Matt's Geography Portfolio
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Rescooped by Matthew DiLuglio from Geography Education
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Portland: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland: A Tale of Two Cities | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

"Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, and you can see folks in wheelchairs rolling themselves down the street right next to traffic. It’s the city where some longtime African-American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed."


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I don't think that Earth offers everything for everyone.  Given the situation of predetermination about birthplace and essentially upbringing, social class, and outcomes, in an infinite universe (infinite until proven otherwise), a single small planet cannot possibly offer us everything we are destined to need in the universe, let alone the towns that we are limited to.  I do not believe in choice, I believe in destiny... I do not blame people for racism or crimes, as HORRIBLE as they may be. I think that people are made into what they are by the world around them, in existential and defining ways.  Yeah, there is plenty of room for improvement and change in Oregon, but realistically, there is also more room for improvement in other areas too.  I don't really see humans as the sort of people that will ever get better without some sort of divine intervention.  I am taking the perspective of separation of paradise and purgatory that was mentioned in this article, and applying it to a different scale, but I do believe that mankind is to be condemned by the universe, due to its faults and inability to play well with others.  The world freaks out when kidnapping victims are found after a decade of abuse and captivity, but this same world breeds animals for slaughter and consumption... Earthlings clearly have been taught to not care about those that are different, whether in looks or species... I think the kidnapping situation is vile and appalling, but I also think that breeding species for slaughter (which affects more living beings) is democratically more of an issue.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 8, 2013 1:11 PM

Portland, Oregon is often discussed as a magnet for a young demographic that wants to be part of a sustainable city that supports local businesses and agriculture.  This podcast looks behind that image (which has a measure of truth to it) to see another story.  Relining, gentrification, poverty, governance and urban planning are all prominent topics in this 50 minute podcast that provides as fascinating glimpse into the poorer neighborhoods of this intriguing West Coast city.  When in cities, we often use the term sustainability to refer to the urban ecology, but here we see a strong concern for the social sustainability of their historic neighborhoods as well. 


Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic, racepovertyplace, socioeconomic.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 1:21 PM

Recently I came across a craigslist post from a gentleman who was trying to rally individuals to Portland with him for a journey on the "Michigan Trail" to Detroit. He made promise that the intention was to perform rejuvinating work in  Detroit alongside it's current residents and that there would be "no gentrification." 

Not that I found these statements or intentions to be profound or useful in anyway, but this podcast really put a nail in the coffin for me. The effects of gentrification are well known for both their positive and negative aspects. But the bottom line is this, regardless of intention the poor and diverse populations will be displaced unless it is from them that this renaissance takes place. Not Portlandia hipsters looking for some sort of "promise land."  

Portland apparentely has it's own issues with gentrification and a class of social and cultural norms that make it difficult to make the case for cities on the rise to take the same path.  

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Geography of Aspiration

Geography of Aspiration | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Try to replicate it with development schemes all you want, but you're overlooking what makes New York City—and other places of ambition—so great.

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I think that historical opportunity is what makes NYC so great... well, great as implied by the writers of this article.  Having a good history, it is only natural that it would become something so popular and draw the ambitious to it.  In contrast, a newly formed colony of humans on Mars would be potentially better- because in this hypothetical/planned colony, people would be able to benefit from the fact that they are building from the ground up, from scratch, and with the knowledge of other development schemes/trends that occurred elsewhere.  This could entirely circumvent all ill aspects of society... Sometimes to create, one must first destroy... perhaps NYC should be rebuilt to eliminate problems, before humans move on to other worlds?  I thought NY was a bit of a mess when I drove through with my cousin.  The graffiti was gorgeous, but the filth and traffic were quite triumphant, and it is not a place where my ambition would lead me.  I think true talent will be found, regardless of this subliminal advertisment brought about by the article endorsing NYC as a 'place of ambition.'  Not all of us can go to these 'meccas' of talent... but it doesn't mean we are any less extravagent as life forms.  I would ask if most people would want to make it big in places like that, or if they would rather be happier, elsewhere.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 4, 2013 11:38 PM

Part of the economic success of a city can be an overriding cultural ethos of the metropolitan area.  This elusive spirit of the city is often referred to as a sense of place, which many sound 'fluffy' to some, but can have some very tangible impacts on the urban economic development.  This article answers the question, "How does a sense of place impact urban economic development?" by using various U.S. cities such as New York City, Portland and San Francisco.  


Tags: urban, economic, place, neighborhood.

Dean Haakenson's comment, June 6, 2013 11:30 AM
Very cool.
Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:53 PM

This reminds me of the production method idea you taught us where even though you may be able to produce 2 products better than a third world country it is for the best if you have them do what they excel at while you do your thing. (You made a lebron james reference in class). the reason why im connecting this is because every city has its own thing to offer with San fran being the arts portland with the mom and pop shops and new york with the enterainment. if you can excel at what you do then your city can blossom.

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What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline

What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

Economic sustainability pertains to the notion of an economy or function of that economy being able to last not just for a short period of time, but for a long time.  In this a article, there is great smog about the air, and it shows that in the case of Hong Kong, ships are a large source of pollution.  Hong Kong is a port, and its economic purpose involves many ships docking and traveling in the area, but the emissions from the ships clearly causes a negative impact on the environment.  Yes, one or two ships, once a year might not cause such damage to the air quality, but what they have now means that the ships not only are great in numbers and frequency but also that they will keep on coming!  The Hong Kong economy revolves around using Hong Kong as a port, but if this pattern of pernicious decay has continued to the point where the damage is now obvious, and is set to continue for the foreseeable future, it will likely become uninhabitable.  It might be time for development of cleaner fuel methods, if the people of Hong Kong plan to keep using their aera as a port, but sooner or later they are going to have to find a new location.

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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:17 PM

Major cities in the world should take a deeper look into controlling pollution problems in their cities.  At some point, these places will no longer attract people to live in these areas, thus lowering the impact that these industries may have.  But as long as people are still living here by the millions and there is tourism, and buisness is booming, nothing will be done about the issue.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:08 PM

Summer reading KQ4: pollution, smog, megacity, sustainability

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:22 AM

Pollution is a huge issue facing both Hong Kong, and the rest of China in general. So far the government  has done little to actually combat the problem. The Chinese governments response has been to pretend that the problem does not really exist. A fake skyline can just erase the problem. In reality dealing with the pollution issue would actually help the Chinese economy. When people seek to go on a vacation, they are seeking a destination that is clean and safe. Who wants to visit a place were, you have to ware a mask to prevent the breathing in of armful chemicals. A cleaner less polluted china would lead to an expanded tourism industry.