Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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How Jane Jacobs beat Robert Moses to be the ultimate placemaker

How Jane Jacobs beat Robert Moses to be the ultimate placemaker | Geography Education |

"Jane Jacobs lacked formal training in city planning but became an urban visionary who promoted dense, mixed-use neighborhoods where people interacted on the streets. She also became the nemesis of New York master builder Robert Moses. On our inaugural episode, we’ll explore Jacobs’ legacy and how the ideas and ideals of 'St. Jane' hold up today."

Seth Dixon's insight:

How do you create a sense of place?  How can you make a neighborhood more vibrant and meaningful to the residents?  These are questions that central to city planners, community organizers, activists, home owners, renters, business owners, and a wide range of local stakeholders.  The Placemakers podcast has many episodes on these topics worth listening to, starting with the one about Jane Jacobs, a leading urbanist who was a proponent of “The Cheerful Hurly-Burly” of the “zoomed in” city life who fought against Robert Moses’ more sterile “zoomed out” spaces of transportation flows.  In another podcast titled “the quest for the perfect place,” the series explores new urbanism and the ideas that have shaped the movement.


Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planning, urbanism, podcastscale.

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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 |

"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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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.

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

An advertisement but interesting

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Geopolitics Are Influencing a New Urbanism in Tehran

Geopolitics Are Influencing a New Urbanism in Tehran | Geography Education |
The Iranian capital is replacing anti-Western billboards with works of art, and welcoming new architecture by world-class designers.
Nancy Watson's curator insight, June 19, 2015 10:16 AM

Culture, Politics, Urban Geography, all wrapped up in Iran

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How to Make an Attractive City

We've grown good at making many things in the modern world - but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While we can't objectively measure beauty, in this video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design. Alain de Botton feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities.  The six main points of this article are:

  • Order and Variety
  • Visible Life
  • Compact
  • Orientation and Mystery
  • Scale
  • Local

Tags: urban, planning, urbanism, culturearchitecture, tourism.

Seth Forman's curator insight, May 26, 2015 6:57 PM

Summary: This interesting video talks about principles that should be considered by city planners that could make our life's better and happier.


Insight: This video is relevant  to unit 7 because it shows efforts that should be taken by urban planners and how a simple city layout can effect our lives. 

Emerald Pina's curator insight, May 27, 2015 1:01 AM

This video gives you an overview of how to make the most attractive city in six ways. It explains the reasons and the wants of a city that potential residents are looking for.


This video relates to Unit 7: Cities and Urban Land Use because it talks about the orgin, site and situation a city should have for it to be considered attractive to people. A city should be chaotic/ordered, should have visible life, compact, is should have a nice/mysterious orientation, it should not be too big or too small, and it should be local and lively. Today, many cities lack attractiveness because of the intellectual confusion around beauty and the lack of political will. I totally agree with video and the requirement s to have an attrative city. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:17 AM

We definitely need more visually pleasing cities, our world is lacking and we are loosing it to like in the video "corporate opportunists".

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Why Do We Love Paris but Hate Frankfurt? Six Qualities of Beautiful Cities

Why Do We Love Paris but Hate Frankfurt? Six Qualities of Beautiful Cities | Geography Education |

"In 'How to Make an Attractive City,' a new video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not everyone is a fan of Paris, but the author of this article feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities.  The six main points of this article are:

  • Order and Variety
  • Visible Life
  • Compact
  • Orientation and Mystery
  • Scale
  • Local

Tags: urban, planning, urbanism, culture, tourism.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:07 PM

History is a major attraction to tourists in any city, and Paris seems to have all these requirements to be a good urban city. The variety in architecture that is blended in within past and present structures gives a distinct look and attraction. Planning, of course, would help satisfy public expectations and the variety of culture and color would add to the delightful qualities of the city. Amenities contribute to the diversity of the city and businesses affect the image of culture in the city. 

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What is the oldest city in the world?

What is the oldest city in the world? | Geography Education |
 Mark Twain declared that the Indian city of Varanasi was older than history, tradition and legend. He was, of course, wrong. So which exactly is the world’s most ancient continuously inhabited city?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a nice article that, on the surface, discusses which is the oldest city among competing claims.  However, it also serves as an entry point to explore the history of urbanization in the ancient world and the requirements for the earliest permanent settlements.

Tagshistorical, urban, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

Cass Allan's curator insight, March 1, 2015 2:17 AM

differences of opinion about how to classify city age


Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 15, 2015 7:58 PM

Since the beginning of civilization, rivers have been communities' main job source. Even before B.C., the only one way to survive was to construct houses close to the nearest body of water. In the case of Crocodile City near the Nile river in Africa,the city was built close to the river due to the fertile soil and water supplied by the Nile. This enabled ancient civilizations to survive. Unfortunately, due to religious conflict between communities, some of these original civilizations were forced to relocate. Another reason for relocation is due to the movement of the bodies of water. As the paths of the rivers change, communities are forced to abandon their homes and start new civilizations so to remain close to the waters. All these communities around the river Nile relied on agriculture for its wealth and power. All these cities are examples of civilizations that have inhabited areas near rivers for centuries, even before B.C. Given their habitat, rivers will provide the necessar resources and tools for current and future generations to be able to survive.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 2:55 PM

Although the question is misleading, it should say what is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, I enjoyed the article as once again I learned quite a bit about ancient history. Seems Aleppo, Syria is the apparent winner. They have dated the city to 6000 BC and nomads were there 5000 years before that. Shows the importance of trade as most of the contenders were on a trade route near a body of water. In fact, the article says that Aleppo was very much involved in trade until the opening of the Suez canal. Let's hope that with all the turmoil in Syria that Aleppo continues to thrive for centuries to come. Constantinople and Damascus were serious contenders but could not show continuous habitation. Aleppo according to the article, was a strong contender for commerce alongside Cairo, Egypt. Another contender, Jericho, dates back to 9000 BC but again was not continually inhabited and thus cannot lay claim to the world's oldest city.

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1940s Urbanism

"This is a film by the Chicago Board Of Education, produced sometime in the 1940s. This film could have been geared towards tourism or to entice companies to come to Chicago or used in the classroom.  The great thing about this film reel, is all the different views of the city they give."

Tags: Chicago, urban, place, landscape,  video, urbanism.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, February 2, 2015 7:04 PM

I love Chicago!  Such a beautiful and clean city.

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5 Key Themes Emerging From the 'New Science of Cities'

5 Key Themes Emerging From the 'New Science of Cities' | Geography Education |
In the most innovative incubators of urban research, the lessons of Jane Jacobs are more vital than ever.

In the past few years, a remarkable body of scientific research has begun to shed new light on the dynamic behavior of cities, carrying important implications for city-makers. Researchers at cutting-edge hubs of urban theory like the University College London and the Santa Fe Institute have been homing in on some key properties of urban systems—and contradicting much of today's orthodoxy. Their findings have begun to feed into recent and upcoming gatherings on the future of cities—including lead-in events for the U.N.'s big 2016 Habitat III conference on sustainable development—and arming leaders in the field with new ammunition in the global battle against sprawl.

Tags: density, urbanism, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, labor.

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Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City

Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City | Geography Education |
As the sprawling Zaatari camp evolves into an informal city — with an economy and even gentrification — aid workers say camps can be potential urban incubators that benefit host countries like Jordan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an intriguing article that explores the difficulties of forced migrations that arise from civil war, but it also looks at city planning as refugee camps are established to make homes for the displaced.  These camps have become into de-facto cities. The maps, videos and photographs embedded in the article show the rapid development of these insta-cities which organically have evolved to fit the needs of incoming refugees.  Size not investing in permanent infrastructure has some serious social, sanitation and financial cost, there are some efforts to add structure to the chaos, to formalize the informal.  Truly this is a fascinating case study of in urban geography as we are increasingly living on what Mike Davis refers to as a "Planet of Slums."  

Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, warsquatter, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities. 

Enrico De Angelis's curator insight, July 13, 2014 11:06 AM

beautiful intriguing post telling the story of something I - personally - never considered. It pictures a new city growing, with not only basic needs, ...

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:02 PM


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In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park

In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park | Geography Education |

"Many good things are happening along a sliver of land that cuts through a crowded corner of Aguascalientes, a city of 1.3 million people. Fields strewn with garbage and a haven for criminals, followed the narrow path of an underground oil pipeline that traverses one impoverished neighborhood after another. In the past three years, the city has reclaimed almost all of this passage for the 300,000 people who live near it. The result is a 7.5 mile linear park that is one of Latin America’s most extraordinary urban green spaces: La Línea Verde  The Green Line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The term "LULU" for city planners stands for local unwanted land use.  LULUs are necessary (prisons, landfills etc.) to the society at large but nobody wants to be close to the negative and undesirable aspects they bring to a community ("NIMBY"-not in my backyard).  Consequently, LULUs are usually concentrated in poorer neighborhoods with limited political capital and disproportionately bear the localized burdens of these sites.  Inspired by the urban transformations in Curitiba Brazil (see this TED talk from Jaime Lerner of Curitiba discussing sustainable urbanism), this is a great example of how an urban renewal project that was able to mitigate the negatives and even make a LULU a positive for a community. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 3, 2014 1:45 PM

This article illustrates how urban renewal can be carried out without the negative effects usually associated with gentrification. The local government did this by working directly with the residents to ensure the improvements made directly reflect the needs and desires of the people that live there. It led to an improved area that not only provided activities and facilities for the locals but helped reduce the criminals and other unsavory characters that frequented the areas before. As the mayor in the article states, the park worked so much better than the common "policy of more cops and guns".

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:20 PM

This article starts off with a story about a four year old girl named Jessica Lopez. Jessica has suffered severe asthma attacks since she was born. Her condition always worsened in the fall, due to  dust rising up from the abandoned fields that bordered her family’s one-room house. Last year, city officials turned the dusty fields next to her house into a beautiful park with trails, playgrounds and shaded pavilions. Oddly enough, Jessica's asthma did not come back that fall. Her mom insists that the creation of this parked saved her life and I couldn't agree more. Most of the pollution and dust were taken out of the environment, thus making it easier for Jessica to breathe. Jessica is just one person that got help out of this. However, the amount of people in that area is equivalent to about 1.3 million. It has to have helped millions of other people as well. The park's lawn are kept nice and green and watered. Solar powered lamps are used to light the park up at night and the park is a great afternoon spot for children and their families.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:44 PM

Personally, I love stories like this.  These people took something that wasn't doing anyone any good, and was just sitting there, and turned it into something that brought the community together.  This park brought life to a poor area, even though they really didn't have the means or the money to do so.  However, this park can have so many benefits, and it can become an outlet.  It can lower crime rates, promote health, bring in people from other cities, etc.

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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: "

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.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, January 25, 2014 10:06 AM

A great introduction to city planning



Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 27, 2014 4:11 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, 2014 3:00 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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What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City?

What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City? | Geography Education |

Two Yale architects pose the question in an ambitious research project.

"Hsiang and Mendis have increasingly come to believe that the only way to study and plan for our urban planet is to conceptualize its entire population in one seamless landscape – to picture 7 billion of us as if we all lived in a single, massive city."

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 17, 2013 1:54 PM

I was very exited by the work being done by Bimal Mendis and Joyce Hsiang.  I hear to much on the news and in conversation about over population, energy shortages and brutal living conditions.  Creating a digital interactive medium is the most efficient way to educate the internet consuming public about issues and developments all over the world.  It reminds me of the blue marble picture taken from Apollo 17, the first full color image of our planet.  This image is considered to be the defining moment that awoke the conservation movement and understanding that the earth is our home and should be treated as such.  I cant help hoping a program like “the city of seven billion” will help people to relies we are all one species and from that develop a move beneficial way of coexisting.

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The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet

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


Tags: urbanplace, transportationplanning, urbanism, architecture.

joellemillery's curator insight, August 28, 2016 5:28 AM
In Munich, bike paths feel overcrowded, for example, there is a need for a new #urbanism #transportation # plan ;-)
malek's comment, September 6, 2016 10:09 AM
@pdeppisch Montreal made it 20 !!
pdeppisch's comment, September 6, 2016 7:23 PM
I have friends, she is Quebecois, and they are in fact doing a bicycle tour of Montréal and surroundings. Toronto, of course, did not. I lived in Montreal from '53 to '86. :)
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Walk Appeal and Public Health

Walk Appeal and Public Health | Geography Education |
"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.

Jessica Ruddy's curator insight, March 21, 2016 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, 2016 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, 2016 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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How Chicago became the country's alley capital

How Chicago became the country's alley capital | Geography Education |
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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Austin, then and now

Austin, then and now | Geography Education |

"Drag or swipe the slider to see how Austin's downtown skyline has changed over time."

Tags: urban, planning, urbanism.

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:29 PM

This can show how quickly areas can develop if giving the right economic opportunities and a strong government.  

Quentin Sylvester's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:21 AM

A wave of New Urbanism has spread through Austin, with downtown growth, especially in high-rises on the rapid increase over the past decade as demand for high-price residences downtown rises with the influx of young and educated people into the city.

MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:35 AM

Services & Urbanization-CBD

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The 9 Worst-Designed Cities in the World

The 9 Worst-Designed Cities in the World | Geography Education |

"To get to the bottom of what qualifies as 'badly designed,' we picked the brains of several urban planners to highlight the flaws of some of the world's biggest cities. In the end, that birthed a list of nine cities that, for various reasons, are gigantic messes in some way or another."

On the list: Jakarta, Dubai, Atlanta, Naypyidaw, São Paulo, Boston, Brasilia, Missoula and Dhaka. 

Tags: urban, planning, urbanism.

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 5:46 AM

Reading about these different cities makes me cringe. Either the rich is priority, politicians are priority, or traffic is insane to the point going to the grocery store for milk will cost you two hours in traffic.

Ryan Tibari's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:12 AM

Reflection of development. Sometimes commercialization in less developed or developing countries causes issues due to lack of finances when trying to industrialize the region. This poses problems such as the ones described in the article. 

christian's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:01 PM

Unit 6: urban land use 

This article is mainly about how bad some of the worlds urban areas are. The article shows and explains why they are bad and also why they were even designed in the way that they were. One example is Brasilia, which, was designed to have a population of 500,000, instead it has a population of about 3 million.

This article ties into unit 6 by showing some of the worst urban areas throughout the world. And also why they were even designed to be a CBD.

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Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia

Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia | Geography Education |
The purpose-built city of Naypyidaw – unveiled a decade ago this year – boasts 20-lane highways, golf courses, fast Wi-Fi and reliable electricity. The only thing it doesn’t seem to have is people, report Matt Kennard and Claire Provost

Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, urban, urbanism.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Visitors to Naypyidaw are routinely shocked to see how empty this city is and often refer to it as a ghost town.  The capital of Burma moved to Naypyidaw in 2005, away from the busy streets of Rangoon.  However, building the city, does not automatically bring the people, jobs, and economic networks that make a bustling city bustle. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 27, 2015 8:53 AM

If you build it, they may not come. Burma's government t must be both shocked and dismayed at the development of their grand new capital. They probably should not be that surprised at this development. All cites take time to grow. Outside of china, mega cities are not developed over the course of a night. Up until the Civil War, Washington D.C. was a swampy outpost in the middle of no were.  Eventually their capital will develop, it may just take longer than the government of Burma had hoped for.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:02 PM

this just goes to prove that there needs to be an economic reason for people to move. if you build it, they will not come. they will stay where the money is, and ignore the 'honor' of living in the new capital city.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:46 PM

I strange but not historically unprecedented situation. This kind of reminds me of all the cities China built in compensation for population growth. Historically the only way cities like this succeed is either by enticing immigration with tax cuts, free house etc or it has been forcefully with entire populations being moved (the latter being what the ancients largely did creating cities like Alexandria). Another example of capital moving is Iran however how they got a population in theirs I am not aware.Burma committed to neither and as a result the city is a failure. The cities layout also seems a bit extreme given it was made to suppress rather than entice. What is really bad however is the loss of agricultural land and ancestral villages in the area being destroyed all clearly for nothing. At the very least the country may be slowly moving away from dictatorship but only time will tell. Hopefully this failure will force further concessions making it a more tolerable place to live. Only then true solutions will likely be found to their poverty since the dictatorship has been seemingly incompetent in its actions.

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With Porches And Parks, A Texas Community Aims For Urban Utopia

With Porches And Parks, A Texas Community Aims For Urban Utopia | Geography Education |
Austin's Mueller neighborhood is a new-urbanist dream, designed to be convivial, walkable and energy-efficient. Every house has a porch or stoop, and all the cars are hidden away.

After moving here, respondents said, they spend an average of 90 fewer minutes a week in the car, and most reported higher levels of physical activity.  The poll results seem to validate new-urbanist gospel: good design, like sidewalks, street lighting, extensive trails and parkland, can improve social and physical health.  Part II: A Texas Community Takes on Racial Tensions Once Hidden Under The Surface.

Tagshousing, urban, planning, urbanism, unit 7 cities, neighborhoodpodcast.

zane alan berger's curator insight, March 24, 2015 4:37 PM

This article focuses on an Austin community with a Utopian atmosphere. Beginning the construction in 2007, Mueller neighborhoods are very uniform; two story, two car garage in the back, and a porch in the front. This article refers to Urbanization

Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, May 26, 2015 7:54 PM

Unit 7 Urban

      The article describes the master planned community of Mueller. Mueller is filled with parks and green spaces. In addition, every house has a porch and a garage in the back of the house to encourage communication between people and neighbors. Also everything is located close together so it is very easy to walk to the store instead of driving. Many houses employ solar panels for their energy and use fuel efficient hybrid cars.

       Located centrally near downtown Austin this community was based on the concepts of new urbanism and uses effective and efficient methods to create a healthy and fresh neighborhood for both the people and the environment.  New Urbanism is a concept which counters urban sprawl with urban revitalizations, sustainable development, and suburban reforms. The communities following the principles of New Urbanism are often designed compactly to promote a sense of community and place. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 6:24 AM

The Mueller community was developed from an old airport. I had the chance to visit this community on an APHUG field trip because it was so close. We were able to see the reasons why the community was developed and learned about innovated communities.

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Spatial Design

"How much does size really matter? Judging by this tiny home in France, not a whole lot -- as long as the space is functional.

On the seventh floor of an apartment building in Paris, there's an 86-square-foot apartment complete with a bed, kitchen, bathroom, table and chairs, closet, bathroom and storage space." --HPost

Seth Dixon's insight:

Space in a home matters, but the functionality of that space is critical.  Geography is about spatial thinking, and this video promotes a different type of spatial thinking, but one that still will help geographic thought.  As our metropolitan areas get more and more crowded, planning of this type might become increasingly common.  What advantages to you see in interior design that seek s to maximize space?  What are some drawbacks to a design such as this?

Tags: spatialdensity, urbanism, housing.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:16 PM

With an ever-growing urban population spatial design is important in maintaining functionality, efficiency and orderliness. The apartment building in Paris is especially interesting. It is practical and functions well enough to where a person can live comfortably in a markedly small but efficient space.   

Ryann Pinnegar's curator insight, July 6, 2015 3:02 AM

This tiny home is amazing! It is like the setting for a futuristic story.

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Squatters on the Skyline

"Facing a mounting housing shortage, squatters have transformed an abandoned skyscraper in downtown Caracas into a makeshift home for more than 2,500 people."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is one of my favorites in my placed-based geography videos collection.  This skyscraper was once a symbol of wealth, and in an incredible paradigm shift, it has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. This NY Times article from 2011 still shows some great concepts on why informal housing develops and this PRI podcast gives us a 2014 update--that the Venezuelan government plans to clear the Tower of its residents.  

Tags: Venezuela, South America, squatter, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 5, 2015 2:13 PM

The squatters have made their own community complete with services and mini marts.  This tells me there is not enough affordable housing if the people of Caracas are willing to live in dangerous conditions.  Caracas government needs to build affordable housing or create better paying jobs so the citizens can spend the money in the community.  Its a cycle that needs everyone's participation to work to build a sustaining economy.  

Gene Gagne's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:42 PM

I found this article interesting

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 22, 2015 10:57 AM

we have talked about this in class. These people have learned to adapt and find ways to use electricity, running water. We have seen videos of other cities in countries with electrical cables and sewage water out in the open and people find ways to tap into it. The building reminds me of the abandon mills in R.I. where homeless people frequent to beat the harsh elements and sleep at night. They build small fires and use different areas for bathroom visits. The difference is our brick unoccupied mills find a way to catch fire and the city levels them to the ground. This is definitely unsafe but goes to show when you have no place to live its amazing how people find ways to survive and kind of build their own community. What I found disturbing is the people outside the neighborhood angry because the squatters took over the building. All of a sudden they complained about the safety of the squatters when in all reality they are safer because they are acting as a self community and know they need each other to survive. If the government or city officials or citizens of the neighborhood are that concerned then they can find a way to fix up the building.

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The Rise of Innovative Districts

"Today, innovation is taking place where people can come together, not in isolated spaces. Innovation districts are this century's productive geography, they are both competitive places and 'cool spaces' and they will transform your city and metropolis."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As described by the Brookings Institution in their exploration regarding innovation districts, they are geographic areas where leading-edge companies, research institutions, start-ups, and business incubators are located in dense proximity. These districts are created to facilitate new connections and ideas, speed up the commercialization of those ideas, and support urban economies by growing jobs in ways that leverage their distinct economic position.

Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, labor.

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What Everybody From The North Needs To Understand About The Traffic Disaster In Atlanta

What Everybody From The North Needs To Understand About The Traffic Disaster In Atlanta | Geography Education |

"Republicans want to blame government (a Democrat thing) or Atlanta (definitely a Democrat thing). Democrats want to blame the region’s dependence on cars (a Republican thing), the state government (Republicans), and many of the transplants from more liberal, urban places feel the same way you might about white, rural, southern drivers. All of this is true to some extent but none of it is helpful."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we people aren't trying to frame this in an easy narrative.  Also look at the Washington Post's compliation of 16 pictures that highlight the missteps in handling this unusual problem.   

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 3, 2014 12:13 PM

   AH, only government could make such a mess out of snow. It seems impossible to get anyone to agree to anything. Solutions need to be found in ways to work together. I think snow is the least of the issues here. It just doesn’t happen often enough to be of great concern. But city, state and local governments need to learn to work together for the best interests of their constituents. 


Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 30, 2015 2:46 PM

Atlanta's struggles with 2 inches of snow was a hilarious sight. I mean its funny for us Northerners but not for them. We are used to driving our big large trucks over 6 inches of snow but for them its like a global error, they see it as the end of the world. A friend of mine from Goergia who moved up here in the north says its hard for him to get through the snow now, because he is adjusting to the climate by wearing coats and etc. So i guess its like the same thing for Northerners when a Tornado occurs  around our area we freak and panic.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 9:09 PM

to me, as a native born northerner, right here in RI, it is funny to hear that a state gets freaked out by a little bit of snow, when to me, two inches of snow is not even an amount to cross my mind when it snows. I used to know a guy that attended school here at RIC, I met him in my French class my first year here. He grew up in San Diegeo his entire life and only moved here when he married his wife. He told me the very first time it snowed here he was on a highway, got nervous because he never had to drive in snow before and said he when he came across the closest bridge, he parked under it. I even have a friend now that said when he was in basic training for the USAF in Texas, it had snowed one night and his Drill Instructors cancelled drill for the day because the base was not equipped with proper snow removal machines or shovels. 


as for the government wise, there was a paragraph explaining how should people be trained? because if they are trained now and it does not snow again until 2020, those people probably moved on with other jobs and have new ones, so what about the new untrained people? I think, that even though it is not likely to happen, the new people should have a brief training on snow removal. 

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Ultra-Dense Housing

Ultra-Dense Housing | Geography Education |
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Seven million people living in 423 square miles (1,096 sq km).
Seth Dixon's insight:

These apartments are so small that they can only be photographed from the ceiling.  Massive urbanization with limited space means that real estate is at a premium and many laborers will not be able to afford large living spaces.  Hong Kong is an extreme example of this and it brings new meaning to the term "high-density housing." 

Tagshousing, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 2014 5:57 PM

Wow, I cannot imagine living in these conditions. It looks smaller than a prison cell; only people pay to live there. These extreme living conditions are a result of over population in an area. It seems the city of Hong Kong is running out of places to build and house the abundance of people living there. It appears the average person in Hong Kong lives in these conditions due to the high price tags on larger apartments. This is a sad reality.   

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:06 AM

Living in such close quarters must be incredibly hard to do for those people who are new to Hong Kong and know something different. For Chinese residents, this is normal. Living in such small areas is a part of the Chinese daily life and culture. China is so population dense that this is the result of living there, tiny living spaces.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:47 PM

(in-class 4: Hong Kong)

What I take away from this is the theme of supply and demand. Though these condiions seem stereotypically negative, it seems like those who live in the photographed homes are relatvely well off (food, TV, clothing, etc.). This supports the view that living in these tight conditions is less of a choice and more of something that has to be put up with. Now that Hong Kong has been developed 'across', it'd be a good guess to say that recently investments have been made to build 'up' with highrises and skyscrapers (unless like Dubai they sat to mak either own islands, whic geographically would be less likely here). The questionof sustainability is also an issue, i.e. at what point will it be impossible to cram in any more inhabitants? I wonder if a future migration / spreading-out into other areas has started to occur yet or will soon, like the suburbanization which occured in the U.S. after the advent of the automobile. If so, would it be mainland China, despite the political tensions?