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population geography
population growth patterns, causes and consequences
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Urbanizing the Suburban Street

Urbanizing the Suburban Street | population geography | Scoop.it
A community tries some relatively pain-free fixes to make its streets greener and more walkable...

 

One of the most challenging aspects of suburbs, and of the prescriptions for improving them, is the character of their roadways. Most of us take the poor design of our streets – the most visible part of most suburban communities, if you think about it – so much for granted that it never occurs to us that they actually could be made better for the community and for the environment.

Consider, for example, main "arterial" streets so wide that pedestrians can’t cross them, even if there is a reason to; little if any greenery to absorb water, heat, or provide a calming influence; or residential streets with no sidewalks.

This is where Montgomery County’s new street-scape initiative comes in. It has done some things right, including the preservation of much of its farmland – in part by channeling growth into the central districts of Bethesda and Silver Spring, both served by D.C.’s rail transit system, and more recently by encouraging walkable redevelopment along the notoriously sprawled-out Rockville Pike corridor.


Via Lauren Moss, Seth Dixon
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Radiant City

Radiant City | population geography | Scoop.it
In this feature length film Gary Burns, Canada's king of surreal comedy, joins journalist Jim Brown on an outing to the suburbs.

 

This 2006 documentary is a critical look at suburbia that has comments from suburbanites interspersed with planners, real estate agents, experts and urban academics. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Chris St. Clair's comment, April 27, 2012 2:03 PM
I've showed this movie once in a while during the Urban unit and the kids enjoy it. "Edutainment"
Seth Dixon's comment, April 27, 2012 7:09 PM
It seems a mixture of vignettes, with some academic founding mixed in. Warning: There was one F-bomb in the movie.
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The Grave Health Risks of Unwalkable Communities

The Grave Health Risks of Unwalkable Communities | population geography | Scoop.it
Our car-dependent lifestyle has led to a dramatic rise in obesity-related illnesses. But we can do something about it.

 

What does urban planning have to do with our health?  Plenty.  More walkable cities not surprisingly have citizens that are healthier and more fit.   


Via Seth Dixon
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America's suburban future

America's suburban future | population geography | Scoop.it

"If you think American cities are sprawling now, just wait until 2025. In that time, the U.S. population will grow by 18 percent but the amount of developed land will increase 57 percent. Up to 9.2 percent of the lower 48 could be urbanized by then. And while that number includes cities and the infrastructure to support them—roads, rail, power lines, and so on—that number does not include land impacted by farming, logging, mining, or mineral extraction."


Via Seth Dixon
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mderder's comment, February 19, 2012 5:16 PM
The US has already fallen behind most other first world nations in public transportation. The reliance on the automobile, which enabled the growth of our suburbs, needs to be slowly phased out, and major rail lines need to be laid to serve as the backbone for our future urban/suburban transportation network. Rail is FAR cheaper than cars. Cars, in a sensible future, will be thought of as transport for short trips. Hopefully we will be mainly electric with those 50 years from now as well. It is good for the environment and good for our pocketbook. Classic win/win.
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America's romance with sprawl may be over

America's romance with sprawl may be over | population geography | Scoop.it
Three years after the recession officially ended, Census county population estimates show Americans are staying put or moving to cities.

 

The recession and foreclosure crisis really hurt many suburban families and the values of suburban homes.   This interactive map is helps students to notice the patterns that shape the changing demographic patterns connected to urbanization. 


Via Seth Dixon
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