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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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Beijing's Facelift

"A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction."

Seth Dixon's insight:
This 2010 video (and related article) showcases one of China's urban transformation projects.  Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation.  This process is occurring all over the world (we've recently seen this in Brazil as they were preparing for the World Cup).  This is one of the videos that I've put into my interactive map with over 65 geography videos to share in the classroom.
 
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Want to Get High-Skill Immigration Right? Think About Detroit

Want to Get High-Skill Immigration Right? Think About Detroit | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Rust Belt cities are hoping that immigrants can help rebuild our their shrinking communities. Washington should gear policy to helping them.
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Mark E. Deschaine, PhD's curator insight, May 16, 2013 6:44 PM

Not tech .... But we are impacted in Michigan .....

Nganguem Victor's curator insight, June 3, 2013 5:07 AM

j'aime ça

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Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood”

Air BnB and the Selling of “Neighborhood” | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Neighborhoods that are perceived by outsiders as economically successful have created a cultural niche that draws in visitors with a mixture of shops and amenities that appeal to a particular demog...


A vibrant cultural ambiance is not just a backdrop for selling commodities in shopping districts.  The feel of a neighborhood and a sense of place can be the commodity as Air BnB is artfully demonstrating. 


Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, planning

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Don Brown Jr's comment, November 20, 2012 8:34 AM
This is an interesting website but I can’t help but wonder what characteristics of a neighborhood is included or excluded when property is advertised to a specific audience. Does this advertisement reflect the values of the tourist or the residence and common people who already live in the community?
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In the Shadows of the High Line

In the Shadows of the High Line | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The High Line has become a tourist-clogged catwalk and a catalyst for some of the most rapid gentrification in the city’s history.

 

Earlier I have posted about the High Line, a project in NYC to transform an old elevated train line into a public green space. This project has fallen under criticism as the property values of homes below the High Line have risen and the neighborhood is undergoing gentrification. Linked is the NYTimes opinion article that critiques the High Line as a “Disneyfied tourist-clogged catwalk.” This project has change the economic profile of the neighborhood and its sense of place and communal identity. The critic’s blog is (self-described) “a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct,” so he is naturally going to be against anything that at changes the historic character of the city. As geographer Matthew Hartzell has said, “to say that nothing should change is an awfully conservative view of urbanity. Cities evolve—neighborhoods evolve.” This is a good article to share with students to get them to think about the economic and cultural issues associated with urban revitalization projects and the impacts they have on the city.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, September 15, 2013 5:17 PM

Moss's bitter op-ed piece about the gentrification of West Chelsea due to the creation of the High-Line park does not offer any solutions to the problem he perceives nor does it seem a call to arms for "regular New Yorkers" to support neighborhood businesses over national chain brands. Moss's analysis of the "Disneyland" that now resides in West Chelsea sparks a debate in my mind about economic evolution and the cultural/societal value of preserving neighborhoods- keeping it classic. Perhaps I was too turned off by Moss's style to walk away in complete agreement, but I do see the downside he is refering to. But then again, what mayor doesn't want to see his/her city evolving to become more urbane and attractive? People move around all the time and the nature of capitalism dictates that some businesses will fail. 

Brett Sinica's curator insight, September 27, 2013 9:40 AM

The issue of gentrification is always a sensitive topic.  I personally have never been a "victim" of planning that would displace my home or anything of the sort, though an idea to help a neighborhood should always be evaluated and considered.  As other members stated before, this could actually be beneficial to residents in the surrounding neighborhoods by giving them an area still in the city, but unique to them as well.  Green spaces, parks, any areas with greenery that acts as a meeting place have been proven to lighten communities as an attempt to bring people together and even reduce crime.  There will always be people that will complain about projects such as this, but in the end if it shapes the existing community into a better place overall, it should at least be given a chance.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, February 19, 7:59 AM

This is a scary article to read, as I find it immensely relevant to an issue that is very clearly here in Providence as well. In studying the impacts of Water Fire on Providence in a class here at RIC we spoke of talking points that the city could use to attract high end investment. It's become increasingly apparent that this sort of investment is the last thing my city, or any other city, needs. This project could have served New Yorkers as opposed to tourists and the elite, but it hasn't. As someone who wants to head into the field of urban planning and community revitalization I must be aware and keep thinking ahead. What will my project do for a community? Will it make it stronger or completely decimate it.?

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Rise of Residential Segregation by Income

Rise of Residential Segregation by Income | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Residential segregation by income has increased during the past three decades across the United States and in 27 of the nation’s 30 largest major metropolitan area, according to a new analysis of census tract and household income data by the Pew Research Center.  The analysis finds that 28% of lower-income households in 2010 were located in a majority lower-income census tract, up from 23% in 1980, and that 18% of upper- income households were located in a majority upper-income census tract, up from 9% in 1980."  This interactive map allows the user to explore the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Read the article associated with this map.

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Gentrification in Providence

Gentrification in Providence | Geography Education | Scoop.it

KV: Development of a high end apartment complex in a low income area would force pre-gentrification people out of the neighborhood. The taxes would get raised to amounts that make it difficult for these people to afford. However, the people in charge of this project are ignoring the consequences and focusing on the 5 million dollars tax break. 

 

SD: This sign went up in to 2006 protest the mills-to-condo developments in Providence, Rhode Island.  Click here to see the photographer's work

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megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 9:41 PM
Gentrification has both positive and negative affects on the city. I believe that it is beneficial for a city to take older buildings and utilize them or flip them into malls or financially beneficial businesses for their economy. But on the other hand you are taking people who were living in these areas with low rent and after you flip these buildings the rent is going to rise substancially. Therefore these former residents cannot afford to stay in the apartments and have to relocate their homes. Its hard to pick a side.
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Is Gentrification Always Bad for Revitalizing Neighborhoods?

Is Gentrification Always Bad for Revitalizing Neighborhoods? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If done right, cities can preserve their character while bringing in new business...

 

RT: This article and it's sub-articles are very interesting, the main point of it however is the fact that gentrification can be done in a manner as such that it will not just demolish the old city but rather build upon it. Involving the residents would be a key factor in this process, more often then not it is the new ones moving in who decide the fate of the area. Retaining original buildings and recylcing them into something new helps preserve the original culture of the area. The main issue with gentrification is the loss of the familiarity within the area.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, August 1, 2012 6:12 PM
I agree that the objectives of gentrification should be shifted more towards improving what is already there rather than the more traditional method of attracting wealthier residences by displacing the local populace.
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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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Brazil Faces Obstacles in Preparations for Rio Olympics

Brazil Faces Obstacles in Preparations for Rio Olympics | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Ambitious development plans for the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2014 soccer World Cup, involve large-scale evictions from numerous slums, whose residents are refusing to leave.

 

The urban revitalization issues in Rio de Janiero are not new, but they will intensify in global importance (or at least coverage) as the time for the World Cup and Olympics approaches.  What are the aesthetics and economics behind revitalization?  What are the social issues that should be addressed?  

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:24 PM

The people protesting the destruction of their homes in the slums of Brazil are right to do so.  The government wants to destroy homes that while they are shabby, have been host to more than one generation of some families strictly so they may host the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics.  I understand that government is glad to host these events because it will bring tourism to the country and bring in large profits but in doing this, they are neglecting their own people!

Brazil is not in a good financial state to take on the endeavors of building the stadiums and hosting the massive crowds that come to both events.  Rio de Janeiro also has a very high crime rate.  Destroying the favelas to clean up the city and make more space will only displace the poor and lead to further problems for the country because before a nation focuses on the rest of the world, it needs to secure and take care of itself and Brazil is not doing so. It is cruel politics to displace thousands of people and will not do any good after the few weeks of the Olympics comes to an end and Brazil is left with another mess to clean up.

Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 8:41 AM

With the Olympics comes countries trying to hide all their dirty secrets that they don't want the world to see. It's easy to say that money shouldn't be spent on creating a large stadium and instead to help the impoverished, but it should also be recognized that with the Olympics comes a huge boost in jobs and tourism for the country.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:33 AM

This article highlights the problem facing Brazil when the country needs to build new facilities to host the Olympics and World Cup.  The clash between the government and poor people who are squatting on land they do not own causes much stress and unrest.  How the country comes to resolve these issues are important for the people in the future.  The fact that people are being displaced is sad and perhaps not fair however, on the other hand, these people are squatters and built their homes on land they did not own and have no infrastructure which is also dangerous and a public safety issue.  The unrest over this issue will cause a pale over the games to be held in Brazil.

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Providence and the Virtues of Scale

Providence and the Virtues of Scale | Geography Education | Scoop.it

I live in the Providence metropolitan area so this particular blog posting about urban planning and economic revitalization hit very close to home.   

 

Rhode Islanders: how accurate do you feel this perspective on Providence and it's economic assets (and deficiencies) is?  What other aspects would you discuss in trying to understand the economic geography of the area?  What are the biggest obstacles for improving the city? 

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 9:20 PM

Well the providence area we are seeing a boost when it comes down to people getting jobs and also more people are coming to providence because of all it has to offer. Providence has lots to offer. One good thing that providence has to offer is one of the best schools in the area. Many people come and see and take in the scenery that just blows your mind. Also the economy seems to be getting better because this city seems not to be in such of a bad deficit. The city of providence in a couple of more years we will see a tremendous growth that the city will benefit from.

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:52 AM

This article shows how you can improve a city to not only make it bigger but to make it better. not better in the sense that it has to beat out other cities and have the best buildings etc. but to allow the city to be more people friendly which means getting rid of congestion and traffic.

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How Walkable Streets can Boost the Economy

How Walkable Streets can Boost the Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Walkable streets are not only fun and exciting places to be, they are also profitable. Research has found that by prioritising pedestrians through making streets more walkable, both property values and shop footfall increase.

 

This article is a nice primer for a discussion on the importance of urban planning for local politics and economics.   


Via Peter Jasperse, Lauren Moss
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The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities

The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Residents and planners around the country are dreaming up innovative ways to create eco-friendly, self-reliant communities. But turning ideas into reality is a tall order.

 

Urban revitalization projects gentrification have been an important part of the American scene since the 1990s.  As we reconsider the city, and some of the associated issues with dense living, many are also thinking about the environmental impact of urban life and rethinking how to make neighborhoods more sustainable.  This article uses the Denver Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood as its case study for analyzing sustainability with the city.  

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 12:11 PM

Here we have the perfect example of the positive effects associated with gentrification. Unused and weathering space being revitalized and re-purposed for the benefit of local economy and communitites. Not only that but the intention of these projects is to also operate in an ecologically sustainable manner by using as little resources as possible. The occupation of mill space is something that's even been seen here in Providence, most notably the hope artiste building in Pawtucket on the Providence line.

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 2:38 PM

I have totally thought about this before, and a family that I know just spent the past several months remodeling their house to be more 'green.'  I think that in addition to energy, neighborhoods could have community grow-ops, where they grow all the necessary crops to sustain their area- fruits, vegetables, grains, cotton, etc. and I think that the communities would be cleaner, greener, and brought more together if they had the opportunity to work every day to provide for themselves and their community.  I miss out on a lot of enjoyment in life because I have to do things like school.  Other people miss out because they have work, or other obligations.  I think that if people farmed as communities, it would be economically, environmentally, and socially proficuous, as well as eliminating a need for capitalistic trade with other regions, where people might get cheated.  I have so many ideas of Utopia that I have gotten from reading and philosophizing with friends and acquaintences, but there really are so few people that have the ability to implement anything on a large scale, that I am often frustrated with these concepts of 'betterment.'  It really is sad that people are taught so much these days, because their brains are full of garbage, rather than new possibilities.  It would be really interesting to have an experimental colony where these ideas of sustainability could be tried out, but I think that will happen long after my generation has died.

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PBS Video: "Raze the Roof-Cleveland Levels Vacant Homes to Revive Neighborhoods"

PBS Video: "Raze the Roof-Cleveland Levels Vacant Homes to Revive Neighborhoods" | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Business correspondent Paul Solman reports from Cleveland on the economically troubled Ohio city's efforts to tear down thousands of empty foreclosed homes in hopes of putting eyesore and dangerous properties back to productive use -- perhaps as...

 

Urban decay and the economic downturn has made demolition and destruction a more fiscally sound plan than revitalizing and refurbishing.  Why?  What economic advantage is to tearing down homes?  In what region(s) do you think this type of strategy makes the most sense? 

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Portland: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland: A Tale of Two Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, and you can see folks in wheelchairs rolling themselves down the street right next to traffic. It’s the city where some longtime African-American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Portland, Oregon is often discussed as a magnet for a young demographic that wants to be part of a sustainable city that supports local businesses and agriculture.  This podcast looks behind that image (which has a measure of truth to it) to see another story.  Relining, gentrification, poverty, governance and urban planning are all prominent topics in this 50 minute podcast that provides as fascinating glimpse into the poorer neighborhoods of this intriguing West Coast city.  When in cities, we often use the term sustainability to refer to the urban ecology, but here we see a strong concern for the social sustainability of their historic neighborhoods as well. 


Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic, racepovertyplace, socioeconomic.

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 10:21 AM

Recently I came across a craigslist post from a gentleman who was trying to rally individuals to Portland with him for a journey on the "Michigan Trail" to Detroit. He made promise that the intention was to perform rejuvinating work in  Detroit alongside it's current residents and that there would be "no gentrification." 

Not that I found these statements or intentions to be profound or useful in anyway, but this podcast really put a nail in the coffin for me. The effects of gentrification are well known for both their positive and negative aspects. But the bottom line is this, regardless of intention the poor and diverse populations will be displaced unless it is from them that this renaissance takes place. Not Portlandia hipsters looking for some sort of "promise land."  

Portland apparentely has it's own issues with gentrification and a class of social and cultural norms that make it difficult to make the case for cities on the rise to take the same path.  

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 3:12 PM

I don't think that Earth offers everything for everyone.  Given the situation of predetermination about birthplace and essentially upbringing, social class, and outcomes, in an infinite universe (infinite until proven otherwise), a single small planet cannot possibly offer us everything we are destined to need in the universe, let alone the towns that we are limited to.  I do not believe in choice, I believe in destiny... I do not blame people for racism or crimes, as HORRIBLE as they may be. I think that people are made into what they are by the world around them, in existential and defining ways.  Yeah, there is plenty of room for improvement and change in Oregon, but realistically, there is also more room for improvement in other areas too.  I don't really see humans as the sort of people that will ever get better without some sort of divine intervention.  I am taking the perspective of separation of paradise and purgatory that was mentioned in this article, and applying it to a different scale, but I do believe that mankind is to be condemned by the universe, due to its faults and inability to play well with others.  The world freaks out when kidnapping victims are found after a decade of abuse and captivity, but this same world breeds animals for slaughter and consumption... Earthlings clearly have been taught to not care about those that are different, whether in looks or species... I think the kidnapping situation is vile and appalling, but I also think that breeding species for slaughter (which affects more living beings) is democratically more of an issue.

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Seeking Oakland's Soul In The 'New Oakland'

Seeking Oakland's Soul In The 'New Oakland' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Oakland, Calif., was a hub of African-American life on the West Coast. Today, it's one of the most diverse cities in the country. How has that shift affected its culture?
Seth Dixon's insight:

The NPR blog Code Switch focuses on issues of race, culture and ethnicity.  In this podcast they explore the changing demographics of Oakland due to gentrification and the cultural impact that it has had.  In the 80s, African-Americans represented nearly half of Oakland's population, but today is now 34 percent white, 28 percent black, 25 percent Latino and 17 percent Asian.  The music scene, night life and sense of communal identity has consequently shifted, and that causes some to yearn for what once was.   


Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic

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Gentrification spelled out

Gentrification spelled out | Geography Education | Scoop.it
As upscale, high-rise condos and hipster bars opened nearby, longtime customers joked: Is this really still “the ’hood”? Not anymore.

 

In a gentrifying neighborhood in Washington D.C. that was historically African-American, Fish in the ’Hood was an iconic restaurant that captured the feel of the area.  Just this May, the storefront restaurant was renamed Fish in the Neighborhood.

Questions to Ponder: Why?  Does it matter?  What does it mean?

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, September 15, 2013 5:36 PM

I read this article after Moss's op-ed piece, and the tactic that White used in order to keep his business is the practical kind of survival tactic that I found missing in Moss's piece. White says, “We’re adjusting, because it’s the only way to survive. I try to look and see what’s around me.” Instead of refusing to adapt his business to the changing environment, White did what a successful businessman should do: satisy the demands of his clientele. His clientele changed, so his business did. Stories about businesses like White's make me less sympathetic to the people who "cry gentrification."

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 9:16 AM

This article was a very interesting read. It shines a light that, with a moderate and humble pace, gentrification might not completely dismantle a community's cultural identity. Although this shop-keep is making an attempt at keeping up with the change he see's in the neighborhood, it might not be entirely necessary. 

Bottom line, people who are new to a community should be entering and supporting local businesses that have ties to the neighborhood and not just the kitchy hipster bars that pop up like dandelions in an untended meadow.  

Thea Harvey-Brown's curator insight, April 24, 8:17 AM

This is a great article that focuses on the effects of gentrification on a single restaurant. This personal narrative reveals the lack of control that these originally lower income neighborhoods now face. 

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Dark Days: When the Colts Left Baltimore

A look back on the 27th Anniversary of the the NFL Colts dark flight from Baltimore in the middle of the night.

 

BM: When the Colts left they took the heart of Balitmore and left the fans in utter disbelief. Robert Irsay had no intention of staying whether he got his new staidum for the Colts or not, he wanted out and had been looking since 1976. The city of Baltimore was not going to budge on the construction of a new pubically funded stadium simply because it was too expensive and the citry didn't have the money. All that remained in Baltimore was an empty Memorial Stadium, which wasn't perfect but was in really decent shape and the Orioles. 

 

SD: Why are sports teams treated so differently from other businesses?  How are teams linked to place in such intimate ways?  What is the economic impact of a sports team on the city and how could relocation damage that city?  See this scoop.it topic for more on the cultural and economic impacts of sports teams on cities.


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Ms. Harrington's comment, August 8, 2012 6:09 AM
I never knew about this particular team, but I can see how a sports franchise abandoning a city has a devastating effect. It seems like there was a deliberate attempt to "sneak"out.
Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, August 8, 2012 6:16 AM
Quite a blow to the entire city of Baltimore, you can see from the older footage as well as the new how badly this effected this city. A huge impact on the people, seemingly crushing spirits across the city.
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Growing Income Gap Segregates More Neighborhoods

Growing Income Gap Segregates More Neighborhoods | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A new report by the Pew Research Center shows that rising income inequality has led to an increasing number of Americans clustering in neighborhoods in which most residents are like them, either similarly affluent or similarly low income." 

 

DB: Economic deprivation both within and between nations are increasing as the world becomes further globalized.  American is no exception to this as the current recession continues to impact not just how people live their lives but where as well. As the middle class continues to shrink, the location of you residence is becoming a stronger indicator of your socioeconomic standing in society. The issue is not only that both opposite ends of the nation’s wealth spectrum are expanding but also that they our clustering together creating entire communities segregated by income. What role does gentrification play in this? How does income affect who is moving in and who is being displaced? What effects will this have for American society concerning which communities voice is heard?

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Gentrification: Views From Both Sides of the Street

Gentrification: Views From Both Sides of the Street | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Despite the fact that Detroiters will get the benefits of newfound energy, enthusiasm, and even money, it's unrealistic to expect a group who is scared of the unknown and having power stripped away to welcome outsiders with open arms.

 

 BM: Detroit has been down in a slump for a while and with gentrification(adding people of wealthier income) into the the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit. Despite the wealth of income in Midtown the rest of the City still has an average income of around $28,000 which is pretty weak compared to Midtown's average income of $111,000. One could argue that this gentrification project is not going at the pace desired. Slow and steady...

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As Brooklyn Gentrifies, Some Neighborhoods Are Being Left Behind

As Brooklyn Gentrifies, Some Neighborhoods Are Being Left Behind | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In a borough that has become a globally recognized icon of cool, residents are watching the renaissance with resentment and indifference.

 

Gentrification is inherently selective and consequently the impact is highly variable even among close neighborhoods.  What makes one nieghborhood a candidate for gentrification?  What qualities do neighborhoods of disinvestment share?  Who are the 'winners and losers' in this process? 

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Colorful Places & Spaces

Colorful Places & Spaces | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It is only right to start this site off with photos of the Holsteiner Stairs by artist Horst Glaesker. In 2008, I saw photos of this installation in Wuppertal, Germany and I knew I had to create a colour blog.

 

How can public art help create a sense of place?  How does this transform the neighborhood and community?  What are the cultural and econommic impacts of public art?       

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Detroit's Urban Renewal Challenges

This msnbc video clip (from the UP w/Chris Hayes) looks at the struggles and challenges for the city of Detroit.  Specifically, they address job creation and economic investment in the area as key ways to revitalize the economy in a deindustrializing context, as well as critique the governance situation that has lead to many of the problems that we currently see in Detroit.     

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Chinatowns in Decline in Move to Suburbs

Chinatowns in Decline in Move to Suburbs | Geography Education | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — America’s historic Chinatowns, home for a century to immigrants seeking social support and refuge from racism, are fading as rising living costs, jobs elsewhere and a desire for wider spaces lure Asian-Americans more than ever to the...

 

The geography of ethnic neighborhoods has changed as urbanization has changed within the United States.  This article, posted by the AAG, shows that most middle-class, second generation that are accultured into American society, gravitate towards the suburbs.  The 'older generation' with littled English skills coupled with the newly arrived to the country become those that remain behind in the urban centers.  How does this culturally impact Chinatown and Chinese-Americans?  Will Chinatowns become gentrified?  Are they already?  Where?   

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Forget Stadiums, Cities Should Fight For Apple Stores

Forget Stadiums, Cities Should Fight For Apple Stores | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Apple opened its latest store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal Friday. And it's magnificent.

 

Which brands are culturally important and attract other businesses?  Why does agglomeration even work?     

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NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou

NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction.

 

This 2010 video showcases one of China's urban transformation projects.  Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation. 

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Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 2:48 PM
This is a an example of "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 6:50 AM

This video explains how gentrification is alive and well in Beijing. The government has been tearing down old neighborhoods and redeveloping them into expensive touristy areas. The locals obviously hate the redevelopment since it has destroyed old historical parts of the city and forced their relocation. The government redevelopment is understandable because this is prime real estate near downtown Beijing and maximizing the economics of this area makes sense. Gulou is one of these neighborhoods and highly historic. Fortunately, it appears Gulou has been granted a reprieve from remodeling, but the gentrification of high value property in Beijing will likely never be done.

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 17, 10:20 AM

Progression or destruction? Out with the old and in with the new or the selling of ones soul? Of course those that are affected or disagree will say one thing and those that wish to develop will say another. While many will see this as a desecration of the past; at some point at a larger scale change must come. It is important to realize that China needs to do something with its people, whom are only multiplying. Much of the old towns and structures are not up to modern day standards of safety. As more people need to support themselves and their dependents, they will need jobs. The main, larger cities, can only support so much.