Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! City planner Jeff Speck shares his “general theory of walkability” — four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.
As the 2017 APHG exam has ended, some people have asked for more resources on new urbanism. This TED talk from Jeff Speck gives a good sense of what planners believe in new urbanism are trying to do (you can also watch his earlier TED talk, The Walkable City). Here is information from New Urbanism (dot org) from it’s practioners, including the Congress on New Urbanism. Lastly, here is an academic article reviewing the critiques of new urbanism with rebuttals.
What economists around the world get wrong about the future.
The idea that economic growth can continue forever on a finite planet is the unifying faith of industrial civilization. That it is nonsensical in the extreme, a deluded fantasy, doesn’t appear to bother us. We hear the holy truth in the decrees of elected officials, in the laments of economists about flagging GDP, in the authoritative pages of opinion, in the whirligig of advertising, at the World Bank and on Wall Street, in the prospectuses of globe-spanning corporations and in the halls of the smallest small-town chambers of commerce. Growth is sacrosanct. Growth will bring jobs and income, which allow us entry into the state of grace known as affluence, which permits us to consume more, providing more jobs for more people producing more goods and services so that the all-mighty economy can continue to grow. “Growth is our idol, our golden calf,” Herman Daly, an economist known for his anti-growth heresies, told me recently.
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
The Spanish Crown eventually began phasing out slavery at home and in its colonies, but parts of the Philippines were so far-flung that authorities couldn’t keep a close eye. Traditions persisted under different guises, even after the U.S. took control of the islands in 1898. Today even the poor can have utusans or katulongs (“helpers”) or kasambahays (“domestics”), as long as there are people even poorer. The pool is deep.
This article created a huge stir from the moment it was published, especially within the U.S. Filipino community. Slavery is reprehensible, but to most people today, it is incomprehensible to imagine how one human could ever enslave another. This story of a Filipino family that brought a ‘domestic worker’ with them to the United States is a riveting tale that offers glimpses into the cultural context of modern-day slavery. The author was born into this family and it’s a painful tale intermingled with agony, love, cruelty, tenderness, guilt, and growth. This article is a long read, but well worth it. You can listen to a 55-minute audio version of the article, or also listen to the NPR 5-minute version.
“Simulating climate conditions over the last 125,000 years and predicting how those changes would have allowed humans to spread around the globe, this video models human migration patterns.” Read more: http://ow.ly/lWIp304qZEo
The World Economic Forum noted that some spatial research that was originally published in Nature, shows how geneticists took DNA samples from people of different cultures in different parts of the world to track their dispersal throughout the globe. The video uses climatic data, combined with the genetic data, to create a model showing how the human race spread across the globe over a 125,000 year period.
“New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on the principles of how cities and towns had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity, and accessible public spaces. In other words: New Urbanism focuses on human-scaled urban design.”
As the 2017 APHG exam has ended, some people have asked for more resources on new urbanism. Here is information from New Urbanism (dot org) the Congress on New Urbanism for teachers and students that are reassessing the Free Response Questions.
“Repurposed NASA maps show the racial diversity (and segregation) of the United States in more detail than ever before.”
This interactive map of population density in the United States also shows ethnic categories as defined by the U.S. census. Please explore this map at a variety of scales and in distinct locales.
Questions to Ponder: Is this a map of ethnic diversity patterns or is it a map of racial segregation? How come? Is there additional information that you would need to decide? This review of the map on Wired and Atlantic Cities described this map as a map depicting segregation: why would they say that?
To reduce the pressure on the world’s productive land and to help assure long-term food security, writes Herbert Girardet, city people are well advised to revive urban or peri-urban agriculture. While large cities will always have to import some food, local food growing is a key component of sustainable urban living.
Urban agriculture is right at the perfect intersection for human geographers who focus on both urban networks and food systems–clearly this is an important overlap that deserves a more detailed look.
The British Empire was the largest Empire to have ever existed in our history. So what would things look like if the empire reunited today?
This is interesting perspective of the strength of the old British Empire as well as some of the inequalities that are part and parcel of empire.
The “Brave New Workers” series tells stories of Americans adapting to a changing economy. This week: after years working in the coal mines of West Virginia, a miner charts a new career in health care.
This series, Brave New Workers, is all about workers adapting to the shifting economic geographies. Some industries are seen as foundational to a community and there is much angst about the loss of particular jobs. New technologies are disruptive, and the process of job creation/job loss is sometimes referred to as creative destruction. My uncle, once about a time, was a typewriter repairman. Clearly, the personal computer was going to render his niche in the economic system obsolete so he became a web developer. Not everyone successfully makes a seamless transition, but this collection of stories is emblematic of the modern American worker, needing to nimbly adapt to the labor market.