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Geography Links for EFL geography students
useful links for geography undergraduates studying ESL
Curated by Tamsin Briggs
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America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development - Images

America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development - Images | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
The regeneration of Cermak Road includes new sidewalks with permanent wind/solar powered pedestrian lights (Image: CDOT)
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A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT). Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent.

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"Why a Four Degree Celsius Warmer World Must Be Avoided" Infographic

"Why a Four Degree Celsius Warmer World Must Be Avoided" Infographic | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
The World Bank (not known for its bleeding-heart environmental activism) has issued a new report on global warming entitled "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree C Warmer World Must Be Avoided." Why ...
Tamsin Briggs's insight:

"The World Bank (not known for its bleeding-heart environmental activism) has issued a new report on global warming entitled “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree C Warmer World Must Be Avoided.”

Why should we avoid it? Because it would be verging on apocalyptic. Coral reefs dead, rainforests dead, sections of the tropics becoming uninhabitable due to heat, spreading deserts, ice sheets collapsing, rising sea levels inundating cities and entire countries… The infographic below tries to be optimistic, but it is best to know the truth: we are currently a ship of fools sailing for planetary-scale disaster."

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Sustainable Energy Roadmaps | Worldwatch Institute

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps | Worldwatch Institute | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Transitioning from a carbon-intensive economy to a low-carbon future presents challenges and opportunities for developing countries. The Sustainable Energy Roadmaps help countries successfully navigate the change to an infrastructure capable of meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century.


The approach examines a country’s potential for renewable energy production such as wind, solar, small hydropower and biomass. Existing energy infrastructure is analyzed to identify the potential for, and hurdles to, increased efficiency and energy storage. At the same time, current socio-economic and policy environments are factored into the analysis to identify barriers to low-carbon development and determine international best practices to suggest how they can be overcome. Equally important, funding options that might be available from private, public, and multilateral institutions to help bring renewable energy projects into being are assessed.

The project strengthens government and civil society capacity, enhances stakeholder engagement, and advances policies that combat climate change...


Learn more about the program and sustainable energy roadmaps at the article link.


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Michelle Coe's curator insight, October 10, 2013 1:27 PM

Some US states need to follow this roadmap!

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An iPad Guide To Building The Perfect Sustainable City

An iPad Guide To Building The Perfect Sustainable City | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

In 2010, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design published Ecological Urbanism, a book of interdisciplinary essays on sustainable city-building. But the project had one inescapable shortcoming: When you’re dealing with a field that’s evolving so rapidly, a finite, physical book is liable to be outdated by the time it leaves the printer.

So upon completing the collection, the school commissioned Portland-based interactive studio Second Story to transform the book into an iPad app, a resource that would draw from the original text but could also be updated with new projects and papers as needed. Now available for free, the app shows how dynamic areas of study can benefit greatly from equally dynamic texts.

Features like interactive graphs are innovative ways to access data, as well as useful tools for understanding it. "While working on the app, we found that the data visualizations revealed patterns that told another meta-story that already existed in the book," he says. "Essentially, the patterns illustrated trends in sustainable design, which is attractive for both scholars and the general reader to see."

 

Visit the link to learn more about how this new format has given research and urban issues a stronger, more engaging and current platform with which users to engage...


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Oil Consumption and GDP [infographic]

Oil Consumption and GDP [infographic] | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
This Infographic displays oil consumptions and gross domestic product, by year and country.

It summarizes and offers a comparison of annual oil consumption and gross domestic product per capita (in dollars) for USA, China, France, Gernany, India, Japan and Russia...


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Electric Car's comment, February 26, 2013 4:17 AM
No problem :)
Clara Dunphy's curator insight, January 30, 2014 2:44 PM

China is still main consumer of oil

Mr Jones's curator insight, January 31, 2014 4:55 AM

Excellent spot by Clara. Oil provides a great link for us between the Econ1 and Econ2 parts of the course

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A Grand Idea To Revitalize A City, Using Living Art

A Grand Idea To Revitalize A City, Using Living Art | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

David Lagé believes that East Buffalo needs a bit of TLC. The Brooklyn-based architect established Terrainsvagues as a type of think-tank for discussions around the plight of vacant plots that have popped up in cities grappling with their less-than-bustling, post-industrial realities.
For Art Farms, its first initiative, Lagé teamed up with co-curator Andrea Salvini to revitalize the upstate Rust Belt region from the earth up.

Lagé and Salvini believe that the element of engagement will deepen a connection between residents and new local cooperatives establishing community gardens at vacant lots. They enlisted five local artists to create free-standing sculptures for three established locales: Wilson Street Urban Farm, Cold Spring Farm, and Michigan Street Farm with a single stipulation: Their site-specific works must somehow, someway support agricultural activity...


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Emilie Wacogne's curator insight, February 27, 2013 8:15 AM

La revitalisation de la "Rust Belt" américaine par l'Art...

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 1, 2013 7:53 AM

Improving the liveability of places can involve engaging the community - street art and unique installations can be effective in achieving this.



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Infographic: Charting the History of Agriculture & Climate Change

Infographic: Charting the History of Agriculture & Climate Change | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

A new infographic that maps the progress of the agricultural sector in addressing climate change throughout the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations has been launched on the sidelines of this year’s climate summit in Doha.


“Agriculture is already being hard hit by climate change and the outlook is even worse. However there are options for adaptation, and some of these even bring mitigation co-benefits,” said Bruce Campbell, Director of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program.
Agriculture supports over 1 million of the world’s rural poor, yet is responsible for 80% of overall deforestation and 31% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing agricultural yields and improving farming techniques are some the ways that could help reduce its overall contribution to climate change.
In addition to tracking the developments and effects climate change has had on global farming communities, the infographic also calls for the creation of a Work Program on Agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Advice (SBSTA) – a scientific advisory group to the UNFCCC. A new work program could document and share knowledge of improved practices to inform decision-making on agriculture and climate change to the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties.


The infographic was created by Farming First, a coalition of farmers associations, engineers and scientists, in partnership with the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).


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A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen

A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
How the world's wealthiest cities can beat back climate change.

 

From the Atlantic Cities:

 

Alex Steffen calls himself a planetary futurist. That means he has confronted some grim realities in the nearly 10 years since he founded Worldchanging.com, an online publication that pioneered coverage of climate change and related issues in the early years of the 21st century.  
He’s kept busy writing and speaking about creative, sustainable solutions that could help us find a way to survive and even thrive in the face of a planetary challenge that political leaders in the United States have been reluctant to face.
His most recent book, which comes out November 26, is called Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet. In it, he lays out his case that "remaking the world’s wealthiest cities over the next 20 years may prove the best—perhaps the only—chance we have of avoiding planetary catastrophe."

I talked with Steffen the other day via Skype about post-Sandy climate politics, how to "ruggedize" a city, and whether we’re all doomed. This is an edited version of our conversation.


Visit the link for the article & interview...


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Guide to Greener Electronics [Greenpeace]

Guide to Greener Electronics [Greenpeace] | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
Consumers have expressed their desire for greener electronics, and the industry has shown that improvements are possible, but only if leading electronics companies apply the sector’s know-how and innovative spirit within the sustainability arena.


This 18th edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products, and Sustainable Operations. The Guide scores companies on overall policies and practices – not on specific products – to provide consumers with a snapshot of the sustainability of the biggest names in the industry.

 

Learn more about green electronics and the latest rankings at the link...


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Global cities of the future

Global cities of the future | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
Explore the cities and emerging urban clusters that will drive dramatic growth and demographic changes over the next generation. A McKinsey Quarterly Economic Studies article.

 

In the next 13 years, 600 cities will account for nearly 65 percent of global GDP growth. That is reason enough to explore this global dataset with over 2,600 metropolitan areas. 


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World Supplies of Non-Renewable Resources, Visualized [Environmental Infographic]

World Supplies of Non-Renewable Resources, Visualized [Environmental Infographic] | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Politicians and oil companies might waste time debating whether or not we’ve reached peak oil. What they ignore is that we run out completely in under 40 years’ time, by which time a third of the planet’s biodiversity will be lost.

In the meantime, tantalum, that great mainstay of mobile telecoms, will last only a few years more and run out just in time to celebrate the planet breaking the 2oC barrier in 2060.
There’s so much more words could say, but this, a very relevant and informative environmensl visualization, says is so much better...


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How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art

How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

A thriving inner-city cultural environment contributes to a healthy economic and social environment, which in turn produces significant benefits to the things we value in our natural environment: this is because the most effective antidote to the kind of sprawling outward development that has consumed our landscape, polluted our waterways and escalated harmful emissions across the US over the past half-century is a strengthening of our existing communities.


We particularly need our inner cities to be the kinds of places that will be loved and will endure – that will literally be sustained - over time. The human ecosystem is complex and, while making it healthy also requires a lot of things besides art, a holistic approach to placemaking that includes a key role for culture – especially homegrown culture – is essential.

That is exactly what Philly Painting is doing. To date, it is the most ambitious of many great projects sponsored by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, the nation's largest initiative of its kind. Since 1984, the program has created over 3,000 murals and works of public art in the city, engaging over 100 communities each year in the process, according to its website. Mural Arts also sponsors free art education programs for youth, especially at-risk teens and, impressively,provides jobs to adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, “using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.” If you are as interested in this sort of thing as I am, you’ll enjoy the program’s website, especially its sections on the program’s history and emphasis on community engagement.


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Top 7 Websites for creating Future Cities

Top 7 Websites for creating Future Cities | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Over 50% of the world's population now lives in cities, so the conditions are ripe for improving, adjusting and rethinking the urban landscape and city life. The web flourishes with digital platforms for community discussion, since now it’s city dwellers - rather than governing executives - that actively take part in city-related decision-making...
Check out the following seven websites that harness the power, wisdom and knowledge of the crowds to cultivate smarter future cities.


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What’s Happening to Biodiversity? | Visual.ly

What’s Happening to Biodiversity? | Visual.ly | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
Biodiversity—the variety of plants, animals and ecosystems in the world—is a measure of our planet’s health. Overexploitation of species, habit
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Infographic

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The Economic Benefits of Great Public Places | Sustainable Cities Collective

The Economic Benefits of Great Public Places | Sustainable Cities Collective | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
By Marisa NovaraThroughout January, MPC’s blog, The Connector, is running a series on the tangible benefits of Placemaking.
Tamsin Briggs's insight:

"Sometimes it’s hard to define what makes a great place, but you know it when you experience it. Great places lure people in with activities, people watching, shopping or just the experience of being around others and feeling a sense of connection". 

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Feed Your City: How Architecture and Farming Work Together

Feed Your City: How Architecture and Farming Work Together | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

It’s easy to argue that architecture plays a part in the world of food; most restaurants are uniquely designed to better the dining experience after all. However, the architect’s ties to the industry go much deeper, and designers are beginning to revolutionize the way we see & manage food production.

 

As these cities grow, it is important that we continue to find new and innovative ways to provide for the populace. Vertical farming and urban agriculture offer relief in metropolitan environments, helping to reduce the pressure of public food supply while also changing our traditional approach to food production.

 

See 11 great examples at the article link...


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Esri Story Map Treasure Hunt

Esri Story Map Treasure Hunt | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Although these were designed specifically for GIS day during Geography Awareness Week, these 2 excellent map-based treasure hunts from ESRI are great any time of year.  The answer to the question will only pop up in you are zoomed in the the right region (SHIFT + Make a box = Zoom to area).  These links will take you to the World Cities quiz and also to the Mountains quiz.


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David Lizotte's curator insight, January 22, 6:40 PM

So this is how you scoop? Neat.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 22, 6:46 PM

Very Nice.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 10, 6:58 PM

These quizzes/maps are entertaining and fun, with the benefit of a geography education all wrapped up in a neat easy to use interactive tool. I learn information from this site because it is so fun and easy to navigate. I encourage everyone to take a peek, test your knowledge against these quizzes and see how you fare. You can't lose; if you don't know the answer, you will find it in the quiz.

 

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Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group

Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China.

The landscape architecture and urban planning firm hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.

As part of SWA’s masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces. Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting. A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city’s electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.

“Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces,” said Sean O’Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group...

 

See more renderings and learn more about the Garden City of Tomorrow at the complete article.


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Generate Simple World Maps

Generate Simple World Maps | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Free travel tip and photos from all over the world...


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 30, 2012 10:04 PM

This map is not a professionally produced map and that is the beauty of this website.  Virtually anyone can make a 1-feature world map by simply clicking on a checklist all the countries you want highlighted on your map.  Second, opened the file and added some text and a few lines to label it.  This took 20 minutes to make with no need for any cartographic or GIS experience  (this PNG didn't compress well, the full image of this map can be seen here).

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Climate Change Video Guide

Climate Change Video Guide | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it
An in-depth, multimedia look at climate change, its global impact, and efforts to combat it.

 

This guide on climate change from the Council on Foreign Relations (independent think tank) covers many of the geopolitical, economic and environmental issues that confront the Earth as global temperatures rise.  Rather than produce a full length feature film, they have organized the this as an interactive video, allowing the user to get short (a couple of minutes) answer to specific questions about the science, foreign policy or economic ramifications of adapting to climate change. 

 

Tags: climate change, environmental adaption, economic, industry.


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Seth Dixon's comment, November 27, 2012 8:21 AM
Thanks for sharing this Giovanni!!
Giovanni Della Peruta's comment, November 27, 2012 8:38 AM
Thanks to you, Seth! :-)
Jose Sepulveda's comment, January 13, 2013 8:58 AM
Very good information, Thanks!
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Waste-to-Energy: Green Power Generation

Waste-to-Energy: Green Power Generation | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

Waste-to-energy (WTE) is the process of creating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of a waste source. But how does the process generate green power?

A form of energy recovery, such processes produce electricity directly through combustion or produce a combustible fuel commodity.

 

View the full-size infographic for more details...


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What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability

What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.


In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life.

 

Speck outlines a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: 'it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient...'


Learn more about urban livability, how to create the conditions that enable pedestrian-oriented development, and the benefits of this approach to urban spaces to the economic, environmental, and cultural health of a city at the article link...


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The Rise of Megacities

The Rise of Megacities | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

"By 2025, the developing world will be home to 29 megacities."

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 16, 2013 12:28 PM

Through this interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents).  These 'cities on steroids' have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents. 


Download the data yourself as a CSV file and your can import this into ArcGIS online and symbolize your map with any of the columns in the dataset.  


Tags: urban, megacities.


Peter Steffan's curator insight, October 9, 2013 5:00 PM

Very cool!

Tori Denney's curator insight, May 27, 3:36 PM

World cities and megacities - Presently , the mega cities of the world have to have a population of at least 10,000. Many cities are very near the minimum to be considered a mega city, but are not quite there. By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, is estimated to be home to 29 megacities.

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Huangshan Mountain Village: sustainability grows in the Chinese landscape

Huangshan Mountain Village: sustainability grows in the Chinese landscape | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

MAD has unveiled plans for a towering village of apartment blocks beside the Huangshan Mountains in eastern China. 


Inspired by the topographical layers of the landscape, the buildings will have organically shaped floor plates and will emerge from amongst the treetops on a site beside the Taiping Lake.

 

The high-density village features low-rise residences that echo the contours of the surrounding topography and offer unequalled access to one of China’s  landscapes.

The site of verdant scenery and limestone cliffs have long inspired artists and offered sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection, contributing to its UNESCO Heritage status. Composed in deference to the local topography, the village provides housing, a hotel and communal amenities organized in a linked configuration. As its form evokes the geology of the region, the village blurs the boundaries between the geometries of architecture and nature.

For residents, the apartments will be a quiet retreat –  all have spacious balconies which overlook the lake. Communal amenities and walking paths encourage residents to explore the landscape. Each floor is unique and accessed from shared social spaces, creating a seamless balance between private and public spaces. The same serene design sensibility of natural environment extends to the interiors, with the use of local materials and the incorporation of plants and greenery enhancing comfort and well-being, while simultaneously setting up a closer connection with local culture...


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François Lanthier's comment, November 19, 2012 4:48 PM
Love it! Where do you find all thins great information?
association concert urbain's comment, November 19, 2012 4:55 PM
From www.dezeen.com
association concert urbain's comment, November 19, 2012 4:55 PM
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Cities Without Borders | Sustainable Cities Collective

Cities Without Borders | Sustainable Cities Collective | Geography Links for EFL geography students | Scoop.it

With more people now living in urban environments for the first time in history, we have a tremendous opportunity to harness the productive capacity of a city. Money saved from no longer maintaining physical boundaries could be better spent on developing the urban fabric of future cities. High density, multi-functional spaces, and interconnectivity are paramount. Investing in renewable energies and innovative food sources would further the autonomy of the city.

 

by: Rashiq Fataar


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