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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
Curated by Elisha Upton
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Rescooped by Elisha Upton from Mrs. Watson's Class!

What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City?

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

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."

Via Seth Dixon, Nancy Watson
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.

Rescooped by Elisha Upton from Geography Education!

New York -- before the City

TED Talks 400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Eric Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta's fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife -- accurate down to the block -- when Times Square was a wetland and you...


KC: The Manhattan Project created a picture of the area before the development of a city, the way Henry Hudson did during his 1609 exploration. After 10 years (1999-2009), the research project has expanded to study the entire city of New York. The Welikia Project analyzes geography and landscape ecology to discover the original environment and compare it to present day. Scientists have learned that world's largest cities once had a natural landscape of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes, ponds and streams, forests and fields with an equally diverse wildlife community. By focusing on the city's biodiversity of 400 years ago and the modern era, information can be gathered about what has changed, what has remained constant, where the city was done well and where it needs to improve. This source is useful because it allows for the visualization of NYC in a way never seen before. Urban environments, such as NYC, have a landscape largely created by humans, so the skyscrapers, pavement, and mass population is far removed from the landscape it once was.


Find more information about the Welikia Project at and more on New York City's urban ecology at:

Via Kate C, Seth Dixon
Kim Vignale's comment, August 12, 2012 2:03 PM
I was surprised on how green NYC is because of all the cars and urban development. I think this project topic is very informative and interesting (makes me want to got to NYC) . I thought it was very interesting how NYC was in the early 1900s and how it became now. I also think it's a great idea how adding more greenery to the urban city will add sort of a rural feel to a big city.