Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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How an emerging African megacity cut commutes by two hours a day

How an emerging African megacity cut commutes by two hours a day | Geography Education |
The next 15 megacities #2: Could Dar es Salaam’s experiment with Africa’s first ‘gold standard’ bus rapid transit system offer an alternative to a future dependent on private cars?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a good article about the critical nature of transportation infrastructure to a growing city in the developing world.  More important than this one article, I want to highlight the entire Guardian series entitled "The Next 15 Megacities." 

In 1975 there were only 3 megacities (cities population over 10 million) in the world.  Today there are 33 megacities and by 2035, there are expected to be 48.  This acceleration is one of the more astounding and important facts about how the world is changing today. This series explores these emerging megacities that will have over 10 million by 2035; overwhelmingly these cities are in Asia.  


GeoEd Tags: Tanzania, Africa, urban, transportation, planning, megacities, regions, APHG. Tags: Tanzania, Africa, urban, transportation, planning, megacities, regions, APHG.

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Shrinking cities: the rise and fall of global urban populations – mapped

Shrinking cities: the rise and fall of global urban populations – mapped | Geography Education |

"The world is experiencing rapid urbanisation, but not every city is growing. Population is likely to decline in 17% of large cities in developed regions and 8% of cities across the world from 2015 to 2025, according to a McKinsey report."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fantastic series of maps for human geography and regional geography classes. Some cities throughout Africa and Asia have experienced spectacular growth (click here for 5 infographics showing East Asia's massive urban growth).  Europe, on the other isn't see the same level of growth and is even experiencing urban decline in a few regions.   


Questions to Ponder: What patterns do you see in these maps?  What cultural, demographic and economic factors explain some of the regional patterns in these maps?        


Tags: APHG, urban, unit 7 cities, megacities.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 9, 2017 11:59 AM
unit 7
James Hardie's curator insight, April 17, 2017 9:12 PM

Geographical skills and concepts: place / space / scale / change 

Geographical knowledge: "Causes and consequences of urbanisation, drawing on a study from Indonesia, or another country of the Asia region (ACHGK054)" 

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 14, 2018 8:17 PM
In this article the maps below are a good tool for Regional Geography classes. These maps show how the world is experiencing rapid urbanization, but not all cities are growing. Population is likely to decline in 17% in developed regions
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America's 'Megaregions' using Commuter Data

America's 'Megaregions' using Commuter Data | Geography Education |
New maps use math to define the amorphous term.
Seth Dixon's insight:

By now I'm sure many of you have seen some iteration of this research and data visualization circulating through social media outlets (you can see the article from City Lab, Atlas Obscura or an urban planning program).  We use terms like the greater metropolitan area to express the idea that areas beyond the city boundaries and even beyond the metropolitan statistical areas are linked with cities.  These 'mega-regions' are in part the hinterlands of a city, a functional region where the cities act as hubs of economic regions.   

Tags: regions, urban, transportationeconomicvisualization, mapping, USA, planning.

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, December 10, 2016 10:30 AM
Another example is the long line of defining the new geography.
Boris Limpopo's curator insight, December 11, 2016 1:43 AM
Le macroregioni americane con i dati del pendolarismo
Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 3:53 AM
Plenty of space in the middle it seems
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What is the oldest city in the world?

What is the oldest city in the world? | Geography Education |
 Mark Twain declared that the Indian city of Varanasi was older than history, tradition and legend. He was, of course, wrong. So which exactly is the world’s most ancient continuously inhabited city?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a nice article that, on the surface, discusses which is the oldest city among competing claims.  However, it also serves as an entry point to explore the history of urbanization in the ancient world and the requirements for the earliest permanent settlements.

Tagshistorical, urban, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

Cass Allan's curator insight, March 1, 2015 2:17 AM

differences of opinion about how to classify city age


Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 15, 2015 7:58 PM

Since the beginning of civilization, rivers have been communities' main job source. Even before B.C., the only one way to survive was to construct houses close to the nearest body of water. In the case of Crocodile City near the Nile river in Africa,the city was built close to the river due to the fertile soil and water supplied by the Nile. This enabled ancient civilizations to survive. Unfortunately, due to religious conflict between communities, some of these original civilizations were forced to relocate. Another reason for relocation is due to the movement of the bodies of water. As the paths of the rivers change, communities are forced to abandon their homes and start new civilizations so to remain close to the waters. All these communities around the river Nile relied on agriculture for its wealth and power. All these cities are examples of civilizations that have inhabited areas near rivers for centuries, even before B.C. Given their habitat, rivers will provide the necessar resources and tools for current and future generations to be able to survive.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 2:55 PM

Although the question is misleading, it should say what is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, I enjoyed the article as once again I learned quite a bit about ancient history. Seems Aleppo, Syria is the apparent winner. They have dated the city to 6000 BC and nomads were there 5000 years before that. Shows the importance of trade as most of the contenders were on a trade route near a body of water. In fact, the article says that Aleppo was very much involved in trade until the opening of the Suez canal. Let's hope that with all the turmoil in Syria that Aleppo continues to thrive for centuries to come. Constantinople and Damascus were serious contenders but could not show continuous habitation. Aleppo according to the article, was a strong contender for commerce alongside Cairo, Egypt. Another contender, Jericho, dates back to 9000 BC but again was not continually inhabited and thus cannot lay claim to the world's oldest city.

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Detroit by Air

Detroit by Air | Geography Education |
The stark contrast between the haves and have-nots is apparent from above, so too is the city’s rebound.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the 1950s, Detroit was the 4th largest city in the U.S. with a booming population around 2 million as seen in some vintage footage of Detroit.  As the de-industrialization process restructured the US economy, globalization restructured the world’s economy, and Detroit’s local economic strategy crumbledDetroit was $18-20 million in debt with a population around 700,000 and is unable to pull out of this nosedive. The tax base shrunk, city services were spread thin and in 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy.  Today, some parts of Detroit are rebounding well while others are in absolute disarray.  These differences can, in part, be understood by using aerial photography and a spatial perspective.  

Tags: urban, economic, industry, Detroit

Dennis Swender's curator insight, December 10, 2014 4:23 PM

A multicultural research project:  by foot, by car, or by plane

Select your site:  Detroit?  Kansas City? Feguson? New York?

Take some pictures.  Start observing.  Interview some people.  Assemble some facts.   Justify your opinions. 


Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:16 PM

Deindustrialization and globalization are some of the reason why Detroit fluctuates configurations in the geography of manufacturing. The reduction of production in the car industry and all activities along with it is harmful to Detroit’s citizens, leaving a lot of workers without jobs. Globalization was adopted and American companies became attracted to the very low wages of workers in other countries that produce similar quality products as the US. Unfortunately, since globalization became the preferred option for the US, deindustrialization in Detroit rapidly increased. On the other hand, with the continuing advancements in technology, it turns out to be manageable with a few employees. Wealthy Detroiters sprawl out in the suburbs out of the city.  Due to the elimination of manufacturing jobs and relocation of residents out of the state, Detroit city remains with a population of 700,000 people. The effect of deindustrialization has been devastating, not only for workers, but also for the city itself. The regions with the lowest population rate will find it hard to survive with the increase of infrastructure and less income in taxes.

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This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we've surrendered to cars

This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we've surrendered to cars | Geography Education |
How lopsided the the proportions of an urban street corner really are.

Most roads in the US are built for cars, not for pedestrians. Whether we're happy or unhappy with this, most of us are aware of it.

But this brilliant illustration, made by Swedish artist Karl Jilg and commissioned by the Swedish Road Administration, shows just how extreme the situation truly is — even in an urban business district that's designed with pedestrians in mind. 

Tags: urban, transportation, planning, art.

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How Many Flyover States Does It Take to Equal One New York City?

How Many Flyover States Does It Take to Equal One New York City? | Geography Education |

"Don’t let my New York City–centric comparisons hinder your imagination. The interactive at the top of this page lets you visualize how different parts of the country compare in population density.

Click the button at the bottom of the interactive to select Los Angeles County, for instance, and then click anywhere on the map to generate a (roughly) circular region of (roughly) equal population. The population data come from the 2010 census, and the square mileage was calculated by summing each highlighted county’s total area. You can also use New Jersey (the most densely populated state), Wyoming (the least densely populated state outside of Alaska), Texas, the coasts (the group of all counties that come within 35 miles of either the Atlantic or Pacific oceans), and, yes, New York City as the baseline for your population comparison."

Tags: cartography, mapping, visualization, urban, density.

Andrew Stoops's curator insight, October 13, 2014 10:16 PM

This map is interesting in that flyover states is something that is not easily defined, at least by me. You could argue that no state is a flyover state because of the industry and businesses within the state itself. I am also curious to know why so few folks live in these areas as I have been to most of these places and they have the social and environmental pull factors important to migration.

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks!

Explore old maps of US cities

Explore old maps of US cities | Geography Education |

"This cool new historic mapping app from the folks at esri and the U.S. Geological Survey is worth exploring.  What it does is take 100 years of USGS maps and lets you overlay them for just about any location in the nation. That allows users to see how a city – say Harrisburg – developed between 1895 and today.  The library behind the project includes more than 178,000 maps dating from 1884 to 2006."

Seth Dixon's insight:

For more ESRI maps that let you explore urban environmental change, the 'spyglass' feature gives these gorgeous vintage maps a modern facelift (but not available for as many places). The cities that are in this set of interactive maps are: 

Tags: cartography, mapping, visualization, urban, historical.

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 13, 2014 12:25 PM

For more ESRI maps that let you explore urban environmental change, the 'spyglass' feature gives these gorgeous vintage maps a modern facelift (but not available for as many places). The cities that are in this set of interactive maps are: 


Chicago (1868)Denver (1879) Los Angeles (1880)Washington D.C.(1851)New York City (1836)San Francisco (1859)
Hongsheng Li's curator insight, August 14, 2014 12:40 AM
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Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City

Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City | Geography Education |
As the sprawling Zaatari camp evolves into an informal city — with an economy and even gentrification — aid workers say camps can be potential urban incubators that benefit host countries like Jordan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an intriguing article that explores the difficulties of forced migrations that arise from civil war, but it also looks at city planning as refugee camps are established to make homes for the displaced.  These camps have become into de-facto cities. The maps, videos and photographs embedded in the article show the rapid development of these insta-cities which organically have evolved to fit the needs of incoming refugees.  Size not investing in permanent infrastructure has some serious social, sanitation and financial cost, there are some efforts to add structure to the chaos, to formalize the informal.  Truly this is a fascinating case study of in urban geography as we are increasingly living on what Mike Davis refers to as a "Planet of Slums."  

Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, warsquatter, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities. 

Enrico De Angelis's curator insight, July 13, 2014 11:06 AM

beautiful intriguing post telling the story of something I - personally - never considered. It pictures a new city growing, with not only basic needs, ...

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:02 PM


VEILLOT Mathieu's curator insight, December 6, 2017 12:48 PM
Les camps de réfugiés syriens en Jordanie deviennent des villes "fait maison"

Suite à l'expansion territoriale de Daech au Moyen-Orient , des millions de personnes et principalement des syriens, ont été contraints à fuir la guerre et les bombardements en se réfugiant dans les pays voisins. En Jordanie, un camp de réfugiés syriens devient au fil du temps une véritable ville : Zaatari. Le camp est parcellisé selon un ordre militaire avec des abris en tôle, un plancher en terre battue et des toilettes publiques insalubres. On est passé de 11 000 à 85 000 réfugiés syriens qui vivent dans le camp prévu pour accueillir jusqu'à 100 000 personnes. C'est devenu une place dynamique, ce qui n'était pas prévu par les structures humanitaires qui dirige le camp. l'axe principal est semblable à celui de n'importe quelle ville avec des magasins alignés, des vendeurs de légumes, des boutiques de vêtement, etc. Des services comme un livreur de pizza, ou une agence de voyage. On parle de poussée civilisationnelle dans l'un des endroits les plus désespérés au monde à l'heure actuelle. Un véritable sentiment d'appartenance au lieu est né, l'exil prolongé de ces familles amène à penser un camp de réfugiés destiné à fonctionner à long terme. Un membre d'une structure humanitaire, Mr Kleinschmidt, dit "on conçoit des camps de réfugiés, les réfugiés construisent des villes". Ces réfugiés syriens redeviennent petit à petit mettre de leur destin, de leur territoire. Sans être utopique, c'est important qu'ils puissent se sentir comme chez eux en attendant de pouvoir retrouver leur maison. C'est d'autant plus fascinant que cette "incubateur urbain" se réalise dans le desert jordanien avec des conditions de vie très rudes. En Turquie, les camps de réfugiés sont en matière d'équipement mieux lôtis mais les intitiatives des réfugiés sont réprimées, contrairement à Zaatari.
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Developing World Cities and Population Density

Developing World Cities and Population Density | Geography Education |
Without a question, we are living in an urban era. More people now live in cities than anywhere else on the planet and I’ve repeatedly argued that cities are our most important economic engine. As a result of these shifts, we’re seeing megacities at a scale the world has never seen before.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As our cities have massively expanded in the last 70 years, so has the ecological footprint of these metropolitan areas.  This article discusses some of the challenges confronting megacities and their functions within the global urban network. 

Tags: sustainabilitydensity, megacities, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities. 

Fathie Kundie's curator insight, June 27, 2014 12:05 PM
المدن الأعلى كثافة بالسكان على مستوى العالم
Sally Egan's curator insight, June 29, 2014 9:31 PM

Mega cities and the challenges they face for the future is focus in this article. Great statistics on populations and urban densities are also included.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:47 PM


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High-School Dropouts and College Grads Are Moving to Very Different Places

High-School Dropouts and College Grads Are Moving to Very Different Places | Geography Education |
Cities like Washington and San Francisco are gaining the highly skilled but losing their less-educated workforce.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article, with its charts and interactive maps, is worth exploring to show some of the important spatial patterns of internal migration.  It's not hard to realize that larger, cosmopolitan metro areas will have an advantage in attracting and keeping prospective college graduates; the question that we should be asking our students is how will this impact neighborhoods, cities and regions?    

Tags: migration, USA, mappingcensus, education.

Kaylin Burleson's curator insight, June 19, 2014 8:47 AM

Good charts/grafts - worth looking at and using with the concept of migration.   

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Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings | Geography Education |
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This crowd-sourced mapping project is an great example of how a community can work together (using geospatial technologies and geographic thinking) to mitigate some of the more pressing issues confronting the local neighborhoods.  Many optimists have argued that Detroit has "good bones" to rebuild the city, but it needs to built on as smaller scale.  This project helps to assess what is being used by residents and should stay, and what needs to go.  Want to explore some of the data yourself?  See Data Driven Detroit.      


Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhoodmapping, GIS, geospatial.

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 17, 2014 1:18 PM

So many of the buildings in Detroit have fallen out of use, and are being inhabited by squatters, drug users and vermin. The kindest thing to do is to demolish the ragtag structures in hopes of a chance to revitalize the fallen city. It was one of the first major cities in the US to be primarily built for the automobile. Although the city has fallen out of favor as industry has relocated, it was a well planned metropolis, and has a repairable infrastructure. The sewer lines, electric grid and paved streets lend to the idea of regrowing the city. By using input of the citizens, the government and city planners are able to identify what is useful and what needs to be demolished.


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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Geography Education |
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.


Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:40 PM

This has major impact on health issues, because nobody wants to walk or bike anymore which most of us did until 16 years old, it is a good form of exercise and can keep a persons body weight down. Which would lead to less health issues. Also the pollution from the vehicles and illegal dumping of tires and batteries and oil which leads to environmental problems. Socially we would meet more people and even see more of our surroundings if we drove less. Economically we as individuals would save money by not driving or would we? We would save on gas, licenses, maintenance, but on the other hand our renewal of licenses, registration, and even taxes on the vehicle help support our schools, busing and other community projects. This funding would be cut and therefore taxes will rise on something else we would end up paying for. I personally just think as Americans we drive everywhere and spend less time taking bikes, walks even skateboards all over the city which we loved to do as teenagers. I don't expect to be rollerblading or skateboarding at an older age but why do we stop at 16. It is because we are allowed to under the law to drive and everyone can't wait until high school to get their license. Once we give up our bikes and rollerblades, skateboards, walks it is hard to go back to it.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, September 10, 2018 10:42 AM
In 2010, Americans drove 85% of their daily trips, but in Europe they only had shares up to 50 - 65%. Americans drove 70% of the time while Europeans made 70% of their trips by bike, foot, or public transportation. American metro, compared to Western European ended up so much more car dependent.The American cities were the first to adapt to the car at a large scale. By the 1930's there was 1 registered car for every two homes in the it United States, but car ownership in Europe was for the wealthy. 
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Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis | Geography Education |

"A host of environmental factors are threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Urban ecology, environmental justice, gendered inequities, primate city politics, the struggle of growing megacities…it’s all here in this fantastic piece of investigative reporting.  The article highlights the ecological problems that Mexico City faces (high-altitude exacerbates air pollution, interior drainage worsens water pollution, limited aquifers that are overworked lead to subsidence, importing water outside of the basin requires enormous amounts of energy, etc.).  just because the article doesn't use the word 'geography' doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly geographic. All of these problems are at the heart of human-environmental nexus of 21st century urbanization. 


Tags: urban, megacities, water, environment, Mexico.

Danielle Yen's curator insight, March 3, 2017 8:45 AM

Urban ecology, environmental justice, gendered inequities, primate city politics, the struggle of growing megacities…it’s all here in this fantastic piece of investigative reporting.  The article highlights the ecological problems that Mexico City faces (high-altitude exacerbates air pollution, interior drainage worsens water pollution, limited aquifers that are overworked lead to subsidence, importing water outside of the basin requires enormous amounts of energy, etc.).  just because the article doesn't use the word 'geography' doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly geographic. All of these problems are at the heart of human-environmental nexus of 21st century urbanization. 


Tags: urban, megacities, water, environment, Mexico.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 8, 2018 1:04 PM
(Mexico/Central America) Mexico city seems to be built in the worst way possible. The original Aztec architects could not imagine the locational problems the city faces today. Originally built on an island, Spanish conquerors drained the lakes and created an inland, mountainous position that causes the city to sink inches every year. Ironically, the city is now forced to use underground water sources or expensively import drinking water and poor locals can rarely count on tap water. The uneven clay and volcanic soil foundation and climate change further drives subsidence of this unplanned metropolis. Climate change will also create a series of floods and droughts and the inefficient sewage and water system will lead to devastation.
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How Jane Jacobs beat Robert Moses to be the ultimate placemaker

How Jane Jacobs beat Robert Moses to be the ultimate placemaker | Geography Education |

"Jane Jacobs lacked formal training in city planning but became an urban visionary who promoted dense, mixed-use neighborhoods where people interacted on the streets. She also became the nemesis of New York master builder Robert Moses. On our inaugural episode, we’ll explore Jacobs’ legacy and how the ideas and ideals of 'St. Jane' hold up today."

Seth Dixon's insight:

How do you create a sense of place?  How can you make a neighborhood more vibrant and meaningful to the residents?  These are questions that central to city planners, community organizers, activists, home owners, renters, business owners, and a wide range of local stakeholders.  The Placemakers podcast has many episodes on these topics worth listening to, starting with the one about Jane Jacobs, a leading urbanist who was a proponent of “The Cheerful Hurly-Burly” of the “zoomed in” city life who fought against Robert Moses’ more sterile “zoomed out” spaces of transportation flows.  In another podcast titled “the quest for the perfect place,” the series explores new urbanism and the ideas that have shaped the movement.


Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planning, urbanism, podcastscale.

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From megacity to metacity

From megacity to metacity | Geography Education |

In 1950, there were only two megacities, London and New York, with populations of more than 10m. In 2010, Tokyo was top of the list of the world’s largest cities, New York was only just scraping into the top 10, and London had dropped off the bottom. New York will join it in megacity oblivion in less than a decade and, with the exception of Tokyo, every other megacity will be in what is referred to as the 'global south'. To earn a place in the top 10, cities will soon need to boast a population of 20m or more. This is a new breed of city – the metacity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The term megacity (a city with a population greater than 10 million) has been around for a while and there wasn't much linguistic need to describe something bigger.  Today, most megacities are more like Lagos and Mumbai, places of extreme wealth asymmetries than the global cities of New York City and London.  Some are now using the term metacity to describe cities with populations of 20 million.  Asian metacities are a good place to start thinking about the largest urban regions that are increasingly dominating economic, political and cultural affairs.      


Tags: urbanmegacities, unit 7 citiesEast Asia.

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Name That Grid!

Name That Grid! | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm a sucker for online quizzes like this one that shows only the grid outlines of particular cities.  This isn't just about knowing a city, but also identifying regional and urban patterns.  What are some other fun trivia quizzes?  GeoGuessr is one of the more addictive quizzes  where 5 locations in GoogleMaps "StreetView" are shown and you have to guess where.  Smarty Pins is a fun game on Google Maps that tests players' geography and trivia skills.  In this Starbucks game you have to recognized the shape of the city, major street patterns and the economic patterns just to name a few (this is one way to make the urban model more relevant).  If you want quizzes with more direct applicability in the classroom, click here for online regional quizzes.         

Tags: urbanmodelsfun, trivia.

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Industrial Revolution--Urban Game

Industrial Revolution--Urban Game | Geography Education |

"Each student should have a large piece of butcher block paper (15x20).  They should use a pencil for this activity (color pencils are optional). Using the template provided, each student should make their own template.  It is crucial that size for each of the 'characters' in the city be the same. As you read each of the Rounds, your pace should increase so that by Round 15 the students will only have a short time to draw their buildings."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this game, you simulate the industrial revolution and have your students design a village that, after 20 rounds of the simulation, will grow to a full-fledged city.  Various teachers have adapted the rules for this game and here are some variants that are saved as a standard webpage, Microsoft Word file, PDF, Powerpoint and Prezi formats. 

Tags: urban, planning, industry, economichistorical.

jada_chace's curator insight, January 12, 2015 9:49 AM

Playing the game allows students to make their own villages and plan how their industries will work. As they start to build their own town they have to consider where to place the stores and where to place the factories. Putting these structures into certain places can affect the student’s town.

Emily Bian's curator insight, May 22, 2015 9:44 AM

This was the game we played in class!!!

I really enjoyed this game and highly recommend it to future APHUG students because it was fun, informative, and FUN. It really helped me understand how England got really crowded all of the sudden due to the Industrial Revolution. It was a sudden urban sprawl with no  urban planning. My map/ city was a complete mess! 

I hope this game continues to be played as it is a fun introduction to the chaos of the Industrial Revolution. 

Campbell Ingraham's curator insight, May 25, 2015 2:57 PM

We played this game in our APHUG class. It really simulated how urban development exploded in the industrial revolution. It gives an explanation as to why urban planners at the time had poor design choices because they had little time to plan. They also didn't account for future population growth or new developments in technology. It really shows why today's older cities have poorer designs and more traffic. 


This article relates to the Industrial Revolution. It shows the population explosions which occurred as a result and the increased technology during the time. All of these factors of the industrial revolution in England contributed to the quick and poorly designed English cities which led to population overflow. These city planners could not have predicted what would happen or how to plan for more people. They also limited time, money, and resources, as the population just continued to grow and grow. 

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Megacities Interactives

Megacities Interactives | Geography Education |

"By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, will be home to 29 megacities. We explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these 'cities on steroids', and take a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Through this BBC interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents).  These 'cities on steroids' have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents.   Also, this Smithsonian Magazine interactive (also on the rise of Megacities), argues that dealing with megacities is one of the traits of the Anthropocene. 

Download the BBC data as a CSV file to be able to import this into a customizable ArcGIS online map.  This will help you to create an analytical storymap (but I still enjoy a good narrative storymap).  

Tags: urban, megacitiesESRI, anthropocene, CSV.

Gilbert C FAURE's curator insight, October 27, 2014 3:40 PM

and wuhan inside

Katelyn Sesny's curator insight, October 31, 2014 11:48 AM

This article asks and answered the question of how and when we will reach a time and place where we live will be limited (as we weigh down the world)? -UNIT 1

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Stop Complaining About Gentrification Unless You Know What It Is

Stop Complaining About Gentrification Unless You Know What It Is | Geography Education |

"In many cities, it's become popular to hate 'gentrifiers,' rich people who move in and drive up housing prices -- pushing everyone else out. But what's going on in these rapidly-changing urban spaces is a lot more complicated than that."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Gentrification can be a very touchy subject.  What appears to be economic revitalization of a down-trodden neighborhood to one, can appear to be systematic removal of minorities to another.  This op-ed isn't a whole-hearted embrace of gentrification, but it might be seen as a critique of the gentrification critics.


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

Amber Coleman's curator insight, May 11, 2017 10:59 AM
This article relates to my class because we have just discussed the idea of gentrification. I understood that gentrification was the immigration of richer people to poorer areas, but I didn't realize that it was to the point that people would completely loose their homes. However, I know that it is happening because of urbanization. 
Lucas Olive's curator insight, May 11, 2017 2:38 PM
This article relates to what we have been learning in class because this article explains what gentrification is, which is a big part of urbanization. My opinion on gentrification is that it is not good for most people in the area that is being gentrified, it's only good for a few people, usually they're rich.
Kassie Geiger's curator insight, May 12, 2017 11:50 PM
Gentrification is the process of converting an urban neighborhood from a predominantly low-income, renter-occupied area to a predominantly middle-class, owner-occupied area. To be completely honest I can see how gentrification can be a good thing and a bad thing. The bad part about it is that people could be possibly moving out of a childhood home or a home with sentimental value. While on the other hand it could be a good thing by building new more modern housing that could check the boxes of people "needs" when they are looking to buy a house, especially first-time buyers. They may want a house with a up-to-date kitchen, 4 or 5 bedrooms, an up-to-date bath or two. I can totally understand that to get things how you want them to be in an older house can be extremely difficult and costly. However, some people may want an older house to pass onto their children, to grow old in. 
That's pretty much all I have to say about gentrification without going completely off topic.
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How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away

How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away | Geography Education |

"Saying 'you're not welcome here'—with spikes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  This article from the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering which is undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless.     

Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place.

dilaycock's curator insight, August 3, 2014 3:50 AM

I'd never really taken notice, or heard of some,  of the architectural deterrents mentioned here. I can't believe that we, as a society, go to such lengths to make life even more difficult for those already struggling. 

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 6:52 PM


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An Intriguingly Detailed Animation of How People Move Around a City

An Intriguingly Detailed Animation of How People Move Around a City | Geography Education |
Watch the commuting patterns of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This CityLab article and the embedded maps show the rhythms and patterns that make city life so beautifully complex.  The Center for Advances Spatial Analysis has compiled numerous maps, time-lapse videos and other animations to show flows of urban life.  These are great resources to visualize the 'spaces of flows.'  

Tags: mobility, mapping, visualization, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, transportation.

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, July 13, 2014 5:49 AM

possibly useful for studying complexity

Bronwyn Burke's curator insight, July 13, 2014 6:28 PM
Another fabulous post for Year 7 via Seth Dixon. An aspect of liveability in colour!
MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:03 PM


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The Rise of Innovative Districts

"Today, innovation is taking place where people can come together, not in isolated spaces. Innovation districts are this century's productive geography, they are both competitive places and 'cool spaces' and they will transform your city and metropolis."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As described by the Brookings Institution in their exploration regarding innovation districts, they are geographic areas where leading-edge companies, research institutions, start-ups, and business incubators are located in dense proximity. These districts are created to facilitate new connections and ideas, speed up the commercialization of those ideas, and support urban economies by growing jobs in ways that leverage their distinct economic position.

Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities, labor.

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Growth Rings

Growth Rings | Geography Education |

"Maps Of U.S. Population Change, 2000-2010.  Blue is population increase, red represents population decline."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of maps shows important patterns impacting American cities today.  Pictured above is Detroit, emblematic of urban decline, but some of the patterns that we see in Detroit are happening elsewhere in the United States (but not was pronounced).  Three patterns are especially noteworthy: 1) Decline of the urban core, 2) Growth in the suburban ring but most especially 3) a revitalization of the downtown (specks of blue in the sea red). 

Questions to Ponder: So what processes are creating these patterns?  Have does this information mesh with, or change our understanding of the urban models?     

Tags: urban, planning, unit 7 cities, urban models, economic.

Kate Buckland's curator insight, May 17, 2014 8:01 PM

The donut effect!

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 12:38 PM

These maps show the changes of urban areas in America and the patterns and problems each one goes through.

These human places go through similar development patterns and all focus economically but still have different landscapes as a place.

Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 29, 2014 4:25 PM

Detroit has an increasing population, along with the outskirts of Chicago (suburbs). This  increasing population represents areas that are prospering  because of economic factors. Just as some businesses in Detroit are coming back, businesses in the suburbs in Chicago are also growing, contributing to an increasing population as well. This map reflects economic and social factors (ethnicity) in the present and can be used to get an understanding of America's population growth/decline. 

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling!

In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park

In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park | Geography Education |

"Many good things are happening along a sliver of land that cuts through a crowded corner of Aguascalientes, a city of 1.3 million people. Fields strewn with garbage and a haven for criminals, followed the narrow path of an underground oil pipeline that traverses one impoverished neighborhood after another. In the past three years, the city has reclaimed almost all of this passage for the 300,000 people who live near it. The result is a 7.5 mile linear park that is one of Latin America’s most extraordinary urban green spaces: La Línea Verde  The Green Line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The term "LULU" for city planners stands for local unwanted land use.  LULUs are necessary (prisons, landfills etc.) to the society at large but nobody wants to be close to the negative and undesirable aspects they bring to a community ("NIMBY"-not in my backyard).  Consequently, LULUs are usually concentrated in poorer neighborhoods with limited political capital and disproportionately bear the localized burdens of these sites.  Inspired by the urban transformations in Curitiba Brazil (see this TED talk from Jaime Lerner of Curitiba discussing sustainable urbanism), this is a great example of how an urban renewal project that was able to mitigate the negatives and even make a LULU a positive for a community. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 3, 2014 1:45 PM

This article illustrates how urban renewal can be carried out without the negative effects usually associated with gentrification. The local government did this by working directly with the residents to ensure the improvements made directly reflect the needs and desires of the people that live there. It led to an improved area that not only provided activities and facilities for the locals but helped reduce the criminals and other unsavory characters that frequented the areas before. As the mayor in the article states, the park worked so much better than the common "policy of more cops and guns".

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:20 PM

This article starts off with a story about a four year old girl named Jessica Lopez. Jessica has suffered severe asthma attacks since she was born. Her condition always worsened in the fall, due to  dust rising up from the abandoned fields that bordered her family’s one-room house. Last year, city officials turned the dusty fields next to her house into a beautiful park with trails, playgrounds and shaded pavilions. Oddly enough, Jessica's asthma did not come back that fall. Her mom insists that the creation of this parked saved her life and I couldn't agree more. Most of the pollution and dust were taken out of the environment, thus making it easier for Jessica to breathe. Jessica is just one person that got help out of this. However, the amount of people in that area is equivalent to about 1.3 million. It has to have helped millions of other people as well. The park's lawn are kept nice and green and watered. Solar powered lamps are used to light the park up at night and the park is a great afternoon spot for children and their families.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:44 PM

Personally, I love stories like this.  These people took something that wasn't doing anyone any good, and was just sitting there, and turned it into something that brought the community together.  This park brought life to a poor area, even though they really didn't have the means or the money to do so.  However, this park can have so many benefits, and it can become an outlet.  It can lower crime rates, promote health, bring in people from other cities, etc.