Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet

The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Investment in bicycle infrastructure is a modern and intelligent move. Many cities get this. Many don't.

 

Tags: urbanplace, transportationplanning, urbanism, architecture.

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joellemillery's curator insight, August 28, 5:28 AM
In Munich, bike paths feel overcrowded, for example, there is a need for a new #urbanism #transportation # plan ;-)
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Bolivian Commuters Soar Through The Sky

"The world's biggest urban gondola system, known as Mi Teleférico, opened in La Paz, Bolivia, in May 2014. The 6-mile-long system is an engineering feat."

 

Tags: transportation, South America, Bolivia, urban, planningarchitecture.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 24, 7:53 AM

The importance of services and facilities in connecting people and places to enhance liveability - social connectedness

 

GeoWorld 7

Chapter 7: Liveability Measurement and environmental factors

7.5 Transport: mobile and socially connected

Chapter 10 Enhancing liveability

10.1 Enhancing liveability and sustainability

Geothink: Attributes of a liveable place; New transport hierarchy; Planning liveable places.

 

Sally Egan's curator insight, June 26, 7:14 PM
The gondola system of La Paz, Bolivia called Mi Teleferico,  addresses the transport challenge in a large and unplanned city already overcrowded with vehicles and facing steep terrain. This short video provides a great overview of the creative response to a transport challenge and the background images provide a view of what the city is like.
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These cities will be very rich in 10 years

These cities will be very rich in 10 years | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Forget New York, London or Hong Kong. Here are seven cities that are racing up the rankings of the world's richest, and will be among the top 10 by 2025, according to researchers from McKinsey.
Seth Dixon's insight:
  1. Doha, Qatar
  2. Bergen, Norway
  3. Trondheim, Norway
  4. Hwaseong, South Korea
  5. Asan, South Korea
  6. Rhine Ruhr, Germany
  7. Macau, China

Tagsurbandevelopment, economic, planninglaborglobalization, technology.   

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What Computer Games Taught Me About Urban Planning

What Computer Games Taught Me About Urban Planning | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By enticing thousands and thousands of people to plan commercial, industrial, and residential districts for their virtual towns, the creators of SimCity have probably done more than anyone in the history of the world to introduce basic principles of zoning to the public.  Even though it’s just a computer game, Cities: Skylines has a lot to teach us about the unstated premises of our urban-planning conversations, and demonstrates how those premises profoundly shape what our cities can look like. When we assume the necessity of a given way of regulating cities, assume away the messiness of people and their relationships, assume away politics, and ignore major costs, we miss an awful lot of what urban-planning debates should be."


Tags: urban, transportation, planning.

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Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them.

Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Mandatory helmet laws and glow-in-the-dark spray paint just show who really owns the roads.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This op-ed is good discussion fodder to discuss the urban planning preferences embedded within our transportation choices. 

 

Tagsop-ed, urban, transportation, planning.

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Most Cyclists Are Working-Class Immigrants, Not Hipsters

Most Cyclists Are Working-Class Immigrants, Not Hipsters | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Urban planners are noticing a cultural gap between bike advocates and others who bike. Planners see a particular type of cyclist: a working-class person – usually a minority and often a recent immigrant – riding to work on whatever type of bike he can get his hands on. Those cyclists are men and women for whom biking isn’t an environmental cause or a response to an urban trend but a means of transportation that’s cheaper than a car and faster than walking."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Those that fight for bike lanes are not representative of all the cyclists.  These invisible cyclists are show that the cycling is an economic strategy for many of the urban poor, just as it can be a social statement for wealthy bike riders.


Tags: mobility, transportation, socioeconomic, class, planning.

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Global Cities

"The evolving role of cities and regions presents planning challenges as urban areas are work to achieve particular social, economic and environmental goals. This video explores a range of cities to examine how fully integrated planning, design, engineering and management capabilities can help to improve cities."


Tags: urban, planning, urbanism, architecture.

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Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, November 15, 2015 7:41 PM

An advertisement but interesting

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Can you identify these world cities from their street plans alone?

Can you identify these world cities from their street plans alone? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We’ve stripped out the street names and lost the labels – but can you still recognise the cities from their aerial views?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fun map quiz that is part memory, but also relies on pattern recognition to see if you can understand the urban morphology that shaped these places.  I got 11 out of 13...can anybody top that?  I'm sure someone can; give it a shot.  


Tagsplanning, architecture, urban, regions, trivia, games.

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Even When You Go Off the Grid, You Might Still Be On It

Even When You Go Off the Grid, You Might Still Be On It | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The images here, taken from the Instagram account @the.jefferson.grid show just a few of the landscapes that can be squeezed into the one-mile squares. The idea behind this sprawling checkerboard emerged after the Revolutionary War. As the United States expanded westward, the country needed a systematic way to divide its newly acquired lands. The original colonies were surveyed using the British system of 'metes and bounds,' with parcels delineated using local geography.  


That approach doesn’t scale very well, and Jefferson proposed to slice the young United States into gridded plots of land.  Jefferson's idea became a reality in 1785 when it was enacted as the Public Land Survey System. Today his grid covers much of the country, and it is still used to survey federal lands — an idea that shaped the physical landscape of half a continent."


Tags: images, land use, landscape, social media, planningspatial, scale, historical.

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Dyna-e International's curator insight, September 1, 2015 12:32 PM

No such thing as being off the grid really. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 8, 2015 1:05 PM

unit 1 and 4

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New Old Town

New Old Town | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Like many cities in Central Europe, Warsaw is made up largely of grey, ugly, communist block-style architecture. Except for one part:  The Old Town. Walking through the historic district, it’s just like any other quaint European city. There are tourist shops, horse-drawn carriage rides, church spires. The buildings are beautiful—but they are not original."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a compelling 99 Percent Invisible podcast linking architecture, heritage, political ideology and the built environment.  How we preserve and create place is put on trial as to when something is benign, fabricated, authentic, or simply a complicated balance between opposing forces. 


Tags: planning, architecture, urban, place,

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aitouaddaC's curator insight, August 3, 2015 8:12 AM

This is a compelling podcast linking architecture, heritage, political ideology and the built environment.  How we preserve and create place is put on trial as to when something is benign, fabricated, authentic, or simply a complicated balance between opposing forces. 

 

Tags: planning, architecture, urban, place,

Beth Marinucci's curator insight, August 3, 2015 8:45 PM

This is a compelling podcast linking architecture, heritage, political ideology and the built environment.  How we preserve and create place is put on trial as to when something is benign, fabricated, authentic, or simply a complicated balance between opposing forces. 

 

Tags: planning, architecture, urban, place,

Yolanta Krawiecki's curator insight, August 7, 2015 5:30 PM

This is a compelling podcast linking architecture, heritage, political ideology and the built environment.  How we preserve and create place is put on trial as to when something is benign, fabricated, authentic, or simply a complicated balance between opposing forces. 

 

Tags: planning, architecture, urban, place,

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Urbanization in China

China's citizens are moving from the countryside into cities in record numbers, boosting the economy but making party leaders uneasy


Tags: economic, planning, urban, China, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

A big portion of China's economic boom the last few decades has been linked to the transformation of what used to be a predominantly agrarian civilization to an economic engine fueled by rapid urbanization.  This 2011 video from the Economist is still highly relevant today.   

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François Arnal's curator insight, July 17, 2015 4:15 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

A big portion of China's economic boom the last few decades has been linked to the transformation of what used to be a predominantly agrarian civilization to an economic engine fueled by rapid urbanization.  This 2011 video from the Economist is still highly relevant today.   

 

@Céline

Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, July 18, 2015 9:02 AM

Une courte vidéo de la revue The Economist

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, August 6, 2015 3:54 PM

A big portion of China's economic boom the last few decades has been linked to the transformation of what used to be a predominantly agrarian civilization to an economic engine fueled by rapid urbanization.  This 2011 video from the Economist is still highly relevant today.   

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Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Let's make "10 not 12!" a new mantra for saving our cities and towns.


[12 foot lanes] are wrong because of a fundamental error that underlies the practice of traffic engineering—and many other disciplines—an outright refusal to acknowledge that human behavior is impacted by its environment.


Tags: transportation, planningspatial, scale.

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Before-and-after maps show how freeways transformed America's cities

Before-and-after maps show how freeways transformed America's cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Beginning in the 1950s, cities demolished thousands of homes in walkable neighborhoods to make room for freeways.


At the time, this was seen as a sign of progress. Not only did planners hope to help people get downtown more quickly, they saw many of the neighborhoods being torn down as blighted and in need of urban renewal.  But tearing down a struggling neighborhood rarely made problems like crime and overcrowding go away. To the contrary, displaced people would move to other neighborhoods, often exacerbating overcrowding problems. Crime rates rose, not fell, in the years after these projects.  By cutting urban neighborhoods in half, planners undermined the blocks on either side of the freeway. The freeways made nearby neighborhoods less walkable. Reduced foot traffic made them less attractive places for stores and restaurants. And that, in turn, made them even less walkable. Those with the means to do so moved to the suburbs, accelerating the neighborhoods' decline.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Later this month I will be in Cincinnati (pictured above) and will see firsthand some of the urban changes that freeways have had on the landscape, neighborhoods, and the lives of residents.  This article has some "swipe" aerial photography on Cincinnati, Detroit, and Minneapolis for your analysis. 


Tags: urbantransportation, planning, historical, urban models, APHG, neighborhoodCincinnati

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MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:34 AM

Urbanization - transportation

 

Ryan Tibari's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:16 AM

Industrialization changed not only the physical face of cities, but also the social. Innovations such as highways have caused transportation to become widely easier, allowing people from all different regions of the city to travel easily back and forth from place to place. 

Jill Wallace's curator insight, May 30, 2015 9:41 PM

Maps, Urbanization

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The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Think your city doesn’t like you? You’re right.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  These articles from the Society Pages, Atlas Obscura, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering, skate boarding, and homelessness, which are all undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).  

    

Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place, poverty.

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Superblocks to the rescue: Barcelona’s plan to give streets back to residents

Superblocks to the rescue: Barcelona’s plan to give streets back to residents | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Catalan capital’s radical new strategy will restrict traffic to a number of big roads, drastically reducing pollution and turning secondary streets into ‘citizen spaces’ for culture, leisure and the community.  Black routes allow public transport and cars at 50km/h, while green routes only allow private vehicles at 10km/h to prioritize pedestrians and cycling."

 

Tags: Catalonia, Spain, mobilitytransportationplaceneighborhood, urban, planning, urbanism.

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A New Map for America

A New Map for America | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The 50-state model is holding the country back. It needs a new system, built around urban corridors.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great article to get students thinking about the spatial network of cities, not just the internal structure of particular cities based on some models. In this article, Parag Khanna argues that the United States is stuck in "an antiquated political structure of 50 distinct states" that isn't aligned with growing urban regions that shape our internal and external economic linkages. He proposed that our infrastruture should strengthen these networks that cut across state boundaries more so than it currently does. "Federal policy should refocus on help these nascent [urban] archipelagos prosper, and helping other emerge...collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficently through better highways, railways, and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America." 

 

Questions to Ponder: What political obstacles would this proposal receive?  Demographically, who would support/oppose this type of restructuring?  How would this impact the economic geographies of the United States? 

 

Tagsop-edregions, urban, transportationeconomic, planning.

 

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Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, April 28, 8:13 AM
We should build a similar map for technology innovaton
Character Minutes's curator insight, July 1, 7:13 PM
Great way to encourage critical thinking in students: what would this impact? Adv & Disadvantages? Compare 50 states vs this model? How would new plan be implemented? 

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Walk Appeal and Public Health

Walk Appeal and Public Health | Geography Education | Scoop.it
"The core idea of Walk Appeal is that people walk longest and most often in places that entice them, but rarely walk just because they’re told they ought to. Some Walk Appeal factors are measurable, while others are immeasurable, and it has long been clear that Walk Appeal is the best predictor of the viability of neighborhood businesses."
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is a reasonable distance to walk around town?  Research shows that cities with improved sidewalks, less parking lots, attractive storefronts and other amenities that encourage walking.  If  walking the urban environment is and of itself an experience worth having and makes the person feel like a flâneur, experiencing the city on a deeper level, automotive transport goes down and walking goes up.  Urban infrastructure is more important for most people than distance in deciding whether to get in the car or walk down the street (for distances under 2 miles).   Bottom line: neighborhoods that have an appealing sense of place are more walkable.

 

Tags: urbanplace, transportationplanning, urbanism, architecture.

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Jessica Ruddy's curator insight, March 21, 10:58 AM

What is a reasonable distance to walk around town?  Research shows that cities with improved sidewalks, less parking lots, attractive storefronts and other amenities that encourage walking.  If  walking the urban environment is and of itself an experience worth having and makes the person feel like a flâneur, experiencing the city on a deeper level, automotive transport goes down and walking goes up.  Urban infrastructure is more important for most people than distance in deciding whether to get in the car or walk down the street (for distances under 2 miles).   Bottom line: neighborhoods that have an appealing sense of place are more walkable.

 

Tags: urban, place, transportation, planning, urbanism, architecture.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 16, 1:21 AM

The concepts of "liveable streets" and "placemaking" can enhance the liveability of places.

Read about " Eyes on the street" and " broken window theory",  "walkability", "green infrastructure"  and " 20 minute neighbourhoods" and orher strategies to enhance liveability in

 

Geoworld 7 NSW 

10.3 Creating better communities

10..4 Places for people

10.5 Liveable streets 

10.6 Green places and open spaces

Geothink: Attributes of a liveable place;  New transport hierarchy; Planning liveable places

Kristina Lemson's curator insight, April 16, 10:44 PM
Use Google Earth to examine the walkability of Banksia Grove. Can younidentify specific elements that look like they have been included to meet this aim? Conversely, what mitigates against people walking in BG?
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My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me

My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In our dense cities where land is valuable and housing is expensive, why do our cars pay cheaper rent than people?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Everyone searching for a parking space has at one time felt that there are not enough spaces where and when you need them...did you know that their are at least 3 surface lot parking spaces for every car in the United States (not including garages, driveways, etc)?  With 250 million passenger vehicles for 316 million people, that means there are 800 million surface lot parking spaces (that account for only 60-70% of our parking needs).  Parking, and the ways in which parking is subsidized, are much bigger issues than many want to believe, especially when cars are given breaks that people don't.  We cant forget that there is a high cost for free parking.  

 

Tags: urban, transportation, planning.

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Sense of Place

Seth Dixon's insight:

Kunstler argues that American architecture and urban planning are not creating public places that encourage interaction and communal engagement.  We should create more distinct places that foster a sense of place that is 'worth fighting for,' as opposed to suburbia which he sees as emblematic of these problems. 


Question to Ponder: How should we design cities to create a strong sense of place?  What elements are necessary? 


Tagsurban, planning, place, architecture, suburbs, video.

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L.Long's curator insight, November 20, 2015 7:04 PM

Culture of Place

Sally Egan's curator insight, November 22, 2015 5:28 PM

Provides great example of the concepts of Place and Lieveability.

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How Chicago became the country's alley capital

How Chicago became the country's alley capital | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Chicago became the alley capital of the country and why so much of the rest of the region is conspicuously alley-free.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The alley is a reminder of past visions of how to best lay out a city.  In the 19th century, back when Chicago started booming, the city was laid out in a grid and it quickly became a filthy, stinky, disease-ridden place. "Rear service lanes were essential for collecting trash, delivering coal, and stowing human waste — basically, keeping anything unpleasant away from living quarters."  As we have moved towards curvilinear residential streets and more discrete public utilities, the newer neighborhoods abandoned the alley, but they are still very prominent in old neighborhoods (click here for an interactive map to explore all of Chicago's alleys). 

Also, Chicago's suburbs have lofty names (Mount, Heights, Ridge, etc.)  that don't match this flat topography--read here to find out why.  


Tags: Chicago, urban, placetoponyms, planning, urbanism.

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Where ‘speeding’ is legal: A map of maximum limits across the U.S.

Where ‘speeding’ is legal: A map of maximum limits across the U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An unconventional look at American roads, mapped by their speed limits.


The above map, from MetricMaps, illustrates that abrupt division using local speed limit data.  That map shows the maximum local speed limit for any local roads or highways in each Census block group in the U.S. The nationwide contrasts are striking, but so are the local ones: Zoom in to an individual city like Los Angeles, and the darker arteries effectively outline highways.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows some stark contrast between urban and rural land use patterns--it also shows urban networks that are designed to compression time and space.   

 

Tags: transportation, planningspatial, scale, Time-Space Compression.

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Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, October 12, 2015 2:13 PM

Speeding in America can lead to some people having road rage because they are in a hurry. However, by looking at the map of speed limits in the United States, the area that would probably see less cases of road rage is in the Central and Plains states that have a speed limit of over 75 miles per hour. This will also help reduce people who speed because they are in a rush to get from point a to point b. In areas such as Rhode Island, where the speed limits reach up to 65 miles per hour, people tend to rush and get angry with people who are going below the speed limit and lead to the need for speed to calm themselves down. Thus, it also includes a higher risk for getting a speeding ticket which will be expensive.

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Children and Space

"In just a few generations, we have tightly restricted American kids' freedom to roam, play, and become self-sufficient. The percentage of children walking and bicycling to school has plummeted from almost 50 percent in 1969 to about 13 percent today. Although distance from school is often cited as the main barrier to walking and bicycling, many families still drive when schools are close to home. According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, driving accounts for about half of school trips between 1/4- and 1/2-mile long — which in most cases shouldn't take kids much more than 10 minutes to walk."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a controversial topic and I certainly don't have all the answers. The free range parenting is a new to to our cultural conversations about parenting, but the ideas are anything but new. Most free range advocates want their children to have the rights to roam about their neighborhoods that others today would see as parental neglect. Many argue that as automobiles have become more prominent in urban design, it has come at the expense of children's ability to be in public unsupervised (yes, children used to be encouraged to go out to play in the streets). Children don't know their own neighborhoods as well anymore and this isn't just about architecture and design. Culturally our communal notions of proper parenting and child safety have shifted in the United States, but they are also very different around the world.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How is parenting shaped by cultural norms? What are the spatial implications of changing parenting strategies? What are the factors that shape your opinion about the 'proper' range for kids to roam unsupervised?  


Tags: housing, placeneighborhood, perspective, cultural norms, culture, transportation, planningspatial.

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asli telli's curator insight, August 15, 2015 1:34 AM

Also applies to unfortunate Turkey w/her recent urban transformation wave...

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Why are we so reliant on air conditioning? (It's not just climate change, it's bad design)

Why are we so reliant on air conditioning? (It's not just climate change, it's bad design) | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Air conditioners have made architects lazy, and we've forgotten how to design houses that might work without it.


A hundred years ago, a house in Florida looked different than a house in New England. The northern house might be boxy, have relatively small windows, almost always two stories with low ceilings, and a big fireplace in the middle. 

In Florida, the house might have high ceilings, tall double-hung windows, and deep porches. Trees would be planted around the house to block the sun. 

Today, houses pretty much look the same wherever you go in North America, and one thing made this possible: central air conditioning. Now, the United States uses more energy for air conditioning than 1 billion people in Africa use for everything.


Tags: planning, architecture, housingurban, place, environment adaptenergyconsumption.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The recent demographic shift to the "Sun Belt" in the U.S.  coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors).  Our homes are less regionally distinct and in terms of the human/environmental interactions, our answer is greater modifications as opposed to regional adaptations...this article is a call for more architectural improvements instead of more energy consumption to beat the heat.  In Europe however, they see the United States as "over air-conditioned" in the summer.

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 23, 2015 1:12 PM

A GOOD STORY ABOUT AIR CONDITIONING

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:18 PM

The recent demographic shift to the "Sun Belt" in the U.S.  coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors).  Our homes are less regionally distinct and in terms of the human/environmental interactions, our answer is greater modifications as opposed to regional adaptations...this article is a call for more architectural improvements instead of more energy consumption to beat the heat.  In Europe however, they see the United States as "over air-conditioned" in the summer.

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The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.
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Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, June 13, 2015 2:16 PM

Article en anglais

Sally Egan's curator insight, June 13, 2015 8:55 PM

Some ideas from urban planning which clarify the morphology of urban places.

 

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How Suburban Are Big American Cities?

How Suburban Are Big American Cities? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What, exactly, is a city? Technically, cities are legal designations that, under state laws, have specific public powers and functions. But many of the largest American cities — especially in the South and West — don’t feel like cities, at least not in the high-rise-and-subways, 'Sesame Street' sense. Large swaths of many big cities are residential neighborhoods of single-family homes, as car-dependent as any suburb.

Cities like Austin and Fort Worth in Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina, are big and growing quickly, but largely suburban. According to Census Bureau data released Thursday, the population of the country’s biggest cities (the 34 with at least 500,000 residents) grew 0.99 percent in 2014 — versus 0.88 percent for all metropolitan areas and 0.75 percent for the U.S. overall. But city growth isn’t the same as urban growth. Three cities of the largest 10 are more suburban than urban, based on our analysis of how people describe the neighborhoods where they live."


Tagsurban, suburbs, housingsprawlplanning, density.

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Sammie Bryant's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:07 AM

This article accurately depicts the difference between a normal city 50 years ago and a city today, as well as the continuing spread of suburbanization. For example, Austin, the capital of texas, a hustling, bustling always busy area, is predominantly suburban. As cities and countries continue to advance and develop and its citizens become more successful and family oriented, suburban homes for families will become more needed than something smaller, like condos or studio apartments. As the needs of the cities change, the structure of the city changes as well. This applies to our final unit of APHUG: Cities and Urban Land Use.

MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:29 AM

Urbanization

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:43 AM

unit 7