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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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The High Line

The High Line | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The official Web site of the High Line and Friends of the High Line...

 

What do you do with an outdated elevated train line running through a crowded neighborhood in New York City?  In the 1980s, residents called for the demolition of the eyesore since it was blamed for economic struggles of the community and increased criminal activity.  Unfortunately demolition is extremely expensive.  However, this one particular abandoned line has recently been converted into an elevated green space that has economically revitalized the local real estate.  Find out more about this innovated park and project.  To see a similar project in Saint Louis, see: http://grgstl.org/projects/the-trestle.aspx

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A Miniature City Built with Metal Typography

A Miniature City Built with Metal Typography | Geography Education | Scoop.it

What a fantastic way to visually render the city!  For more by the artist Hong Seon Jang, see: http://www.hongseonjang.com/

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Living in the New Metropolis

Living in the New Metropolis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Documenting the megacities of our time....

 

Over half of humanity is living in cities and that statistic is likely to reach 70% by 2050.  Studying the urban environment, especially the 'megacities' (cities with populations over 10 million people) which are growing especially fast, becomes increasingly important.  This photo gallery of the worlds 23 megacites employs long exposure images, with highlights the movements and dynamism of the urban networks.  To see the gallery and this stunning image of Jakarta's rush hour traffic, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/05/06/sunday-review/06METROPOLIS.html?ref=sunday#4   

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Eduardo Paes: The 4 commandments of cities

TED Talks Eduardo Paes is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, complicated, beautiful city of 6.5 million.

 

What should city planners be doing to maintain a vibrant city?  The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro explains his vision for cities and city management for the future. 

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Textbook economic geography

Textbook economic geography: bye-bye center city, hello "further out" @APHumanGeog http://t.co/VjhJJuai
Apr 28 via Twitpic Favorite Retweet Reply

Our friend @theurbanologist has a keen eye for finding practical applications of geographic models.  Why is the image significant? 

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Time to Revisit Food Deserts

Time to Revisit Food Deserts | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Research on obesity and food availability in poor areas suggests that access must be considered alongside factors like price, taste and education, too.

 

Access to fresh food is one of the barriers to healthy eating within many poorer neighborhoods in the United States and these areas that lack healthy options are referred to as "food deserts."  At least that was what the conventional wisdom was.  This article looks other factors and issues surrounding healthy food options including poverty, education, transportation and culture.   

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California Declares War on Suburbia

California Declares War on Suburbia | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Wendell Cox writes that government planners intend to herd millions of new state residents into densely packed urban corridors. It won't save the planet but will make traffic even worse.

 

This is a article/video against many of the regulations that embody the 'Smart Growth' movement that would serve as a good ideological counterweight to many of the other sources that are available.  Would more dense neighborhoods create transit problems?

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Satellite Images of Urban Sprawl

Satellite Images of Urban Sprawl | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The past century has been defined by an epic migration of people from rural areas to the city. In 2008, for the first time in history, more of the Earth's population was living in cities than in the countryside.

 

This image gallery is designed "to present images from space [that] track the relentless spread of humanity."  The 'slide bar' in the middle allows the viewer to scroll between before and after images of major metropolitan areas that have experienced dramatic growth in the last 10-30 years.  The attached images is on Dubai, UAE.  Notice the man-made islands, especially the 'archipelago' in the shape of the world that is 2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai.

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Olympics: people in numbers

Olympics: people in numbers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
BBC News takes a look at who makes up the cast of thousands behind the sporting event of the year.

 

The Olympics are a massive undertaking with both local and international impacts. 

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The Crisis in American Walking

The Crisis in American Walking | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.

 

This 4-part series on walking is more than a nostalgic look at an era when more people walked in our cities than used automobiles.  While all countries have seen a decline in pedestrianism with the advent of the automobile, this decline is the most pronounced in the USA.  It answers the underlying question "why don't Americans walk more?"  In part there are cultural factors, but also the urban infrastructure plays a role in declining pedestrianism.  Many urbanists want to design more 'walkable' cities, but places like Jacksonville, FL, Charlotte, NC, Forth Worth, TX and Nashville, TN ranks as the least walkable cities in the country (NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia are ranked as the best). 

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Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs?

Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
HometownAnnapolis.com - A Web site for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Powered by Capital Gazette Communications and The Capital Newspaper.

 

This short article discusses the demographic shift in urban areas since the collapse of the housing bubble (explicitly referencing Burgess' Concentric Zone Model!).  With higher gas prices discouraging long commutes, is the era of sprawl over?  Some feel that suburban housing prices aren't in momentary decline, but that this represents a new normal as we reconceptualize the city and urban land values.  For more on the decline of the Exurbs, see: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/04/05/growth-exurbs-falls-historic-low/WEsMHqBISD1n60T7WCJdTO/story.html ;     

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Where America Needs Doctors

Where America Needs Doctors | Geography Education | Scoop.it

What is the geography of medical practicioners?  Why are doctors concentrated more in certain parts of the country?  "If anything, this map illustrates how much where you live matters for how much health care you have access to. The 17,000 residents of Clark County, Miss. do not have a single primary care doctor in the area. Up in Manhattan there is one doctor for every 500 people."  Click on the link for an interactive ESRI-produced StoryMap. 

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Melissa Marin's comment, April 9, 2012 2:31 PM
It makes me wonder what is preventing doctors from relocating to areas with high need more medical care... If not income, then what is preventing them from benefiting from the high need for supply?
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Turn This Parking Lot Into a Village

Turn This Parking Lot Into a Village | Geography Education | Scoop.it

If we built village of small streets today, where would we locate it?

One great candidate would be a park-and-ride lot, which is parking located next to a subway or commuter rail station. Such parking gets some to use public transit who wouldn’t ordinarily...

But that’s just the problem: the people who use park-and-ride lots don’t ordinarily take transit. The reason they have to drive to a train station is that they don’t live near it. That’s why building new neighborhoods next to transit (called transit-oriented development in planner lingo) has become popular in the last 10 years.

If we built a small streets village next to transit station, then we’d have a whole village of people who could use transit for all of their trips longer than a walk or bicycle ride away.
There are countless park-and-ride lots to consider, but we’ll look at just a couple. Greenbelt Station is located in Maryland at one end of Metro’s Green Line, which goes through Washington, DC and back out to Maryland. If you’ve ever hopped a ride on the Bolt Bus from New York City or the bus from BWI Airport, you may have visited this station...


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A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics

A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics | Geography Education | 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.
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Downtowns: How Did We Get Here?

Kennedy Smith is considered one of the nation's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development and the economic impact of urban sprawl, with a long career in downtown revitalization.

 

This video discusses the decline of the American Central Business District, the rise of shopping malls, the importance of the automobile and spatial organization of particular economic sectors.

 

Parts Two  http://vimeo.com/37041011 ; and Three  http://vimeo.com/37050944 ; continue the discussion with an emphasis on practical urban planning policies for small cities to revitalize the downtown region with some domestic and foreign examples. 

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:38 AM

I have wondered about that where these downtowns came from. I have thought of it because I am very curious to learn about downtown providence and how it became a downtown. Where did the word downtown come from? It is amazing how things are being called in this world.

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Sustainable Urbanism

"Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.  From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil. 

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 11:47 AM

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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America's romance with sprawl may be over

America's romance with sprawl may be over | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three years after the recession officially ended, Census county population estimates show Americans are staying put or moving to cities.

 

The recession and foreclosure crisis really hurt many suburban families and the values of suburban homes.   This interactive map is helps students to notice the patterns that shape the changing demographic patterns connected to urbanization. 

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Radiant City

Radiant City | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In this feature length film Gary Burns, Canada's king of surreal comedy, joins journalist Jim Brown on an outing to the suburbs.

 

This 2006 documentary is a critical look at suburbia that has comments from suburbanites interspersed with planners, real estate agents, experts and urban academics. 

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Chris St. Clair's comment, April 27, 2012 2:03 PM
I've showed this movie once in a while during the Urban unit and the kids enjoy it. "Edutainment"
Seth Dixon's comment, April 27, 2012 7:09 PM
It seems a mixture of vignettes, with some academic founding mixed in. Warning: There was one F-bomb in the movie.
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Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.

 

The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network.  This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable. 

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 8:53 PM

Jakarta is faced with overpopulation and traffic problems. The government passed a law, which requires a vehicle to have passengers aboard, in the hopes of speeding up the traffic entering the city. However, some drivers are paying people to take a ride with them into the city to avoid the fines. In most areas throughout the world, passengers would be paying the driver for a ride, but in this city, it is different. The government should find another solution to fix the traffic issues. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2:49 PM

This video was interesting.  It shows that with increased urbanization come the problem of increased traffic congestion.  Government that are growing need to be aware of this and build their cities accordingly to have transportation that can accommodate all the people swelling the city.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 2:51 PM

Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, is located on the country's most heavily populated island of Java.  The city has seen an intense population explosion, and with is came more and more vehicles.  The roads are overcrowded and there is not enough public transportation.  People in Jakarta have had to adapt to the social environment that has been created.  Jockeys charge drivers for giving them rides into the center of the  city (you need to have three of more people in your car to do so).  Even if they did not need to go into the city, it is a way to make many, albeit illegal.  Cities, like Jakarta, are places where infrastructure and public transportation is needed most heavily, but it is the most difficult and expensive place to do so.

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100 Cities and Their Nicknames

100 Cities and Their Nicknames | Geography Education | Scoop.it
I like nicknames, they define us better than our names, they are clever and funny and they tell so much about our personality and sometimes, about our aspect, although this might be the worst case.

This is a good list...what does a nickname tell us about the city?

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Two Wheels Better

Two Wheels Better | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This cycling blog occasionally will have some political and urban commentary, especially arguing for more bike paths within our urban areas. 

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:21 PM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

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UK 'saturated' by light pollution

UK 'saturated' by light pollution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than half of the UK population cannot see the stars clearly because of light pollution, campaigners say.

 

Another impact of modern technology, urbanization and living in affluent consumer-driven societies. 

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Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010

Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010 | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Globalization has hit...hard and fast. 

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 11:02 PM

Shanghai could arguably be the best example of globalization in the world today. In the span of 20 years, it has gone from a sparse city with some commerce on the river to a major urban center with the skyscrapers and neon lights. The transformation between the two images is staggering and it's easy to see the resemblance between current day Shanghai and it's partner globalized cities like New York and Seoul.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 11:23 AM

Apart from what can be said about the process of Globalization, this is just impressive under the lens of what can be done in 20 years to change the skylines and landscapes of an area. Notice the lack of vegetation in the second picture, and while it may just be an effect of the different time of day or season, they sky seems a lot more fogged in the second picture, possibly due to pollution.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 6:35 PM

Shanghai has transformed and globalized so quickly in the last twenty years that it doesn't even look like that same place. Skies that were once seen are now blocked by skyscrapers. Buildings that still remain are overpowered and do not stand out like they once did.

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Mega-Farms to Hit City Rooftops

Mega-Farms to Hit City Rooftops | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Plans for a rooftop farm are the largest in the world.

 

Brooklyn Grange Farm is Expanding to a 45K Square Foot Rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is a stunning example of urban agriculture designed to produce local food, even with limited spatial resources.  There is also a 3.5 minute video clip attached to the article. 

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