Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Connecticut's Changing Landscape

Connecticut's Changing Landscape | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Changing Landscape is a remote sensing-based land cover study that charts landscape changes in Connecticut and portions of New York. It covers the 25-year period from 1985 to 2010 (with in-between dates of 1990, 1995, 2002 and 2006). It includes information on basic land cover, as well as subsidiary analyses of riparian corridor land cover, impervious cover and agricultural field and soil analysis."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This story map, created with the Story Map Journal application in ArcGIS Online, is a great example of how to use the "Story Action" features.  Story Action features can move the map view to a particular location or change what is being displayed on the main stage of the story map.  These can also be used to navigate to a different section of the a story map.

Here are two excellent Story Maps that use "Story Action" features.  Please take some time to explore both of them and note how these features enhance the presentation of this spatial information:

  1. Connecticut's Changing Landscape
  2. Damaged and Defiant: Houston Stories
  3. And just for fun, the Cross-Section of elevation along the meridians.

 

Scoop.it Tagsurban ecology, mappingESRIStoryMap.

WordPress TAGS: urban ecology, mapping, esri, storymap.

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South Africa Is Still Under Apartheid

"More than two decades after the end of apartheid in South Africa, Cape Town remains racially segregated, with many black residents living in substandard townships."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The title is a bit inflammatory--news agencies may pretend that they aren't in the shock-and-awe, clickbait economy, but they invented the salacious headline to grab our attention.  Still, the racial inequities of a system as pervasive as apartheid aren't going to be reversed in a generation and the racial differences in Capetown are coming under more international scrutiny as the they are in the midst of their current drought.

 

Tags: South Africa, Africarace, ethnicityneighborhood, urban, planning, drought, water, urban ecology.   

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Matt Manish's curator insight, 3 May 2018, 04:26
One can see from this video that Apartheid still exists in some parts of South Africa such as Cape Town. From the drone footage in this video, one can see how divided Cape Town's landscape is from a bird's eye view. You can see how the black community lives in the part of town that is made up of mainly shacks. Right next door, you can see that the white community lives in the suburbs with regular housing and lush trees located adjacently to the black community's village of shacks. It's not just the residential areas of Cape Town that is segregated. Even in the heart of the city, a real racial tension between blacks and whites can be sensed,. Resulting in the majority of the black community being less successful than the white community. One can clearly see that even though Apartheid has officially ended, the tension between blacks and whites still exists in this part of South Africa.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, 4 May 2018, 02:34
This video looks into the still segregated town of Cape Town, located in South Africa. Although it was racially segregated by apartheid in the 20th century, Apartheid was outlawed in 1994. Since then, it has been claimed that Cape Town has become more diverse. This is only true to some extent. Because of the apartheid, it was nearly impossible for Blacks and People of Color to get jobs in the city. Therefore, the different races now inhabit their own neighborhoods, however the segregation still lingers. In most white neighborhoods, they enjoy beautiful and safe lifestyles while the poorer neighbors can’t even afford running water or electricity. Tags: South Africa, Africa, race, ethnicity, neighborhood, urban, planning, drought, water, urban ecology.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, 19 November 2018, 18:50
South Africa had a long history of issues ranging back to Colonialism, through apartheid, and today with government corruption and internal strife. The great inequality left behind after apartheid is a major issue in the country for many people. One way this has been addressed recently is with land redistribution, but this policy has faced much controversy especially since many have suggested the government being able to confiscate "white owned land"  without compensation and use for redistribution.
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Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don't include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they're at risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I'll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called "find the geography."  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, 7 August 2017, 02:14
Useful for Geographical Processes Unit of Inquiry
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Sprawling Shanghai

Sprawling Shanghai | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If you could go back in time to the 1980s, you would find a city that is drastically different than today’s Shanghai.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of seven satellite images shows how quickly the economic development of China has impacted the urban sprawl of China's biggest cities.  Pictures of the downtown area's growth are impressive, but these aerial images show the full magnitude of the change. 

 

Tags: urbanremote sensing, megacities, China, urban ecology.

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Mr Mac's curator insight, 13 June 2017, 15:17
Unit 7 - Urban Sprawl 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, 4 May 2018, 03:12
Shanghai os growing at an incredibly rapid rate. As more and more people begin to inhabit the city, the neighboring towns have morphed into one large city. However, the city's amazing population increase has taken a toll on its ecosystem. With the rapid growth, Shanghai's temperature has increased dramatically. Similarly, the wild and plant life has declined in the region as well.
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Finding North America’s lost medieval city

Finding North America’s lost medieval city | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cahokia was North America's biggest city—then it was completely abandoned. I went there to find out why.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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James Piccolino's curator insight, 31 January 2018, 22:54
Why have I never heard of this? This is too interesting to have somehow just passed most of us by. The entire time I was reading this, I was hoping that they would offer an image of what the site looks like today, and luckily they did. As a history lover there has always been something so amazing about being able to compare historical sites in their prime vs what they are like now. I tend to look up locations of historic places after, say watching a tv show based there, for this same reason. To think this all was hidden under an old drive in movie theater, it's a little crazy, but then again that is what makes this sort of thing so interesting.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, 9 February 2018, 18:25
(North America) The common view of Native Americans involve nomads and small villages in the north and technologically advanced cities in Mexico. However, the largest Native American settlement was in modern day Illinois. At the time, Cahokia had a greater population than Paris or London and had huge intricate mounds, plazas, agricultural centers, and, most importantly, places of ritual worship. It's amazing how archaeologists can piece together so much of day to day life. Rooms with bones and pottery are discovered to be centuries old feasting rooms, a place with distinct pottery and mats is deemed to be a ritual burning ground. The fact that the workers can tell if objects were imported from other villages or how fast the city was built allows the ancient Americans to communicate with us over 600 hundred years later, especially on their religious beliefs of the Upper and Under Worlds. Not only are the archaeologists able to see daily life, they can see the changing history of the city through different housing patterns further below the soil.
David Stiger's curator insight, 7 September 2018, 01:59
It is a shame that probably not enough residents of the United States are aware that this wondrous city ever existed. People recognize the name "Manchu Picchu" but not Cahokia. Why is that the case in our American culture? The article reports that this city has been under serious excavation since the 1970s. Cahokia is a First Nations example of highly advanced civilization - something that even overtook medieval European civilization when the city was in its prime (1200 BCE). The hegemonic narrative of white, patriarchal supremacy - a view that is characterized as 'Eurocentric' - still dominates our culture and prevents stories like these from impacting and shaping how Americans view history. This is important because Cahokia is further evidence that no European ever introduced civilization to the First Nations. More accurately stated, Europeans introduced a different kind of civilization to the Indigenous Peoples implying a sense of equality and humanness. The resulting genocide of the First Nations by white Americans is even harder to justify and ignore because "savages" do not build magnificent cities based on complex systems of religion, spirituality, politics, and artistic expression. 
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How over 2 feet of rain caused historic flooding in Louisiana in less than 72 hours

How over 2 feet of rain caused historic flooding in Louisiana in less than 72 hours | Geography Education | Scoop.it
All-told, over 20 inches of rain fell in less than 72 hours around Baton Rouge.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Last month I was in New Orleans, and it rained for about 2 hours…it was staggering to see how many issues stemmed from that drainage in such a flat floodplain.  This is so much worse.  This article focuses on the weather/environmental situation, and this one on the political/human impact.

 

Tags: urban ecology, environmentweather and climate, water, disasters

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Vultures, Environment, and Mapping Trash

"For generations we vultures, armed with our senses, have fought in silence. We’ve waged a battle against garbage, but now we’re losing that battle. We want to help humans, so we’ve launched a movement to help you detect piles of garbage so that you can take action to eliminate them. Join us in this fight. Vultures Warn, you take action!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an introduction to a fascinating (Spanish language) website and project that uses GPS-tagged vultures to map out the urban trash hot-spots in Lima, Peru.  We look at vultures as the dregs of the food chain and ascribe moral filthiness to the species (just think of any number of movie, literary, and cultural references), but they are simply filling an ecological niche.  This mapping project is a way to use vultures nature in a way that allows for humanity to fix our trash production/disposal problems.    

 

Tagspollution, PerudevelopmentmappingGPSbiogeography, environment, environment modify, South America, land use, megacities, urban ecology, consumption.

 

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Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, 30 September 2018, 04:00
An ingenious idea to clean up the environment. This group is based out of Lima, Peru uses the vultures in the city to find the piles of garbage and refuse left by people and set up events to clean up the area. It is an amazing way to utilize nature to help us solve the problems we caused ourselves. They utilize the vultures by putting GPS devices and GoPro cameras on them and wait until they locate large trash piles. The video itself is so well-made and interesting that it almost forces you to learn more by checking out their website and their social media pages. The phrase they use is "Gallinazo Avisa, Tu Actuas" translates to vultures warn, you act. 
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OTL: The promise Rio couldn't keep

OTL: The promise Rio couldn't keep | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Rio de Janeiro's bid for the Summer Games featured an official commitment to cleaner waters. But with less than six months to go, trash and contamination continue to lurk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

ESPN is covering this topic only because of the upcoming Olympics, but underneath the veneer of a sports article are some weighty geographic issues that loom large for Brazil.  

 

Tags: pollution, economic, Brazil, South America, urban ecology, sport.

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derangedmanaged's comment, 19 February 2016, 06:51
Terrific...!!
Sarah Holloway's curator insight, 23 February 2016, 17:34

ESPN is covering this topic only because of the upcoming Olympics, but underneath the veneer of a sports article are some weighty geographic issues that loom large for Brazil.  

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China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing

China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Schools in Beijing are closed and outdoor construction halted as the Chinese capital's first ever pollution "red alert" comes into effect over smog levels."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A large part of China's rapid economic growth has been dependent on cutting corners in labor and environmental standards.  This is one reason why I don't think that the Chinese economy can continue this growth indefinitely.

 

Tags: pollutionChina, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry, sustainability, urban ecology.

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Sarah Cannon's curator insight, 16 December 2015, 23:39

It's horrible to see China come to this. Soon, air pollution will be just as bad everywhere else if it is not stopped. We, everyone, has to do something to stop air pollution. This world is polluted enough. Stop air pollution so future generations can have a chance to have a good life and not have to worry about PM levels are in the air on a daily basis.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, 2 May 2018, 04:35
Another example of the impacts of China's disregard for environmentally sustainable practices. The city's industry and thousands of cars produce massive amounts of pollutants, making the air difficult to breathe on most days.
brielle blais's curator insight, 2 May 2018, 15:00
This article shows the harm one country can cause when prioritizing their economic growth over protecting the environment and maintaining public safety. The geography of China is that it is surrounded in the South and East by industrialized cities. This has increased air pollution such as smog and forces the people to wear masks and even drive cars on an alternating schedule. This calls for a new global deal on climate change to fix the air quality and way of life for people in China and around the world. 
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The World’s Largest Urban Area Grew Overnight

The World’s Largest Urban Area Grew Overnight | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Rapid growth in several cities along the Pearl River Delta has made a Chinese megacity larger and more populous than any other urban area in the world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What was a rural landscape dominated by rice paddy fields just a few decades ago is now home to the largest Metropolitan region in the world (depending on who is counting and what areas they are including).  The "slider" comparison of these two satellite images taken of the same area in 1988 and 2014 is staggering (click here for an animated GIF of the same imagery).   


Tags: urbanremote sensing, megacities, China, urban ecology.

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Tanya Townsend's curator insight, 17 November 2015, 01:50

Already this image is showing a clear impact that the massive increase in population is having on the landscape. The delata has narrowed and so has the major rivers. As population grows in mega cities like this so doesnt the increase for resources such as water, also when it increases this quickly sanitation practices decrease. One can only imagine the inpact on water quality this is also having.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, 13 December 2015, 12:46

It is amazing how fast a modern city can come about when there is no historical city to base the subsequent growth on.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, 16 December 2015, 20:39

It is astounding the amount of growth this one city has had in one decade and reminds me of some of the rapid development within the Middle East since the 70s which transformed cities like Dubai. Ecologically like most of what China does it is a disaster but fascinating from a development  one. Unfortunately the article doesn't offer a population so that it could be compared to Tokyo's since a size comparison was done in terms of land use. Hopefully China will find a sustainable method of growth because if city continue to grow like this it will be surprising if they could maintain stability. I personally thing this rapid growth is dangerous and like India they likely won't be able to keep up. Additionally since China's economy is very reliant on this type of growth it is concerning to think of what may happen to many of these cities when the growth they rely on stops.

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Concrete Consequences

Concrete Consequences | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The more we slap concrete down all over the state, the more we trigger devestating consequences, like the million-dollar flooding in Cranston last September.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build.  When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem's natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces.  This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality.  The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.     


Tagsurban, watercoastal, urban ecology, Rhode Island.

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Linda Denty's curator insight, 11 May 2015, 00:33

This has been known for years and still we keep doing it!

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Bang Krachao-Bangkok Bike Tour

A Bangkok bike tour of Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า) in Phra Pradaeng (พระประแดง) makes an excellent day trip. Read more of my Bangkok travel tips here: http://m...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier I shared a fantastic satellite image of Bang Krachao, called the green lung of Bangkok.  This lush oasis of green on a bend in the river is a vivid contrast to the surrounding, sprawling metropolitan area.  For an "on the ground" perspective, the video above is a good visual introduction to Bang Karchao and the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city.  These two different vantage points on an urban park are both very helpful in understanding place. 

 

Tagstourismplace, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.

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Consultdustry's curator insight, 8 June 2015, 04:42

This is a Mark Wiens video - He loves to eat and his great video's on YouTube are a big mystery tour to food stalls and small restaurants. Watch his face when he enjoys food !
This video is about Bang Kachao Bangkok's green lung, great to relax and also take a look at the Baang Naam Pueng Market.

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Bang Kachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung

Bang Kachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In the heart of Thailand’s most populous city, an oasis stands out from the urban landscape like a great “green lung.” That’s the nickname given to Bang Kachao—a lush protected area that has escaped the dense development seen elsewhere in Bangkok.  The city is built on the alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. Toward the southern end, near the Gulf of Thailand, is an old meander that never quite formed an oxbow lake. That meander traces the boundary of Bang Kachao, which TIME magazine once called the 'best urban oasis' in Asia.  According to a travel story in The New York Times, Bang Kachao is gaining popularity among tourists lured by bike tours, a floating farmers’ market, and the relaxed atmosphere."


Tags: physical, fluvialremote sensing, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video in a good visual introduction to Bang Kacho in the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city.  

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Savannah Rains's curator insight, 27 May 2015, 06:51

This scoop shows an example of built environmental space. The highly urban and crowded Thailand has little green space. So why is this massive green park looking landmass there? Its a strictly environmental section of land to help water flow into the ocean. The people call it the "green lung" because its plants give off oxygen and provide a contrast from its urban sprawl. This article shows the importance that should be placed on having more strictly environmental places in big cities. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, 9 November 2015, 19:06

It's interesting to see the mixture of natural and manmade landscapes in this image. Humans have an enormous influence on the world around us- we have moved entire rivers for our own purposes, reshaped entire regions. In China, we have literally made it rain. Therefore, it's nice to see remnants of the rich environments that used to cover the urban sprawls of many of the world's largest cities, like Central Park in New York. Bang Kachao in Bangkok is another example of this, a reminder of the richness of the region before it was overwhelmed by the urban development that has characterized Bangkok over the previous century. The oasis serves as a valuable tourist attraction, as Westerners come to enjoy the bike trails and small farming community within Thailand's green lung. Leave it to hipsters to travel halfway across the globe just to enjoy nature within the confines of one of the world's largest cities. 

brielle blais's curator insight, 3 May 2018, 20:55
This showcases how important physical geography is. This "green lung" breaks up the high urbanized Bangkok. This helps the environment thrive and helps to cut down of emissions that affect climate change which is a problem in some areas. 
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Damaged and defiant: Hurricane Harvey

Damaged and defiant: Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Houston holds strong in the wake of devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I am sharing these three interactive webmaps of Houston with my mapping courses to demonstrate what is technologically possible.  Texts, charts, pictures, videos, and maps can be seamlessly integrated to present spatial information in an incredibly engaging and accessible manner.  

Houston's Hurricane Harvey was incredibly impactful but the factors leading to this were also very complex.  These three Story maps lay out:

  1. Houston's urban ecological context
  2. The geographic origins of Hurricane Harvey
  3. The human stories from Hurricane Harvey

 

Scoop.it Tagsphysical, watercoastal, urbanurban ecology, disasters, mappingESRIStoryMap.

WordPress TAGS: physical, water, coastal, urban, urban ecology, disasters, mapping, esri, storymap.

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Haleigh Huffman's curator insight, 28 August 2018, 20:55
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Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey

Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Blue and her team selected 45 stories, each plotted with ESRI’s ArcGIS software on a map of Greater Houston and tied to the exact location where it was first told. The resulting story map of Hurricane Harvey, ‘Damaged and Defiant: Houston Stories,’ was published in the Houston Chronicle in December. The map shows short narratives gathered by Chronicle staffers from people across the area — from Crosby to Kingwood to Katy — each a unique perspective on the storm; told together, they’re the collective account of a city that experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These interlinked Houston story maps show some of the key elements of a good story map: 1) strong spatial analytical components, 2) a powerful narrative, 3) rich visuals, 4) solid cartography, and 5) well-sourced information.

 

Tags: fluvialwatercoastal, urban, disasters, physical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

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How Clean is Narragansett Bay?

How Clean is Narragansett Bay? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The progress in Rhode Island toward clean water owes a lot to this federal law. Seeing urban rivers and the beaches and coves of the upper bay rediscovered as natural assets for wildlife and people to enjoy is one of the great successes of the Clean Water Act [of 1972]."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article from geographer Mary Grady shows a pleasant story in the human and environmental interaction.  The upper bay (that in-between place where the Providence River widens and becomes part of the Narragansett Bay) has been cleaned up and has ecologically been revitalized and is becoming an asset to the community again.  It is far from pristine, but it nice to read about encouraging signs on this front.  

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Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center

Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Anne Hidalgo says she wants to cut the number of cars in French capital by half as part of campaign to tackle pollution
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world's biggest cities are struggling to maintain access to congested downtown areas and still ensure that the downtown maintains it's historic sense of place that generate so much tourism and concentration of cultural amenities.  Pollution is driving cities to change as the private automobile as the default mode of transportation becomes less feasible and unsustainable as cities expand to be far larger than they ever have been before.  

 

Tags: urban, environmentpollution, urban ecology, France, place, tourism, Paris, megacities, transportation.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, 6 February 2018, 15:02
Traffic, nobody likes to hear that word, but we are always unable to avoid it. In any major city traffic is a way of life, but how can we control it. The Mayor or Paris Anne Hidalgo has been looking for a way to limit the amount of the cars in the city or find a way to diverge traffic to some areas. Some of the reasons behind it are to address pollution issues in a city that has seen incredible increase in population and a rise in cars, which obviously gives way pollution. However, it will take time to improve public transportation and they can divert traffic as much as possible, however people still need to be able to get to work and from place to place. Also for foreigners  on vacation in Paris, obviously a popular place to go, how do you deal with population problems and vacationers?  Tourism is very important for Paris and there is a few concerns with cars, first off if the city becomes overtaken by smog that is never a good thing. Second, if you divert traffic to areas it may confuse travelers, and thirdly if you make major changes to roads or buildings do you change the beautiful landscape of Paris? These issues will be challenges for many Mayors or government officials all over the world, sadly there is not an easy answer. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, 31 March 2018, 19:05
In an effort to clear some of the traffic in Paris, the mayor has created plans that will prevent some of the traffic in the country’s capital city. She is making these plans because of the pollution that covers the city. By getting rid of half of the traffic, having an electric tram, and introducing more bike lanes, mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to make the city “green”.
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Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish?

Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Long before Columbus reached the Americas, Cahokia was the biggest, most cosmopolitan city north of Mexico. Yet by 1350 it had been deserted by its native inhabitants the Mississippians – and no one is sure why
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is the eighth in the "Lost Cities" series (Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Angkor, Fordlandia, etc.).  The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, 29 September 2016, 01:55

A great example of the importance of environmental quality to liveability 

Kelly Bellar's curator insight, 30 September 2016, 03:32

This article is the eighth in the "Lost Cities" series (Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Angkor, Fordlandia, etc.).  The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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Beyond debt default and Zika, Puerto Rico struggles as trash piles up

As Puerto Rico’s government grapples with an economic crisis, a Zika outbreak, and widespread landfill closures, another disaster is brewing -- trash on the island. Whenever it rains, several feet of black, contaminated water and trash flood the homes of people living near the Martín Peña Channel.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video clip really stretches across diverse geographic strands...If you are looking for a "post-test," end-of-the-year resource to help them tie together loose strands of the curriculum, this could certainly be of use.

 

Tags: urbanwatermedical, environmentpollution, urban ecology, Puerto Rico, economic.

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Thirsty Yet? Eight Cities That Are Improbably Running out of Water

Thirsty Yet? Eight Cities That Are Improbably Running out of Water | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The amount of rainfall a place gets isn't the only factor in how much water is available to it. These major urban areas show how dire the coming global freshwater shortage could get.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Seen from space, this planet is a blue marble, a world where the surface is dominated by water.  The Pacific Ocean alone is nearly half of the surface area of our planet.  Add in polar ice caps and the rivers and lakes, we can see that water profoundly impacts Earth.  Yet most of that water is salt water (97%) and two-thirds of our non-salty water locked away in ice sheets (2% of the global water). Everything else, rivers, lakes, marshes, aquifers, and reservoirs represent that remaining 1% of the Earth's water supply--and that 1% of water is what sustains human settlements and allows for agricultural expansion.  The geography of this 1% is highly uneven and a huge water crisis can cause governments crumble--the fact that this precious resources has been wasted and polluted becomes more frustrating as water resources are being strained in so many places.  In this article, it  describes 8 major metro areas where water is being depleted rapidly -- Tokyo, Miami, London, Cairo, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Bangalore and Mexico City. 

 

Tags: urban, water, land use, megacities, urban ecology, consumption, environment, resources.

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My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me

My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In our dense cities where land is valuable and housing is expensive, why do our cars pay cheaper rent than people?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Everyone searching for a parking space has at one time felt that there are not enough spaces where and when you need them...did you know that their are at least 3 surface lot parking spaces for every car in the United States (not including garages, driveways, etc)?  With 250 million passenger vehicles for 316 million people, that means there are 800 million surface lot parking spaces (that account for only 60-70% of our parking needs).  Parking, and the ways in which parking is subsidized, are much bigger issues than many want to believe, especially when cars are given breaks that people don't.  We cant forget that there is a high cost for free parking.  

 

Tags: urban, transportation, planning.

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The Geography of New Orleans

The Geography of New Orleans | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Geographers make a distinction between site and situation as they consider the underlying foundation of a place. Few cities represent such a wide chasm between these two aspects as does New Orleans. The situation, or the answer to why does a place exist, was imperative. The Mississippi River was a major artery for the North American continent. As first the Europeans and then the Americans assumed control of the area, a port was essential at the mouth of this river. But the site, the response to where a city is placed, continues to confound. Few environments were or are more inhospitable to human habitation. Poor soil, disease, floods, and hurricanes are constant threats that have plagued the city for over three centuries. But the why trumped the where and hence the paradox of New Orleans persists.
Seth Dixon's insight:

New Orleans is the classic example to use to explain the difference between site and situation...lousy site, incredible situation.  These maps are a nice introduction to the city.  

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Gilbert C FAURE's comment, 27 November 2015, 13:08
names of streets were obviously french!
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Lawn Order

Lawn Order | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In communities across America, lawns that are brown or overgrown are considered especially heinous. Elite squads of dedicated individuals have been deputized by their local governments or homeowners’ associations to take action against those whose lawns fail to meet community standards."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great podcast from 99 Percent Invisible that shows not only the environmental aspects of America’s obsession with well-manicured lawns, it also nicely explored the cultural norms that police our behavior to create the stereotypical suburban landscape.  This is my favorite quote from the podcast: “There’s a paradox to the lawn. On the one hand, it is the pedestal on which sits the greatest symbol of the American Dream: the home, which people can ostensibly govern however they wish. And yet—homeowners often have almost no control over how they should maintain their lawn. Grass may be a plant, but a lawn is a designed object.”


Tags: housingneighborhood, cultural norms, consumption, water, environmenturban ecology, culture.


"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." ~Benjamin Franklin

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How to fix California's drought problem

How to fix California's drought problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
California has enough water—that's not the problem, says Terry Tamminen. So here's how you solve the drought crisis.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no easy fix to a complex problem such as the water shortage in California.  Some coastal cities are considering desalinization projects while others want to reduce environmental regulations that protect wetland ecosystems to harness all of the freshwater available.  One of the issues is that most of California's precipitation occurs during a very short time frame.  Before the water crisis, these potential flood waters were diverted into concrete management canals but this article advocates to build more underground cisterns to capture excess rainfall before it flows to the ocean.   


Tags: consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.


"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." ~Benjamin Franklin

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Eden Eaves's curator insight, 24 May 2015, 22:50

The sunny state of California does in fact get enough rain fall each year but because storm sewers were built after continuous flooding, all of this rainfall is pushed into the Pacific Ocean rather than where it it needed now.

A solution to the insane drought taking California by storm is to use simple rain barrels to collect water at a typical home and a graded lawn to capture and retain water, allowing it to seep into the ground rather than run off into the streets and eventually into the ocean. 

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, 25 May 2015, 07:20

The article relates to irrigation and the conservation efforts discussed in Unit 5. Irrigation has a lot to do with the drought in California because massive amounts of water are being used for agriculture in California, which consists of water-needy fruits and vegetables. There are efforts to try to conserve water by installing rainwater collectors to reuse water instead of just draining usable rainwater to the ocean and rivers. There have also been installations of grey water pipes to reuse for irrigation. Grey water is any water that is flushed down the drain that isn't sewage, such as water from showers or water from washing machines. This way water wouldn't have to be wasted and can be reused.

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California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Major urban areas in California have limited local water resources so they draw water from large area to bring in sufficient water for these burgeoning metropolitan regions.  With this current drought getting worse, California has ordered emergency water restrictions on residents while companies and large farms have been granted exemptions even though they account for 82% of the state's annual water consumption (residential accounts for 12%). Almond farms alone consume 10% of the state's water, and many agricultural crops are incredibly water intensive land uses.  A better way to think of it isn't just about raw water usage though.  A better question to ask would be this--how does one gallon of water translate into calories that most efficiently feed people?


Questions to Ponder: How does the concept of carrying capacity relate to California urban growth/drought issues?  California passed its carrying capacity?  How are demographics, economics, politics and the environment intertwined in California?  What are the environmental limits on urban growth and development? 


Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, 9 April 2015, 13:49

The mathematics of endless growth due to economic monetary rules has a clear outcome.