Human Geography
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Curated by Matthew Wahl
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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 http://welikia.org and more on New York City's urban ecology at: http://www.scoop.it/t/urban-geography


Via Kate C, Seth Dixon
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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.
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How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live

How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live | Human Geography | Scoop.it
The rapid increase in the number of cities home to more than 10 million people will bring huge challenges … and opportunities... 

 

It's not just that more people now live in cities than in the rural countryside (for the first time in human history).  It's not just that major cities are growing increasingly more important to the global economy.  The rise of the megacities (cities over 10 million inhabitants) is a startling new phenomenon that really is something we've only seen in the last 50 years or so with the expectation that the number of megacities will double in the next 10 to 20 years (currently there are 23).  This reorganization of population entails wholesale restructuring of the economic, environmental, cultural and political networks.  The urban challenges that we face today are only going to become increasingly important in the future.        

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 30, 2013 7:40 AM

 It's not just that more people now live in cities than in the rural countryside (for the first time in human history).  It's not just that major cities are growing increasingly more important to the global economy.  The rise of the megacities (cities over 10 million inhabitants) is a startling new phenomenon that really is something we've only seen in the last 50 years or so with the expectation that the number of megacities will double in the next 10 to 20 years (currently there are 23).  This reorganization of population entails wholesale restructuring of the economic, environmental, cultural and political networks.  The urban challenges that we face today are only going to become increasingly important in the future.       

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:26 AM

It is a good thing that there is more megacities being created because you can see more people move in which will help the city function better economics wise. When it comes down to the population that is a different story because there is more people to worry and deal with. The increase of people could go both ways because it can be good but at the same time it can go bad because people will start arguing in which it can get physical which means city ratings going down.

Bec Seeto's curator insight, October 30, 2014 5:58 PM

Great info graphic on mega cities. 

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Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality

Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality | Human Geography | Scoop.it
Wealthy cities seem to have it all. Expansive, well-manicured parks. Fine dining. Renowned orchestras and theaters. More trees. Wait, trees?

 

I certainly wouldn't argue that trees create economic inequality, but there appears to be a strong correlation in between high income neighborhoods and large mature trees in cities throughout the world (for a scholarly reference from the Journal, Landscape and Urban Planning, see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204607002174 ). Why is there such a connection? In terms of landscape analysis, what does this say about those who have created these environments? Why do societies value trees in cities? How does the presence of trees change the sense of place of a particular neighborhood? For more Google images that show the correlation between income and trees (and to share your own), see: http://persquaremile.com/2012/05/24/income-inequality-seen-from-space/


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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 10:00 AM
this short article explains the evidence supporting tree to rich cities ratio. it goes to show that if I'm going to pay big bucks for location I would want the scenery to be beautiful hands down. they mention the per capita increase to tree ratio and how its only a dollar that influences such a high quantity of trees in city. bottom line is that it makes sense for the more trees in wealthier neighborhoods of the city because when your in the heart of the city you tend to see quantity of quality of homes and being jammed packed into small square footage doesn't leave much room for nature. but go just outside the city where the real estate is high and more spacious and you will find more trees the further and further from the center.
megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 1:04 AM
Like a previous article it explains how if viewing a neighborhood with lush grass and huge yards with landscaped grounds it is associated with big money. People pay top dollar for houses that have huge back yards and privacy of trees. You would not see yards like this is the city though so these neighborhoods on the outskirts of the citylines.
Shaun Scallan's curator insight, January 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Interesting the value, in the broadest sense, that trees can bring in an urban setting