HMHS History
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HMHS History
"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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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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Before-and-after maps show how freeways transformed America's cities

Before-and-after maps show how freeways transformed America's cities | HMHS History | 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.


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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 Speed Burden [Costs of Sprawl]

The Speed Burden [Costs of Sprawl] | HMHS History | Scoop.it
The need for speed devours huge chunks of American cities and leaves the edges of the expressways worthless. Busy streets, for almost all of human history, created the greatest real estate value because they delivered customers and clients to the businesses operating there. This in turn cultivated the highest tax revenues in town, both from higher property taxes and from elevated sales taxes. But you can't set up shop on the side of an expressway. How can cities afford to spend so much to create thoroughfares with no adjoining property value?

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Alexa Earl's curator insight, March 14, 2015 10:48 AM

This blog really made me realize what an impact humans are to the environment. They compare different cities and talk about the impacts and it really showed me how humans have built up cities.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 21, 2015 6:12 PM

A side by side comparison at first blush is striking but the devil is in the details. Florence, Italy is a city of only 368,000 while the Atlanta metro area is about 4.5 million. Agree that sprawl is ineffective real estate and efficiency wise, but fuel prices may be having a counter effect on the reduction of sprawl. It is much less expensive to commute given the price of oil at its current levels and the millennials will have a say in this urban sprawl contracting or expanding. Many do not own cars, relying on commuter systems within the city to get around. This in theory should drive down demand for fossil fuels, culminating in reduced prices for gasoline. If the infrastructure is already built, was is the cost to maintain it, given the static population of the large metro areas? Interesting to see how this plays out.

Kristina Lemson's curator insight, April 16, 10:38 PM
This post is interesting for us given the massive Mitchell Freeway and Wanneroo Rd  development just north of Banksia Grove. How do you think this perspective adds to the issues you could discuss in your project report? 
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How architectural innovations migrate across borders

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


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 8, 2014 7:41 AM

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


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

James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 11:47 AM

(Mexico topic 2)
I think that elaborating upon border tensions from an artistic viewpoint (or any outside viewpoint for that matter) was an excellent idea. This allows a wider scope of inter-related issues to be examined, which might otherwise not be if left to a purely 'internal' perspective.
I approve of Cruz's way of referring to the Mexican-American border issues as more of a humanitarian issue and less of a physical-border problem. Similarly, I was impressed by his view of immigration as being not just of people, but also of knowledge and culture.
Lastly, I agree with Cruz's belief that there is a lot San Diego can learn from Tijuana in terms of sustainabililty and waste mitigation. My favorite example was that of the used tires as retaining walls: a simple yet environmentally-friendly solution to bettering land use. Ideas such as this have the potential to reduce the rate of urban sprawl (and amounts of waste in the process). Many other examples from his lecture, including the stacking of houses and businesses, reinforce this point as well. In this way, immigration earns a more positive connotation and shows how "twin cities", despite their political differences, can still benefit each other.

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The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save The Earth?

The Big Squeeze: Can Cities Save The Earth? | HMHS History | Scoop.it
What if you put all 7 billion humans into one city, a city as dense as New York, with its towers and skyscrapers? How big would that 7 billion-sized city be? As big as New Jersey? Texas? Bigger? Are cities protecting wild spaces on the planet?

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:12 PM

Its been known that Americans have lavish lifestyles compared to outher populous countries. In this article they show a represntation if the entire world lived like (had as much space) americans and it was astoudning. It would take 4 earths to fit the world if everyone had this lavish lifestyle. So we obviously need to change our ways. Cities ae very helpful to sharing this earth. They serve as a main hub so youll only have to ship to a few places. This with the shortening of distances would save tons of gas and othe rescources. But as the article states everyone living in a Main city wouldnt be possible because people need to produce outside the city. So in my opinion for this city world to work it would need to be a few megacities preferably one on each continent and for them to the city be surronded by production methods.

Bryan Chung's curator insight, May 8, 2014 7:40 PM

cool

Peter Hillman's curator insight, July 22, 2014 11:42 PM

An interactive site for comparisons of city sizes

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A Photo Essay on School Sprawl

A Photo Essay on School Sprawl | HMHS History | Scoop.it

"Schools used to be the heart of a neighborhood or community. Children and not a few teachers could walk to class, or to the playground or ball field on the weekend. This was relatively easy to do, because the schools were placed within, not separated from, their neighborhoods. They were human-scaled and their architecture was not just utilitarian, but signaled their importance in the community. Now it has become hard to tell one from a Walmart or Target."

 

What better way to demonstrate the concepts of urban sprawl, automobile-dependent city planning and economies of scale than by analyzing the very geographic context of our schools themselves?  This is a very nicely arranged photo essay that most could spark conversation and would foster some discussion on how best to plan neighborhoods and spatially arrange the city.   

 

Tags: transportation, planning, sprawl, education, scale. 


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Why cities should dismantle highways

Why cities should dismantle highways | HMHS History | Scoop.it
At TEDxPhilly, Next American City editor at large Diana Lind explains why cities should rethink their highway infrastructure.

 

For generations, the prominent model of urbanism accepted in the U.S. has placed the automobile as the top priority for public places, placing massive highways right in the middle of key downtown areas.  Some cities (including Denver, DC, NYC, Providence and Dallas) are rethinking the relationship between urban spaces and the transportation networks.  


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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 | HMHS History | 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, planning, spatial, 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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Unkind Architecture: Designing Against the Homeless

Unkind Architecture: Designing Against the Homeless | HMHS History | Scoop.it

"Defensive architecture is revealing on a number of levels, because it is not the product of accident or thoughtlessness, but a thought process. It is a sort of unkindness that is considered, designed, approved, funded and made real with the explicit motive to exclude and harass. It reveals how corporate hygiene has overridden human considerations…"


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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 7:58 PM

The government should try to develop better methods to keep homeless out of the street. Planning and designating a place to the homeless group by offering better conditions, will change the problem.  As the architects have new ideas to resolve a problem with the homeless, they should also be formulating ideas to prevent homelessness such as providing feasible shelter on the street. Part of the problem is that shelters should be marketed in the communities. Local businesses, policies and general communities could be more active in helping these minority groups to get aid and better their life. Cities should provide more programs and aid for the homeless group. 

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 8:07 PM

These structures such as benches with dividers that make it impossible to lie down, spikes and protrusions on window ledges and in front of store windows, forests of pointed cement structures under bridges and freeways, emissions of high pitched sounds, and sprinklers that intermittently go off on sidewalks to prevent camping overnight are very rude and without a shadow of a doubt send a message to the homeless that they aren't welcomed, and we will do whatever it takes to make sure they cannot be comfortable; even something as simple as sitting on a windowsill.  

Logan Haller's curator insight, May 25, 2015 7:11 PM

This article deals with unit 7 because it discusses architecture and new  things in cities. In some cities they have defensive architecture to make it harder for homeless people to live. For example benches with dividers, and pointed cement structures under bridges. This tells the homeless they are unwanted and that others don't care about them.Some corporations have turned to aggressive ways to keep out homeless and the article says the government is denying it. In addition there are few resources to help the homeless and what they do have is insufficient. It also notes that free shelters are very rare. The author says that we should worry a little more about the homeless because "given just the right turn of events, it could happen to us."

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The surprising math of cities and corporations

"Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations."


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Built 4 Betterness Ed van den Berg's curator insight, December 14, 2014 3:17 PM

Not surprisingly the DNA of cities is a follow-up of human DNA and understanding this will explain and predict how the body of a city will develop!

SRA's curator insight, April 16, 2015 2:10 AM

The idea that cities are just organisms that are satisfying the laws of biology is interesting. Especially because Physicist Geoffrey West brings the idea of Scalability which by definition is, the ability of a system, network, or process to handle a growing amount of work in a capable manner or its ability to be enlarged to accommodate that growth. What’s mind blowing to me is that the system that is referred to here is human interaction.  We create these cities through our interaction and experience. With a growth rate of 1,000,000 people every year the math adds up to an agreeable 15% rise in income levels, patents, and super creative people every year which is undoubted a win for civilization and society. But with that we must keep in mind also this means a 15% increase in things like deadly disease, crime, poverty, and ecological issues leading to further degradation of our planet. This unbounded growth means the system is destined to collapse. The math behind cities doesn't lie if we don’t prepare cities have a fate to die like every other organism in Biology. So it is up to us to create and innovate to sustain this growth and avoid the collapse. But we must do so at a forever increasing pace. Which subsequently is also part of another system predetermined to collapse. What I mean is what happens when we cannot innovate fast enough to sustain this growth?


- Caleb Beckett

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 8:14 AM

While corporations rise and fall, it is quite rare for a city to entirely fail as an economic system.  Huge cities have some negative consequences, but the networks that operate in the city function more efficiently on economies of scale in a way that offsets the negatives.  Increasing a city's population will continue to improve the economies of scale (larger cities have higher wages per capita, more creative employment per capita, etc.).  However, this growth requires major technological innovations to sustain long-term growth.  

 

Tags: urban, planning, megacities, industry, economic, scale, TED, video.

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Comparing Urban Footprints

Comparing Urban Footprints | HMHS History | Scoop.it

"This is a series of infographics (or geo-infographics) created by Matthew Hartzell, a friend of mine that I met when we were both geography graduate students at Penn State in few years back..."


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 14, 2014 3:25 PM

This is an interesting way to graph out the urban footprints of various cities from around the world. This also shows how the United States has a number of the largest urban centers in the world. Along the top, New York, Chicago, LA, and Miami are massive compared to cities like Hong Kong. This shows how in the United States there are massive amounts of urban growth. Even in China where their population is one of the worlds biggest, Hong Kong a major city only has 7.1 million. In the United States, for the past century cities have been growing and this graph shows that.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:40 PM

These visuals really help to show that the size of a city doesn't necessarily correspond with it's population. Many years ago the trend was the larger the city in turn it would posses a larger population than a physically smaller city. Today this no longer holds true, in fact many smaller cities vastly out populate large sprawling cities. Most of these mega-cities in Asia and Latin America are incredibly over build and densely packed surrounded by miles of slums. 

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:16 PM

Pretty cool.

 

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Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation and City Planning

TED Talks As Vicki Arroyo says, it's time to prepare our homes and cities for our changing climate, with its increased risk of flooding, drought and uncertainty.


Our major cities are suceptible to environmental catastrophes for a whole host of reasons.  Cities depend on a smooth of goods, money and services provided by infrastructure that we take for granted and assume will always work 24/7.  Presented in the video are some ideas about how we should rethink our cities with a different ecological paradigm to protect our cities more in the future. 


Tags: planning, urban ecology, environment adapt, sustainability.


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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:44 PM

Governements around the world are slowly but surely creating new plans to ensure the safety of the people. They have already worked on evacuation plans and tranportation for getting people out but, they also need to think about where would people go and how will they adapt to their new enviornment. I'm glad that some places started working on plans to build houses, highways, and churches at a higher elevation, but other countries also need help figuring this stuff out. They need a solution to better secure homes and lives. Everyone needs to work together to prepare for climate change and natural disasters, especially those places where are most likely to hit.

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Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going

Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going | HMHS History | Scoop.it
A new study suggests vehicular travel affects children's ability to navigate their neighborhood and connect to their community.

 

We learn about the places around us by exploring.  Literally our mental map is formed by making choices (in part through trial and error) and that process strengthens our spatial perception of the neighborhood.  Research is showing that kids with a 'windshield perspective' from being driven everywhere are not able to draw as accurate maps as children for who walk and bike their neighborhood.  The built environment and the transportation infrastructure in place play a role in developing spatial thinking skills for young minds. 

 

This is a compelling article with some important implications.  What are the ramifications for geographers?  City planners? Educators?  Families moving to a new neighborhood?   


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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 10:52 AM

We may not realize it but when we take our kids out on drives to run errands or if we move to a different area we are ruining their understanding of the area they live in. Children often have a hard time of figuring out where they are if they constantly in a car looking at new places. This can cause them to lack a sense of direction and maybe have trouble remembering streets or landmarks near their homes.