referred to as the "untouchables."
Where you live is important. It can dictate quality of schools and hospitals, as well as things like cancer rates, unemployment, or whether the city repairs roads in your neighborhood. On this week's show, stories about destiny by address.
This hour-long podcast addresses some has key issues in urban geography by exploring the history of redlining, the Fair Housing Act and other fair housing initiatives. The urban cultural mosaic of the United States and the neighborhoods of our cities have been greatly shaped by these issues. Currently gentrification is reshaping many U.S. cities and fits into the wider scope of the issues raised in the podcast.
"I recently saw this map in a Washington Post article about modern day slavery and was immediately was struck by the spatial extent and amount of slaves in today’s global economy. As stated in that article, “This is not some softened, by-modern-standards definition of slavery. These 30 million people are living as forced laborers, forced prostitutes, child soldiers, child brides in forced marriages and, in all ways that matter, as pieces of property, chattel in the servitude of absolute ownership.” This map shows some important spatial patterns that seem to correlate to economic and cultural factors."
This Washington Post article got me thinking about the geographies of supply chains. The growing spread of the informal economy (a.k.a.-illicit trade, black market, etc.) has created opportunities for exploitation. Many argue that free trade was created this power differential between the laborers who create these mass-manufactured products and the global consumers. These critics argue that fair-trade, not free trade, with lead to sustainable economic growth and minimize social injustice. Here is a NY Times article about how Mauritania is now confronting it's slavery past and present.
Questions to Ponder: What economic and cultural forces are needed for slavery to thrive? What realistically could be done to lessen the amount of slavery in the world today? How are your spending habits part of the system?
Additionally, this TED video (archived on scoop.it here) is a chilling glimpse into the worst and darkest side of the global labor system.
"In the last of a series of programmes exploring global population for the award-winning This World strand, Rosling presents an 'as live' studio event featuring cutting-edge 3D infographics painting a vivid picture of a world that has changed in ways we barely understand – often for the better."
This is a glimpse into the BBC's "Don't Panic-The Truth about Population" which will be airing November 7th. If you have never seen his TED talks or his Gapminder data visualization tool, it is a must see for geography teachers to show the connections between population statistics and developmental patterns--let students see the data.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.
This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis. We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries. Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit). Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.
Baruch Ben-Yehudah is tackling Prince George’s County’s "food desert" problem. His vegan food truck delivers nourishment to neighborhoods lacking fresh groceries.
This video that I originally found on Upworthy shows that even classic songs of Americana that might seem jingoistic may have had a subversive beginning. I never knew there was a final verse to this Great Depression era song that references iconic cultural landscapes; know that I've heard it I see why it isn't taught to school kids, but I wish it was.
The odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston.
This interactive map let's you explore the data of a recent study that is being talked about all over the country right now (NY Times, NPR article, Seattle Times, NPR podcast, etc.) because of it implications.
Questions to Ponder: Why does place matter for creating opportunities for social mobility? What geographic obstacles to economic improvement do you see for the poorest America
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.
Most slums are systematically ignored by politicians and public utilities; squatter settlements are not built legally and they are treated as though they did not exist. Mapping these communities makes them visible, literally putting them on the map can be an important step to legitimize the needs and requests of these poor residents and grant them greater access to public, municipal resources.
|Suggested by Aulde de B|
"Young entrepreneur Andy Didorosi believes that the way to Detroit’s new era depends on better leadership and a solid connection between the city and the suburbs. The city in 2012 axed its plans to build the M-1 light rail, the transit solution that would’ve bridged that vital connection, Didorosi bought a bus, had a local artist trick it out with a wicked mural, and he started the Detroit Bus Company. Dedicated to a more connected city, Andy Didorosi is bringing Detroit home one ride at a time."
In the 1950s, Detroit was the 4th largest city in the US with a population around 2 million as seen in some vintage footage of Detroit. As de-industrialization process restructured the US economy, globalization restructured the world’s economy, and Detroit’s local economic strategy crumbled. The tax base continued to shrink, city services were spread thin and the poor services encouraged people to migrate elsewhere, leaving current homeowners unable to sell their homes at a fair price. Today, Detroit is $18-20 million in debt with a population around 700,000 and is unable to pull out of this nosedive. Detroit filed for bankruptcy July 18, 2013 and became the largest U.S. city ever to file for bankruptcy and more importantly the first major American city to essentially fail (photo gallery of 'ruin photography').
With all this sad news, there are still glimmers of sucess as seen in this video. Some entrepreneurs and local have stepped in as the city government has been unable to manage the needs of a large city creating organizations such as the Detroit Bus Company.
When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.
This PBS documentary shows some of the unexpected consequences of globalization and less well-publicized economic interactions. This online supplemental to the video allows users to track the journey of a T-shirt. For additional reading on topic, this article shows how some the same process is impacting the those in Haiti. The complex interactions that stem from globalization never cease to amaze me.
An innovative campaign to move “home-less people into people-less homes.”
Chicago's poorer neighborhoods have experienced a severe decline as homes are being foreclosed at an alarming rate (62,000 vacant properties in Chicago and 40% of the homes underwater on the South and West Sides). When sections of a neighborhood are left vacant or in disrepair, it can have a lead to negative impacts on the community. To combat both the homelessness issue and the vacant home problem at the same time, "Cook County now plans to form what will become the nation’s largest land bank, an entity that will acquire thousands of vacant residences, demolishing some, turning others into much-needed rentals and holding onto others until they can be released, strategically, back into the market."
The end to extreme poverty might very well be within reach. But is the bar too low?
The World Bank aims to raise just about everyone on Earth above the $1.25-a-day income threshold. In Zambia, an average person living in such dire poverty might be able to afford, on a given day, two or three plates of cornmeal porridge, a tomato, a mango, a spoonful each of oil and sugar, a bit of chicken or fish, maybe a handful of nuts. But he would have just pocket change to spend on transportation, housing, education and everything else.
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.
The article leaves me with more questions than answers. What do the residents think about the tons of tourists wondering through their winding streets? The very idea of tourism to see poverty in situ in an authentic slum is riddled with power and cultural imbalances. Why would wealthy tourists from the developed world want to more fully explore the slums in the developing world? What do you see as the 'wrong' and the 'right' within this situation? Is slum tourism ethical?
Laxmi's story of being kidnapped and trafficked in Nepal is not an isolated case but, as this graphical account shows, things are not always what they seem.
Teaching about human trafficking and child slavery can be very disconcerting and uncomfortable. How much of the details regarding these horrific situations is age-appropriate and suitable for the classroom? The BBC is reporting on events with sensitive stories to both give a human face to the story, while protecting the identity of under-aged victims (to read about the production of this comic, read Drawing the News.) I encourage you to use your own discretion, but I find this comicbook format an accessible, informative and tasteful way to teach about human trafficking in South Asia to minors. It is a powerful way to teach about some hard (but important) aspects of globalization and economics.
As geographer Shaunna Barnhart says concerning this comic, "It moves from trafficking to child labor to pressures for migration for wage labor and the resulting injustices that occur. There's differential access to education, gender inequality, land, jobs, and monetary resources that leads to inter- and intra-country trafficking of the vulnerable. In the search for improved quality of life, individuals become part of a global flow of indentured servitude which serves to exploit their vulnerabilities and exacerbate inequalities and injustice. Nepali children 'paid' in food and cell phones that play Hindi music in 'exchange' for work in textile factories - cell phones that are themselves a nexus of global resource chains and textiles which in turn enter a global market - colliding at the site of child labor which remains largely hidden and ignored by those in the Global North who may benefit from such labor."
|Suggested by Chris Olenik|
A heartfelt & moving story of how instruments made from recycled trash bring hope to children whose future is otherwise spiritless.
I've shared this video before, but this worthy project is now asking for assistance on kickstarter and I feel it merits reposting. This video shows that the human spirit of beauty and joy can come shining through from the poorest of places. Slums are not new, but rapid population growth coupled with rural-to-urban migration patterns have led to an increasing amount of slums. Despite all the stereotypical images of destitute poverty, slums can also be places with a strong vibrant communities with residents filled with innovation, hope and ambition. For more on this organization, see their Facebook page.
"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."
Rhode Island is one of five states in which the number of people getting help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly known as 'food stamps') has more than doubled since 2008. In 2012, 16 percent of its residents received aid from the program. Read the related article. The article details how Woonsocket's economy is impacted by these monthly fluctuations is disposable income. Why is Rhode Island one of that states with a doubling participation in this program? What other spatial patterns to you see?
Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actua...
This video does have a political bent that may or may not reflect your views, but it nicely lays out data that graphically represents the economic differences that we see in the United States today. Our perception is as skewed as what is and what we think it should be.
|Suggested by C. Kevin Turner|
Read the Transcript: http://to.pbs.org/b6sR86 The capital of the South Asian country Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a population that is booming. However, it stands ...
Income maps of every neighborhood in the U.S. See wealth and poverty in places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, and more.
This is the most user-friendly website I've seen to map economic census data. This maps the average household income data on top of a Google Maps basemap that can be centered on any place in the United States. This is a great resource to share with students of just about any age.
I Have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King's Address at March on Washington August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring fro...
There is much to glean from Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech as a fantastic rhetorical device. This speech has a profound impact on the the psyche of the America culture and it has endured as a pivotal moment in history. As we celebrate his life and legacy this Monday, it is an appropriate time to contemplate that the ending of segregation (a spatial division of races) has reshaped the United States.
Many streets in the United States bear the name "Martin Luther King Jr." to memorialize both the man and the Civil Rights movement. This streets, as this YouTube video suggests, are often in poor, crime-ridden and violent neighborhoods. This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name. This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book "Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory" say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video).
Questions to ponder: If Martin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in 'violent' neighborhoods? Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States? Only in the South? Only in predominantly African-American communities? What does the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?