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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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The Geography of Small Talk

The Geography of Small Talk | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Surprising alternatives to "so what do you do?"—from New Orleans to New York.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The types of questions that you ask when you are meeting someone new for the first time has some regional variations but there is much more to the geography of small talk than that as see in this 4 minute video.  People want to understand your cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic context by asking spatial questions about where you are from.  Identity and place are tightly woven and these neighborhood questions are almost invitations to share much more personal information, as if to ask, "how do you fit in this world?"  When you are being introduced to someone, what are the questions that you ask, and what type of information are you hoping to get?  Each person has their own little geography that has profoundly shaped who they are---so what’s your story? 


Tags: language, regions, folk cultures, communityplace, neighborhood.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 24, 6:43 AM

unit 2-3

Mr Steven Newman's curator insight, April 24, 11:33 AM
Love this scoop from Seth Dixon. A nice way to help kids understand sense of place .
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How architectural innovations migrate across borders

"As the world's cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city's residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As a geographer native to the San Diego region with family on both sides of the border, I found this TED talk very compelling personally, but also rich in geographic themes (city planning, diffusion, governance of space, socioeconomic differences in land use patterns, etc.).  Relations across the border are economic, cultural and political in nature, and the merger of those varied interests have led to an uneven history of both cooperation and separation.  San Diego and Tijuana have more to offer each other than economic markets--the ideas born out of distinct socioeconomic and political contexts can be just what is needed on the other side of the border.


Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, sprawlneighborhood, borders. planning, urban ecology, densityplanning, TED

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Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.      

 

Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhoodmapping, GIS, geospatial.


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Concentrations of Wealth and Poverty

Concentrations of Wealth and Poverty | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

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?    


Tags: Washington DC, urban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, December 18, 2013 6:59 AM

See where the wealth and poverty are in America using this great map.

Chandrima Roy's curator insight, January 9, 7:44 PM

wonderful

 

Ishwer Singh's curator insight, January 20, 3:56 AM

This picture shows the cocentrations of poverty and affluence.  The areas hilighted in yellow show the areas which are wealthy and the dark blue showing the poor. This coincides with the amout of pay and the education levels in these countries. Areas such as Boston, New York and Washington show high cocentrations of affluence. These areas also have much higher education systems and more well -paid jobs. Countries which are highlighted in dark blue are countries with lesser education and lesser paid jobs. This shows the  extent at which poverty can affect a country.

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Fair Housing

Fair Housing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.


Tags: housingracism, urban, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhood, ethnicity, race, podcast.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, December 1, 2013 12:54 AM

this podcast can gives us insight into other peoples experiences and decision making processes in choosing were to live and how that effects life for them. Depending on where we live rent may be cheaper but also living conditions and employment may not be all that great. Gentrification or community improvement also shows us, this renovating process helps change our old neighborhoods and tries to create better places for people to life, it speaks about fair housing and the various experiences that people have in the American way of living.

Mrs. B's curator insight, December 3, 2013 5:44 PM

PODCAST FOR URBAN UNIT

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Crack Shack or Mansion?

Crack Shack or Mansion? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you tell a Vancouver mansion from a crack shack?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Which homes were once being used to sell illegal drugs and which homes could be sold for over $1 million?  It is not as easy to distinguish between the two as you might think.  What constitutes affordable housing can change dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood.  Want more?  Try Crack Shack or Mansion II.


Tags: housing, narcotics, urban, economic, place, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 20, 2013 1:31 PM


In this world any house can be held as a drug location. in the neighbor I live there was a house that broken into by the cops in which they found hundreds of pounds of drugs and none of the neighbors knew. We thought it was an abandoned home. a crack shack or mansion it is difficult to determine if it is or not.

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 7:58 AM

This I found to be very interesting. To me it was very sterotypical and much harder than I thought it would be. I figured it would be easy to depict a Mansion from a Crack Shack, but I guess I was wrong. Different areas different lifestyles.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 6:55 AM

A fairly funny game that makes fun of the astronomical real estate prices in Vancouver, BC. I actually wasn't incredibly surprised as I've watched some HGTV. Since many of the shows are Canadian imports the extremely high priced homes in Vancouver and Toronto are often featured.

 

I guessed 10/16. The game should branch out to Toronto, we might've caught a glimpse of Rob Ford.

 

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How Chicago’s Housing Crisis Ignited a New Form of Activism

How Chicago’s Housing Crisis Ignited a New Form of Activism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An innovative campaign to move “home-less people into people-less homes.”
Seth Dixon's insight:

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."   


Tags: Chicagohousing, urban, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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fabio sousa's comment, June 3, 2013 6:00 AM
coisa mais linda :)
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LANDFILL HARMONIC: Inspiring dreams one note at a time!

A heartfelt & moving story of how instruments made from recycled trash bring hope to children whose future is otherwise spiritless.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.   


Tags: urban, squatter, poverty, South America, community, Paraguay.

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chris tobin's curator insight, April 24, 2013 2:11 PM

What a wonderful thing!   This is a very heartwarming story

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 8, 3:38 PM

One mans' trash is another mans treasure. The typical stereotypes of slums are that they are dirty, poor and lifeless. However, the people in this slum have so much more to offer. Searching through the trash, they are able to piece together junk into recycled instruments that they use to liven the slums, their lives and the world. Music is a way to brighten their today and look forward to brighter tomorrows. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 8:21 AM

This video was very moving.  I was surprised how the recycled instruments sounded exactly like the real things.  I think this should make us think about how much of the trash we generate could be put to some use besides rotting in a landfill.  It also shows the ingenuity of people to find a use for a resource even if that resource is trash.  It just goes to show that the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is true.

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Mental Maps

Mental Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: transportation, mapping, place.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This comic strip would be funnier if it weren't so true.  Studies have shown that children who are driven everywhere do not have as fully developed mental maps as children who walk through their neighborhoods or ride their bikes.  For some lesson plans on mental maps, click here.   

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Ken Halpern's comment, March 1, 2013 10:10 AM
Even as an adult and have been in different parts of the world driving, I still remember how to get around in my home town. It's amazing how the mind can retain that type of information. I still remember the neighborhoods I use to bike through and walk in.
Gary Pascoa's comment, March 1, 2013 6:53 PM
Certainly guilty of this growing up. I have a photogenic memory when it comes to directions and getting around. I think it will only get worse in the future for kids with the advent of GPS who might not take the time to build up a solid understanding of their surroundings.
Conor McCloskey's comment, March 4, 2013 5:37 PM
Proud to say my mental maps are pretty accurate and so are my brothers, however I have two siblings that cannot say the same... I would definitely support the theory that walking through neighborhoods and riding bikes really helped to give me and my brother strong mental maps and geospatial awareness. Also, being a runner has also influenced my mental map making.
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Replanning Downtown LA

Melani Smith is Director of Planning and Urban Design at downtown Los Angeles based Meléndrez, a landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design firm. Melani’s…
Seth Dixon's insight:

Changes are afoot to make Downtown LA (the center of a metropolitan area that is notoriously tied to freeways and the private automobile) more walkable and reshape the look and feel to make it more of a neighborhood.  


Tags: Los Angeles, transportation, AAG, urban, planning.

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Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Over 6 million of those living in Canada were born outside of Canada an migrated there.  This infographic cleverly outlines both where migrants live in Canada and where they came from.  Ethnic enclaves are an important part of Canada's rural and urban cultural landscapes.  Since the 1960s, the majority of immigrants have come from Asia, changing some traditional neighborhoods. 


Tags: Canada, ethnicity, migration, infographic, neighborhood

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 6:15 PM

It is amazing that over 600 people come into Canada a day and settle into areas that used to be quite little farming land. These areas are now home to North Americas second largest Asian communities. Canada now has 260 ethnic enclave neighborhoods and they are an important part of Canadas landscape. They are mostly moving into the suburbs where land is cheaper and in my opinion I think they are moving there for job and because they concider it safer. They are also closing down the business of the families that have been their forever and cant compete like the greek families.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 10:15 AM

This article contains details about the Canadian immigrant population boom, mostly from east Asia, which began in the 90's. Unsurprisingly, many of these immigrants settle into communities with others whom share their culture. These Canadian ethnic enclaves differ from those in the US because most immigrants are choosing suburban areas (where the cost of living is lower) rather than being relegated to an urban "ethnictown." However, these enclaves are not entirely a product of economic equality as the average earnings for a recent immigrant are only 61% of a Canadian-born worker, limiting their ability to move elsewhere.

 

Conversely, the immigrant communities which become economically successful are seeing many of their sons and daughters move away to the city or other suburbs as they are more fully integrated into the Canadian culture and if there is no influx of new immigrants into these enclaves they begin to die out. This seems to indicate that long-standing ethnic enclaves are at least partially the product of economic inequality than a desire to preserve culture.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 6:41 AM

This article was interesting because it showed how modern immigration patterns are not that dissimilar from historic patterns.  People come to a new country and they settle in an area that has relatives or familiar people already living there.  The formation of ethnic enclaves is the example.  People are choosing to self-segregate when they immigrate to a new homeland because it is the familiar with in the strange.  Perhaps once the new immigrants have acclimated to Canadian society they may move out of the enclave areas but they also may stay.  It is an interesting example of how people cluster together with similar people when they move to a new country.

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Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Nielsen Prizm is a tool used by companies to analyze their customers spending habits, lifestyle choices and spatial patterns.  Using their Zip Code Look Up feature, you can search any zip code to g...


This is an interesting glimpse into how market research analysts view neighborhoods, geography and spatial analysis.  This economic and cultural data has a wide range of uses (albeit with some serious limitations). 


Tags: socioeconomic, neighborhood, place, economic, consumption, spatial, mapping

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Aerial housing photographs show stark division between rich and poor in Mexico

Aerial housing photographs show stark division between rich and poor in Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A new advertising campaign is seeking to draw attention to the gap between the wealthy and the poverty-stricken in Mexico by showing how they co-exist in disturbingly close proximity.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There is a wide economic gap between the rich and the poor and in the spatial layout of urban settlements. Often an accompanying  tangible separation exists between the communities where these groups live.  These images (captured by a helicopter pilot with a keen eye for iconic and cultural landscapes in Mexico City) show neighborhoods in Mexico where this separation does not exist.   Collectively they are reminiscent of this famous photograph in Brazil that shows the uneasy juxtaposition of favelas and luxurious housing. 


Questions to Ponder: What are these neighborhoods like?  How are these two communities linked and separated?  Compare and contrast life on both sides of the fence.    


Tags:  housingeconomic, socioeconomicBrazil, urban, squatter, neighborhood, Mexico

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Clarissa Rangel's curator insight, May 28, 5:49 PM

Interesting look at the social mobility of a super-urban area. 

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 9:26 AM

An advertising campaign hopes to show the differences of income and living standards between neighborhoods in Mexico.

The place of these areas are so vastly different as well as there interactions as the lower class makes shanty architecture and the upper class develops large condos and buildings just for residence.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, June 17, 5:35 AM

And again in Brazil

http://civitasinclusive.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/paraisopolis-brazil-by-tuca-vieira-2004/

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New York City's Disappearing Mom-and-Pop Storefronts

New York City's Disappearing Mom-and-Pop Storefronts | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Two photographers set out to see what happened to small family businesses in New York City in a decade
Seth Dixon's insight:

The cultural landscapes of neighborhoods can change quickly as larger global economic forces restructure the places.  This is a great gallery of photos from the Smithsonian to document these changes in New York City.  Many mourn the passing of what once was as the landscape continues to be made and remade but subsequent generations. 


Tags: culture, landscape, NYCeconomic, urban, place, neighborhood.

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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, April 12, 4:28 AM

What a decade can do to a cultural landscape.

L.Long's curator insight, April 15, 3:55 PM

Changing nature of world cities

Jake Reardon's curator insight, April 21, 2:49 PM

To be honest I am surprised that "Mom and Pop" storefronts lasted this long in New York City. It just seems to me that as a city grows and rent prices go up the smaller store fronts would naturally be pushed out by larger conglomerates who would be more suited to handle the rent prices. Of course it is an old addeage of capitalism that as long as you offer a good product that consumers would be inclined to consume you can stay above water in even the most competitive locations. Although to me that would appear to have its limits. Perhaps the economic tides of the present in New York are that limit.

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In Pictures: Crackdown in Brazil's favelas

In Pictures: Crackdown in Brazil's favelas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Brazilian government's 'pacification' initiative has led to drug busts and shootouts in Rio's favelas.


Just a few months before Rio de Janeiro welcomes visitors for the World Cup, and two years before it hosts the Olympics, security within the city remains a major issue.  The government currently promotes the policy of "pacification", where security forces engage in raids, drug busts, and even gunfights with suspected gang members. This pacification policy is supposed to pave the way for the development of long-neglected favelas in Rio, Brazil's second-biggest city and home to 11 million people.  However, many of the favelas remain in the hands of an army of drug dealers and criminals who are not willing to step down or be pacified.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: Brazil, urban, squatter, narcotics, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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The Mystery House

"In Raleigh, N.C., there's a house... or what looks like a house. What's hidden inside is more important than most people realize. Read the story: http://wunc.org/post/video-whats-inside-house-wade-avenue "

Seth Dixon's insight:

What looks like a wonderful little "Scooby-Doo" mystery turns out to be a great place-based video on city planning, land use and utilities (I don't want to ruin the surprise that comes at the 2 minute mark, but don't worry, it's worth it).  If you are teaching a course trying to help students to think about the inner-workings of a city this article would be a very attention grabbing way to make a good point (NPR posted article on this as well).  What 'secrets' are hidden in plain sight in your local neighborhood?  


Tagsurban, planning.


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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, January 25, 7:06 AM

A great introduction to city planning

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/17/263476645/whats-inside-this-mystery-house-in-north-carolina

 

 

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 27, 1:11 PM

This short YouTube clip focuses on the Governments creative ways of keeping city planning out of the eyes of everyday people. Not only do these creative ways allow cities to remain unvandalised, but they also eliminate the eye sores of waterplants and towers. I think these ideas are great and allow communities to remain beautiful and inviting. 

Tracy Galvin's comment, January 30, 12:00 PM
This is a really nice example of a respect for the neighborhood. By disguising the building it doesn't create an eyesore in the community but will allow the plant to provide a service to the neighbors. This keeps property values high and the neighbors happy.
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Urban Exploration

Urban Exploration | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The French have a wonderful word—flâneur—for someone who seeks to explore and understand the nature of a city’s landscape, usually by taking spontaneous adventures amidst the ebb and flow of life going on around them. In this week’s theme we invite you to lose yourself reading about the flâneur-esque adventures of Maptia’s streetwise connoisseurs and explore a myriad of cities through their eyes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you have yet to discover Maptia, a hybrid map/storytelling online platform, this is a good introduction.  This article also serves as portal for 21 city profiles of cities around the world. 


Tags: neighborhoodurban, place.

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Linda Alexander's curator insight, December 1, 2013 8:04 AM

A wonderful site that currently explores 21 global cities.  If you've ever traveled to India (any major city within it), Mexico City, Rome, or any another travel destination where the human street population is somewhat off the charts, you'll enjoy these blog posts.  Meanwhile, I am thinking about entering a post of my own!  This is a perfect site to share with students prior to journal writing or school trips abroad. 

Helen Rowling's curator insight, December 1, 2013 5:18 PM

Gr8 immersion of stories of lives in other countries.

Tony Gough's curator insight, December 9, 2013 3:09 AM

Travel the world and read the short stories to learn more!

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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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Geography of Aspiration

Geography of Aspiration | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Try to replicate it with development schemes all you want, but you're overlooking what makes New York City—and other places of ambition—so great.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of the economic success of a city can be an overriding cultural ethos of the metropolitan area.  This elusive spirit of the city is often referred to as a sense of place, which many sound 'fluffy' to some, but can have some very tangible impacts on the urban economic development.  This article answers the question, "How does a sense of place impact urban economic development?" by using various U.S. cities such as New York City, Portland and San Francisco.  


Tags: urban, economic, place, neighborhood.

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Dean Haakenson's comment, June 6, 2013 8:30 AM
Very cool.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 3:31 PM

I think that historical opportunity is what makes NYC so great... well, great as implied by the writers of this article.  Having a good history, it is only natural that it would become something so popular and draw the ambitious to it.  In contrast, a newly formed colony of humans on Mars would be potentially better- because in this hypothetical/planned colony, people would be able to benefit from the fact that they are building from the ground up, from scratch, and with the knowledge of other development schemes/trends that occurred elsewhere.  This could entirely circumvent all ill aspects of society... Sometimes to create, one must first destroy... perhaps NYC should be rebuilt to eliminate problems, before humans move on to other worlds?  I thought NY was a bit of a mess when I drove through with my cousin.  The graffiti was gorgeous, but the filth and traffic were quite triumphant, and it is not a place where my ambition would lead me.  I think true talent will be found, regardless of this subliminal advertisment brought about by the article endorsing NYC as a 'place of ambition.'  Not all of us can go to these 'meccas' of talent... but it doesn't mean we are any less extravagent as life forms.  I would ask if most people would want to make it big in places like that, or if they would rather be happier, elsewhere.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 11:53 AM

This reminds me of the production method idea you taught us where even though you may be able to produce 2 products better than a third world country it is for the best if you have them do what they excel at while you do your thing. (You made a lebron james reference in class). the reason why im connecting this is because every city has its own thing to offer with San fran being the arts portland with the mom and pop shops and new york with the enterainment. if you can excel at what you do then your city can blossom.

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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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Street Art Project Maps Rap Lyric Shout Outs Around NYC

Street Art Project Maps Rap Lyric Shout Outs Around NYC | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If a NYC location got a shout out in some rap lyrics, Jay Shells has probably made a sign out of them and placed it at that specific location for his amazing new project.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Street art has a subtle, but powerful connection with place.  How does an art installation alter a neighborhood's sense of place?  How does a place alter the meaning(s) of an art installation?


Tags: art, mapping, NYC, culture, landscape, place, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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bancoideas's curator insight, April 24, 2013 4:59 AM

¿que tal esta idea de arte callejero? Letras de rap y señaléticas de tránsito

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, September 23, 2013 7:28 AM

I just got back at two in the morning from a road trip with one of my cousins to see her sister in Maryland.  It was a fabulous time, and I'd like to point out that we did drive through New York, and caught some glimpses of NYC across the way.  My whole experience on the trip was illuminated by different forms of cultural exposure.  I rarely travel, and it was quite fascinating to see the different locations on the way.  One thing that I noticed was a large presence of graffiti, that completely varied in styles and colors in every city and every state.  It was as if these different people from different places all had different things to say.  The rap lyrics on signs are interesting as well, because these rap lines are not intended to be written on signs, contrasted from graffiti, which is meant to be seen publicly.  The culture in New York is one that includes art and appreciation of art, and these rap lyric signs are both catchy and artsy.  Poetry has long been a way to teach people to remember things- such as in nursery rhymes.  It seems to me that it would be sufficiently easier for a person to remember what avenue they are supposed to meet someone on, by quoting existing rap lyrics that are also present on signs in the area.  These aesthetic embellishments also demonstrate a striving towards a revival of a human blend of Platonic cultural ideas with the presenece of art and poetry in public, and the human imperfection that accompanies rap music with the stigma of sex, drugs, and violence. 

         One of the bad things about the trip was the traffic in New York, but if I had rap lyric signs to read, I really would not have been that bad off.  Some people like to read books or magazines while using the bathroom, and it is becoming increasingly clear that there must be a similar level of tolerance/inclination towards people wanting to read rap lyrics on signs in New York that indicate the areas referred to in song.  There really are very few problems with this, and I am often more offended by the billboards in cities that tell me what religious ideas are right for me to believe, such as the Christ-Supremacist group billboards that tell me Jesus will save me.  I think Kanye West is a slightly more contemporary savior that might be to the liking of the citizens of New York City... At least, in this particular place, during this particular time.

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Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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. 


Tags: statistics, census, GIS, mapping, K12.

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Alejandro Restrepo's curator insight, February 13, 2013 3:22 PM

Very interesting aspect of our demographics here in Central Falls. Any one with an interest in demographics and the make up our city should take a look a this and compare it to other neighborhoods in Rhode Island. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself!

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 14, 2013 11:16 AM

Can you find your neighborhood HUGGERS?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, February 16, 2013 7:25 AM

Compare the neighborhoods in and around your area.  What trends do you see?  Any surprises?

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Lawns Into Gardens

Lawns Into Gardens | Geography Education | Scoop.it
There are joys and rewards in growing some of your own crops; there's even beauty.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Although a front lawn is not ecologically the best use of urban space, there are strong cultural pressure to conform to that aesthetic ideal.  When individuals choose to grow vegetables and fruit, they often face some push-back from the city or homeowners associations with a different vision on the appropriate use of space.  Some have estimated though, that if we were to convert 10 percent the country's grass lawns to vegetable gardens that they could supply roughly a third of our fresh vegetables. 


Tags: agriculture, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture.

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Chris Scott's curator insight, July 14, 2013 7:14 AM

I think that having having an urban garden whether it be in the front yard or the backyard should be a must in every state even if it is a little garden, I think it will make great use of the land.

Drake's curator insight, September 3, 2013 9:11 PM

Yes, I agree, it is an act of bringing nature close to you. 

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Landfill Harmonic

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.   


Tags: urban, squatter, poverty, South America, community, Paraguay.

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Bob Manning's curator insight, December 13, 2012 7:11 PM

Another example of frugal innovation and what we can learn from people who are often times discounted.

Jimmy Power's comment, December 18, 2012 6:19 AM
A lesson for us all the human spirit will always come through
Chris Olenik's comment, April 16, 2013 5:14 PM
They have a Kickstarter! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/405192963/landfill-harmonic-inspiring-dreams-one-note-at-a-t