Meagan's Geoography 400
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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, July 25, 2013 7:47 PM

Slums also known as favelas, squatter settlements

John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:11 PM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:24 AM

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

For 17 years she was known as nothing more than the Afgan girl today we now her name, Sharbat Gula. Sharbat is part of one of the most Afghan warlike tribes known as Pashtun. It is said that the Pashtun are only at peace when they are at war. She was just a child when the fighting began, and six when her parents were killed by a bombing. Her brother said they left Afghanistan because of the fighting and with their grandmother they walked for a week to Pakistan. Today she is married and takes care of her three daughters her brother says she has never known a happy day in her life. The girl known for 17 years as the Afghan girl has lied a lived of hard ship and tragedy.     

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:58 PM

You can see in this woman's face that the years have been hard for her living as refugee. Although this seems like National Geographic giving themselves a pat on the back it is important to remember that this women became a national symbol for refugees and yet her life did not improve and furthermore she had no idea that her picture was so well known.

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:36 PM

I never would have imagined the "Afghan girl" being alive. It's amazing how National Geographic was able to catch up and speak with her and photograph her. This demonstrates the pure professionalism and global outreach national geographic has. 

One of the things I am most thankful about is that I do not live in a war torn society. Being separated from my family, forced to flee and become a refugee is a horrid way of life that I know I would struggle to endure. Some Afghanistan people have been doing this for over twenty years. 

One time I was having a discussion with my friend. We talking about America and the westernized part of the world. He and I agreed how lucky we were to be born in America. We were born white males in the United States of America. We could have been born a woman living in Iran or Iraq, or even as a little rural Afghan boy whom would eventually be taken and abused by theTaliban. We kept going on with different scenarios and different countries. 

Want I want for people to realize is how advanced the United States of America is. Yes, we have our problems... but non comparable to other nations. Look at nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. These are first world nations which have war torn regions occupied by terrorists of all sorts. They also have little to no functioning government, although Afghanistan is improving. Even second world nations, although developing at a steady pace are plagued with an exponential amount of violent crimes and corruption. South Africa would be a prime example. 

Its amazing to read about the "Afghan girl"(s) or better yet Sharbat Gula. After all she has gone through she still has hope for her younger children. After enduring such a life of foul experiences she is still able to place all her faith into Allah and hope for the best for her children. It is also neat to see her place such a high level of importance on education. Education is the foundation for all development. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:58 AM

These two images are rather striking. They depict seventeen years in the life a young female Afghani refuge. They depict seventeen years of hell. The woman in this photograph has lived a hard life. Seventeen years probably feels like fifty years to her. On her face, you see the effects of living a life as a refugee. A life of not having a true home or place that you can count on. A life of living in deplorable refugee camps. It is the shame of the world, that people are forced to live like this. Unfortunately this women's story is an all to common occurrence in Afghanistan. Thousands have suffered similar fates in refugee camps. We must never forget the suffering of these people.

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:21 PM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:48 AM

There is a lot of poverty and pollution in Dhaka. The demands for energy and water are high in Dhaka as well. I personally don't see how these people and migrants can live in such a polluted and dirty place and the reason why I can't imagine living in such a place is because I never have. I'm lucky enough to not experience poverty and I greatly appreciate  my life and home. Hopefully things improve in Dhaka and places like Dhaka. Hopefully there will be less pollution and poverty in the future any where in the world.

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Natural resources and economic development

Natural resources and economic development | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
When will Sierra Leoneans be able to benefit from their own natural resources, instead of being cursed by them?

 

Sierra Leone is a country that has been 'blessed' with excellent natural resources, and remains in political chaos with one of the lowest HDI scores.  For a national economy, having abundant natural resources does not guarantee economic prosperity.  This is baffling to many that don't see the political and geographic context that shapes various economic sectors.  This is good a way to demonstrate that context.       


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Even though thousands are fleeing the country in search of something better big buisness see the country as a land of opportunity, but to those that live there Sierra Leone’s natural resources have been a curse. A decade ago diamonds put the country into an 11 year civil war and it is about to happen again over a unique wood found deep in the forests. We tend to forget that the wars that tear countires apart arent always started by political issues but also by natural rescources.  

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Irini Kassidis's curator insight, August 25, 2013 5:46 AM

This article is discussing the issue of natural resources that is having a negative effect on Sierra Leone. Several years ago, business people were going there for the diamonds but now they are going there for the timber. The country's forest are at risk of being completely wiped out.

it is very sad the situation that Sierra Leone are facing in regards to their natural resources. 

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:52 PM

Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are fleeing the country in search of a better life. Corporations see the country as a land of opportunity, because of the rich resources. Diamonds put the country into a civil war. Now, wood is threatening to do the same thing. Natural resources can be more precious than anything else to some people. They are seen as worth fighting for.

Sierra_Mcswagger's curator insight, January 12, 2015 10:18 AM

This article it gives good insight on how much natural resources come into play when deciding a countries Human Development Index (HDI). Sierra Leone has a surplus amount of natural resources yet they still have one of the lowest HDI scores. The economy in Sierra Leone is definitely in bad shape. Because of the treacherous economy, the amount of natural resources is not very beneficial to their HDI.  

                                                                                                          S.S.

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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This is a very strange article. After police and troops were sent into more than 70 indigenous communities after a report of wide spread child abuse tribal leaders threatened to ban tourists from being allowed to climb Uluru. TO me this sounds like they are trying to hid what is really going on in their communities. 

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:38 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, this article is about Aborigines in Australia protesting "racist" government policies. It sounds like the Australian version of what would happen if America's Native Americans teamed up with a racial oppression organization. They are apparently threatening to shut down the most famous landmark in Australia to visitors if the government doesn't change it's position. I don't blame them, fight the power!!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 10, 2015 7:08 PM

the government punishing a whole culture for crimes is outrageous. Not all are guilty but all are punished. it is proven fact that more minorities in this country are incarcerated for drug usage than whites but that doesn't mean you jail all black people. The government is being racist because the aboriginal are poverty stricken group who do not contribute to society, they only have a population of 300,000 people. In the governments eyes they just exist on the land and do nothing for the economy. Well it must have some influence because they are protesting by not allowing tourists climb Uluru or Ayers rock. I guess the government will not be collecting permit fees or other fees associated with the climbing of the rock. Tourism should take a hit from hotel accomendations  to hiking tour guides to purchasing gear etc...

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:22 PM

Australia has always had troubles dealing with their past actions against the native population of their island, and this will hopefully be a wake up call on the policies they have taken.

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'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.

 

KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.

 

SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

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Bryan Tan's curator insight, February 2, 2013 10:54 AM

After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.

luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 10:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:26 AM

This is yet another sign that India is developing into a great world power. The government has sought to curb the rates of rural poverty by instituting social welfare programs.  The programs are designed to provide those living in the rural areas of the nation, with education and proper sanitation. These programs appear to be succeeding, as a sharp drop has occurred in rural poverty. The governments recognition of the poverty issue is a major step towards tackling the major inequities in Indian society. Largely a legacy of the caste system, Indian society is still terribly divided along socio-economic lines. In order for Indian to achieve the status of a developed nation, the government must take action to bridge this inequities. An new  society based on equality may be on the horizon in India.

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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This 45- story sky scraper was once supposed to be an office building, a way to show wealth. It was never finished an now is home to many of the squatters of Venezuela during their housing crisis. Because it was never finished the stairways are un light, the smell of sewage is every where and many people have walled off their terraces to prevent children from falling off.  

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."