Geography Education
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Geography Education
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Expanding the Panama Canal

Expanding the Panama Canal | Geography Education |

"In 2006, Panamanians approved a referendum to expand the Panama Canal, doubling its capacity and allowing far larger ships to transit the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific. Work began in 2007 to raise the capacity of Gatun Lake and build two new sets of locks, which would accommodate ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of freight, tripling the size limit. Sixteen massive steel gates, weighing an average of 3,100 tons each, were built in Italy and shipped to Panama to be installed in the new locks. Eight years and $5.2 billion later, the expansion project is nearing completion. The initial stages of flooding the canals have begun and the projected opening date has been set for April of 2016."

Tag: Panamaimages, transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This gallery of 29 images is filled with great teaching images.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:00 PM

I think that much of Central America is presented in Western media as an extremely violent, backwards region, where narcotics and other "hidden" markets dominate the nation's social, cultural, and political structures. Although there is some truth to this, this rendition not only exaggerates the problems these nations face, but help to reinforce negative stereotypes of the region commonly held by many Americans. A story of progress- such as this story of the Panama canal- is widely ignored, which is a shame. The Panama Canal is one of the most crucial waterways in the world, and expanding it will undoubtedly help the Panamanian economy. Although it initially served as the ultimate symbol of colonialism- the United States caused a war and unrecognizably altered the geography of the region to complete the project- it today serves as a symbol of progress in a region of the world widely ignored. It will be interesting to see the impacts this expansion has on trade in the region, as well as the local geography.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 8:31 AM

the expanding of the panama canal is a major event, as everything from flow of trade to the maximum size of ships will be impacted by this improvement. the Iowa class of us battleship was two feet then the canal, specifically so they could go through if they needed to.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:11 AM

This gallery of 29 images is filled with great teaching images.

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A Fight to Save One of Latin America's Oldest Neighborhoods

A Fight to Save One of Latin America's Oldest Neighborhoods | Geography Education |
In Panama City, a plan to build a marine viaduct around a colonial-era neighborhood has residents up in arms...

Urban preservation, the historical geography of communities and the cultural character of the urban environment are themes that are deeply embedded in this quick yet potent article by geographer, Thomas Sigler. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 12, 2014 11:34 PM

This is an issue that citizens and governments struggle with all around the world.  Spots like this one, which is "the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas", are treasured by residents, citizens, and tourists alike.  But when does a historical area need to adapt to growing populations (and therefore increasingly congested streets)?  Or should they at all?  Projects like these take a lot of time, effort, and money to complete.  When visual reminders of local history are taken away, it risks the chance of the knowledge of  the history being lost as well.  The funny thing is, this development is felt to be necessary in order to better accommodate large influxes of tourists which are attracted to this historical site, which if the development takes place, may ruin the charm of the neighborhood; it is a viscous cycle.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:23 PM

The preservation of this neighborhood is important for one's sense of place.  The marine viaduct would take away for the history that is embedded in Panama City. While a viaduct would be incredibly useful and profitable, i understand why residents would be concerned.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:23 PM

Just from looking at this picture, this doesn't really look like a bad neighborhood to live in, despite it being one of the oldest in Latin America. They wish to turn the old neighborhood into a highway with six lands of traffic. The neighborhood was founded back in 1673 by the Spanish Crown. It is described as a charming colonial-era World Heritage Site and as previously stated, the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast. The cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial architecture and majestic plazas have earned a considerable amount of international acclaim in the past 10 years, attracting tourists. Back and forth the debate goes about whether or not to demolish this neighborhood. A neighborhood resident and real estate agent has been fighting against the project. She got a group together and so far they have been successful at protesting and even meeting with the President to voice their opinion. At the moment, it is unclear at what the outcome will be.