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The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite

The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Many urban neighborhoods are places of concentrated poverty, and it's killing opportunity in the US.

 

American cities are growing, and as they grow, they're adding lots of high-poverty neighborhoods. Nearly three times as many "high-poverty" census tracts existed in 2010 as in 1970.  That's unsettling on its face but even more so when you see the havoc a poor neighborhood can wreak on a resident's chances at a good life. Forget gentrification — this is a bigger problem. 

 

The chart above tallies up the people living in these neighborhoods in 1970 and 2010. What it shows is that the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has roughly doubled since 1970. That's because these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have a tendency to stay that way, even while new ones sprout up.

 

Tags: urban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, poverty, place, socioeconomic, neighborhood.


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How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood

How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Sometimes, rehabilitating a rough neighborhood is a tough process. But in one West Coast American city, it was as simple as adding a Buddha statue.  Since the statue's installation, a street corner has been transformed from a notorious eyesore to a daily prayer spot for local Vietnamese Buddhists.  For this Geo Quiz, we're looking for the city where this shrine is located — can you name it?"


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 7:51 AM

This podcast is a great glimpse into an urban transformation that took place without any central planning nor can the changes be classified as gentrification. 


Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, urban.

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NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers.  As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 28, 2014 9:06 AM

International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level.  "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico.  Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups.   Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.


Tags: Mexicosupranationalism, industry, place, agriculture, food production,

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:44 AM

The American agricultural industry has been highly subsidized by the government to create interest in farming and food production. This causes problems for America's neighboring countries' resident farmers. The Mexican corn farmers are struggling mightily with the influx of cheap American corn into Mexico due to the open trade policies created by NAFTA. Some tariffs or new economic regulations must be created to protect Mexican corn farmers and regulate the amount of cheap American corn that is flooding Mexican markets. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 29, 2014 12:44 PM

With all the good we thought NAFTA did for the three countries involved, I feel that sometimes we overlook the bad.  Southern Mexico has felt all negative affects from NAFTA.  While the northern states in Mexico are able to keep up with the advanced agricultural processes that America has, the south is unable to.  The old techniques and lack of machinery prevents the south from having any possible competition with the north as well as America leaving the south to become extremely impoverished and potentially unsuitable for any living.

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For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico

For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"With Europe sputtering and China costly, the 'stars are aligning' for Mexico as broad changes in the global economy create new dynamics of migration."


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Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 3, 2015 12:25 PM

While reading this article I found it quite interesting to hear that Mexico is now where immigrants and others want to migrate towards. Prices are going up in China and other countries allowing for Mexico to become more competitive and attract more people towards it. Over the years migration has all been towards America but today the numbers are decreasing and more people are migrating towards Mexico because of the opportunities available there and the land that is emerging.

Aleena Reyes's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:21 PM

Even though this article is now three years old, it is refreshing to see that Mexico is really making their mark on the global market. The Global North seems to be coming to a stalemate while "up and coming countries" like Mexico are becoming the perfect place for people to begin their businesses and have a fresh start on life. I can understand though, how it was mentioned on the third page of the article, that some locals may feel that foreigners, European especially, may be receiving some type of special treatment due to past colonialism. However, these entrepreneurs are shaping the economy of Mexico. This is Mexico's chance to advance in the world and increase its GDP. Young, aspiring moguls all seems to feel the same way about their homelands, "Europe, dying; Mexico, coming to life. The United States, closed and materialistic; Mexico, open and creative" and Diego Quemada-Diez, a Spanish director, was quoted in the article, "Europe feels spiritually dead and so does the United States...[y]ou end up wanting something else".  And apparently, Mexico has that "something else".

 

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:25 AM

Again, I would be interested in seeing how these statistics would change if they were to factor in illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, but the data remains promising. Mexico has the potential to be an economic powerhouse, and hopefully will utilize this potential sooner rather than later. Although rampant corruption remains in the nation's politics and reinforcement agencies, a strong Mexican economy will ultimately deescalate the violence by stripping the cartels of their strongest allure- well-paying employment for uneducated young men. A stronger Mexican economy will also undoubtedly help the US in terms of trade, as well as reducing the rate of cartel-related violence in the southern regions of the nation. With so many Americans today rallying around Trump's racially-charged rants on Mexican immigration, it brings a smile to my face that we are currently sending more Americans to take Mexican jobs than they are sending our way. The hypocrisy of these politicians and their policies are laughable. 

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Crack Shack or Mansion?

Crack Shack or Mansion? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Can you tell a Vancouver mansion from a crack shack?

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 20, 2013 4:31 PM


In this world any house can be held as a drug location. in the neighbor I live there was a house that broken into by the cops in which they found hundreds of pounds of drugs and none of the neighbors knew. We thought it was an abandoned home. a crack shack or mansion it is difficult to determine if it is or not.

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:58 AM

This I found to be very interesting. To me it was very sterotypical and much harder than I thought it would be. I figured it would be easy to depict a Mansion from a Crack Shack, but I guess I was wrong. Different areas different lifestyles.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 2014 9:55 AM

A fairly funny game that makes fun of the astronomical real estate prices in Vancouver, BC. I actually wasn't incredibly surprised as I've watched some HGTV. Since many of the shows are Canadian imports the extremely high priced homes in Vancouver and Toronto are often featured.

 

I guessed 10/16. The game should branch out to Toronto, we might've caught a glimpse of Rob Ford.

 

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Geography of Aspiration

Geography of Aspiration | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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.

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Dean Haakenson's comment, June 6, 2013 11:30 AM
Very cool.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 6:31 PM

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.

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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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:49 PM

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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Social Media and Place

Social Media and Place | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Facebook most social cities: People everywhere use Facebook to check in to places. Here you can see the 5 top hotspots of the most "social"cities.


Questions to ponder: What attributes do these commonly 'checked into' landmarks have in common?  Are you surprised that some are or are not on the list?


Tags: socialmedia, place, tourism, infographic, London, NYC, Paris.


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"Political Landscapes"

"Political Landscapes" | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 1:03 PM

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 8:41 AM
this picture meant a lot to me simple due to the fact that I've lived in the city of providence for the last three years now. everywhere I look in the city shows an identical view to this picture that protrays inner-city compact houses vs grass and space of the kind of suburbs. on the right is the inner-city version where houses are only separated by a one car width driveway and are two to three stores high to accommadate more families and people. the left side of the picture protrays a more suburb area of the city. but this area isn't necessarily the suburbs because it would be an area just minute outside of the busy city center like a north providence or east providence area. in north providence yes you technically have a yard and grass but it is so small that you mine as well have scissors to cut the lawn. with a bite more space houses being more single family oriented this is more luxurious than the left side of the picture
Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:27 PM

This pictures shows the difference between the city and suburbs. Even in the same city, you can  have some parts that look more economically wealthier. But looking at it from a political view, I would guess that the whole in the ground that divides the two neighborhoods would be the line that divides democrats and republicans. City folk tend to vote more democrat because they want the government to assist the people. WHile Republicans tend to look out more for themselves.

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The Importance of Place

The Importance of Place | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

Using the vocabulary of this course, please describe in detail the geographic context of a town like this (real or imaginary).  What is the town like?  How did it get that way?  What type of meaning does 'place' have for those that live there?  


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Urban Visions in Music Videos

Music video by Counting Crows performing Big Yellow Taxi. (C) 2002 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

 

This music video is a vivid portrayal of the cultural power of place and the deep emotional connection many people have to their neighborhoods.  What types of urban geographies are being critiqued by the original lyrics (orginally performed and written my Joni Mitchell) of this song?  What do the images portrayed in the video say to further this critique?  What type of urbanism are these performers advocating?  Given the context of this video, what priorities do you think city planners should consider when building and reshaping cities? 


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 30, 2012 11:52 AM
They are very much concerned with losing their history. Everything they knew when they were growing up is going to be transformed into a slab of concrete. I can certainly empathise with them, it must be extremely sad to see your childhood disapear. I forget the name of the comedian, but his routine involved a rant on parking lots being the most useless construct we could have ever come up with. An area you travel to just to go somewhere else.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 30, 2012 11:17 PM
I never though about a parking space like that before. However when it comes to gentrification, how can you find a balance between the values of a local community and the needs of the larger society?
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The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite

The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Many urban neighborhoods are places of concentrated poverty, and it's killing opportunity in the US.

 

American cities are growing, and as they grow, they're adding lots of high-poverty neighborhoods. Nearly three times as many "high-poverty" census tracts existed in 2010 as in 1970.  That's unsettling on its face but even more so when you see the havoc a poor neighborhood can wreak on a resident's chances at a good life. Forget gentrification — this is a bigger problem. 

 

The chart above tallies up the people living in these neighborhoods in 1970 and 2010. What it shows is that the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has roughly doubled since 1970. That's because these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have a tendency to stay that way, even while new ones sprout up.

 

Tags: urban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, poverty, place, socioeconomic, neighborhood.


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Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century

Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

“The Midwest is this big nebulous part of the country and it's kind of what's left over after all the other regions of the country are defined. Those regions have much stronger identities if you think of the East Coast or maybe New England or the Pacific Northwest or certainly the South. The Midwest is kind of the catchall for what's left.  We [Minnesota] should be called the North.”


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 1:48 PM

Whether I agree or not with the ideas being discussed, I simply love that this discussion is taking place and how intensely geographical the ideas and evidences being brought forward are.  


Questions to Ponder: So what region do you live in?  What defines that region?  Are there other regions that you can claim to be a part of also?  How would you divide the United States into various regions?  How come?


Tagsplaceregions, culture

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Inequality and the Gini Coefficient

Inequality and the Gini Coefficient | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.

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Heidi Hutchison's curator insight, October 12, 2013 1:46 PM

Just incredibly awesome, but so, so sadly true.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, October 12, 2013 3:00 PM

Educating in poverty

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:47 AM

Do you find this information surprising?

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In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston.

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Ryane Williams's curator insight, July 22, 2013 8:47 PM

Facilities management entails a broad array of disciplines including, but not limited to, planning, designing, leasing, space planning, product management, capital management, construction management, property management, and real estate acquisition, planning and disposal.

Jordan Anderson- www.havefunandprofit.com's curator insight, July 22, 2013 8:58 PM

Location is very important to have more income!

Charles Henderson's comment, August 14, 2013 12:37 AM
Would have been nice for them to include cost of living comparisons. You might be in the top 20% of the country making $107,000 in NYC, but that's only $48,000 in Atlanta. Median income in Atlanta is $30,000 which would be $67,000 in NYC (about $21000 higher than NYC's current median salary). Where you live makes a difference, but HOW you live is just as important.
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Geography of Aspiration

Geography of Aspiration | Mrs. Watson's Class | 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.

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Dean Haakenson's comment, June 6, 2013 11:30 AM
Very cool.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 6:31 PM

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.

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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Tips for the Google Maps Guessing Game

Tips for the Google Maps Guessing Game | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

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Nicholas Pringle's curator insight, June 3, 2013 7:44 AM

This has great potential for a education geography tool. Very creative!

fabio sousa's comment, June 3, 2013 9:00 AM
hshahda´~
Todd Parsons's curator insight, October 28, 2013 5:41 PM

Say goodbye to getting anything done...

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Twitter Languages in London

Twitter Languages in London | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

This map is a fantastic geovisualization that maps the spatial patterns of languages used on the social media platform Twitter.  This map was in part inspired by a Twitter map of Europe.  While most cities would be expected to be lingistically homogenous, but London's cosmopolitan nature and large pockets of immigrants.

   

Tags: social media, language, neighborhood, visualization, cartography.


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Betty Denise's comment, November 7, 2012 1:13 PM
Thank you – again – for your tremendous partnership
Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, December 14, 2012 9:29 PM
thanks for this! we have shared!
Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, December 14, 2012 9:29 PM
thanks for this! we have shared!
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Linguistic Geography: My Fair Lady

This is a most decidedly dated reference for pop culture, but a great movie for making explicit the idea that the way we speak is connected to where we've lived (also a good clip to show class differences as well as gender norms). The clip highlights many principles and patterns for understanding the geography of languages.

 

Tags: Language, class, gender, culture, historical, London, unit 3 culture and place.

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Ten Geographic Ideas that Changed the World

Ten Geographic Ideas that Changed the World | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Adapted from the book by Professor Susan Hanson...

 

This is an excellent review/summary of an edited volume that shows the value of geographic thought and its importance in the modern world.  This review conveniently gives a one paragraph synopsis of each chapter.  It does not need to be read chronologically, so you can pick and choose what you find relevant to your course.  The top 10 are (in order of inclusion in the book): the Idea of the Map, the Weather Map, GIS, Human Adjustment, Water Budget Climatology, Human Transformation of the Earth, Spatial Organization and Interdependence, Central Place Theory, Megalopolis and Sense of Place. 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 29, 2013 9:40 AM

This is an excellent review/summary of an edited volume that shows the value of geographic thought and its importance in the modern world.  This review conveniently gives a one paragraph synopsis of each chapter.  It does not need to be read chronologically, so you can pick and choose what you find relevant to your course.  The top 10 are (in order of inclusion in the book): the Idea of the Map, the Weather Map, GIS, Human Adjustment, Water Budget Climatology, Human Transformation of the Earth, Spatial Organization and Interdependence, Central Place Theory, Megalopolis and Sense of Place.

Seth Forman's curator insight, March 23, 2015 5:24 PM

Summary: This article demonstrated how geographic concepts have been able to change daily life for humans everywhere. It talked about the log term effect of many life changing geographic concepts, such as how maps have influenced weather forecasts which have become an important part of daily life.

 

Insight:  This article showed me how important geographic processes can be on daily life.  It also demonstrates that nearly everyone in a developed country today relies on their ability to read geographic information even in something as simple as a weather map.

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Public Spaces Worth Caring About...

http://www.ted.com In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good....

 

Kunstler impassionedly argues that American architecture and urban planning are not creating public places that encourage interaction and communal engagement.  We should create more distinct places that foster a sense of place that is 'worth fighting for,' as opposed to suburbia which he sees as emblematic of these problems.  How should we design cities to create a strong sense of place?  What elements are necessary?  Warning: He uses some strong language.   


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Mary Burke's comment, April 15, 2013 12:24 PM
I appreciate what this guy is saying. I wish we could build places worth caring about. We need more people like Mr Kunstler. But I don't things are as bleak as he depicts. He picked some of the ugliest places there are. We do need a sense of place. Right now we get that in our homes. I think what Mr Kunstler is talking about is a community based sense of place that could be created just with the kind of buildings we make in the space. Maybe we could create a friendly atmosphere with well designed buildings. We need to start somewhere to make people not so afraid of each other.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:44 AM

Everyone in the world should care about places if it is small or not known but a place has it own character that some people enjoy while other do not want to know about. Every place has it significance that many people have not noticed because they are blinded to it. People should really have an open mind when it comes down to experiencing new places and learn about its history or anything that you did not know about it.