Search

GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

Tag

neighborhood

Why 80% of Singaporeans live in government-built flats

Lots of countries show off their public-housing projects, but few are quite as devoted to them as Singapore, where four-fifths of the permanent population live in subsidised units built by the government, most of them as owner-occupiers. The city-state’s suburbs bristle with HDB towers, painted calming pastel hues. This vast national housing system surprises visitors who think of Singapore as a low-tax hub for expatriate bankers and big multinationals. But HDB is a linchpin of economic and social policy and an anchor for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which has led Singapore since independence. It is also a tantalising but tricky model for Singapore’s fast-urbanising neighbours to follow.

Source: www.economist.com

Singapore is such a fascinating case study.  Over 90% of the Singapore’s land is owned by the government and the American ideal of independent home ownership is seen as antithetical to cultural norms.  The government heavily subsidies young couples to live near their parents and create tight-knit communities with homelessness was eradicated (that’s the optimists’ perspective).  This is all well and good for young, straight couples that choose to support the ruling political party, but critics often point out that the housing focus has also created a paternalistic component to the government that is much stronger in Singapore than in other countries.  This article nicely goes with the 2017 APHG reading professional development talk entitled “The Geographies of Home” that focused on Singaporean and Japanese examples.    

 

Tag: Singapore, urban, neighborhood, economicplanning, housing, cultural norms.

Advertisements

In the Same Ballpark

“In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles opened their baseball season at a brand new stadium called Oriole Park at Camden Yards, right along the downtown harbor. The stadium was small and intimate, built with brick and iron trusses—a throwback to the classic ballparks from the early 20th century. It was popular right from the start.

These new Populous ballparks are small and old fashioned-looking but they also feature modern amenities—comfortable seats and fancy foods. And while designed to be different, they tend to follow a similar aesthetic format, featuring a lot red brick and green-painted iron. These new parks also feature asymmetrical playing fields, which are in many cases dictated by the surrounding cityscape.”

Source: 99percentinvisible.org

This podcast is filled with important urban geographic issues: downtown revitalization, landscape aesthetics, sense of place, planning, public/private revitalization, etc.  And to boot, this podcast uses America’s pasttime to discuss these topics. I typically really enjoy the thoughtful exploration of the untold stories that make up our world found in the 99 Percent Invisible podcast.

Five gentrification myths debunked

‘Gentrification’ is a messy bogeyman of a term deserving more critical analysis. If ‘gentrification’ is ‘exclusive economic development’, what we want is INCLUSIVE economic development.

Source: www.youtube.com

This post will need many disclaimers, but I think that it is a valuable addition to our gentrification materials since the key take-home point is that gentrification doesn’t happen the same way in all places (geographic context matters!). Some of the generalizations about gentrification around the country might not apply to some specific examples.  Are these generalizations true in some (and possibly most) contexts?  Sure, but unfortunately once people hear the word gentrification, they assume a base set of assumptions about the situation which may or may not be true.  The 5 myths outlined in this video (more detail in this Washington Post article) are:

  1. Gentrification leads to lower crime.
  2. Gentrification causes widespread displacement.
  3. Longtime residents hate gentrification.
  4. Gentrifiers are white.
  5. Gentrification happens naturally.

Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic   

What Rio doesn’t want the world to see

“Rio is hiding poor people. See Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3BRTlHFpBU

Source: www.youtube.com

This isn’t news, but it isn’t just about Rio de Janeiro, since the World Cup and Olympics have already come and gone. Yet the urban planning designed for the world’s gaze remains.  Some strategies used were to create economic development and stimulate the local communities, but more often than not, the poor of the city and the poor communities cities were swept under the rug without addressing the issues that creating poverty with the city.  Many of the poor communities closest to Olympic venues were demolished without real viable housing options for the displaced residents.

 

Questions to Ponder: Can you think of other ways (of other examples) that city planning is used to hide the poor or the ‘less desirable’ parts of the city?  Why does this happen?  How should urban planning approach economic redevelopment, poverty, and community?   

 

Tags: Brazil, urban, squatter, neighborhood, economicplanning, urbanism.

 

4 ways to make a city more walkable

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.

Source: www.ted.com

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.  

Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planningtransportation, urbanism, scaleTED, video.

New Urbanism

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.”

Source: www.youtube.com

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. 

 

Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planning, urbanism, scale

The Most Popular Running Routes in the 20 Biggest U.S. Metro Areas

These are the top running routes in the 20 biggest metro areas in the United States, according to Strava data.

Source: www.runnersworld.com

I’m a big advocate of running/mapping apps for my own personal training (I use Map My Run and Strava).  These maps were created with raw data from Strava to show the most popular urban runs in the US.   Prominent on this list are urban parks, scenic waterfronts, and retrofitted railways…in other words, successful urban planning that has help to foster a strong sense of place.

    

Tags: urban, place, neighborhood, planning, urbanism.

How Jane Jacobs beat Robert Moses to be the ultimate placemaker

“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.”

Source: www.slate.com

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.

‘Crimetown’ podcasts on Providence No. 1 on iTunes charts

“Providence, once the heart of the New England mafia, was chosen for the first season. The approximately 17 to 20 episodes will follow the patterns of corruption in Rhode Island up through the banking crisis of RISDIC, the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice, and City Hall corruption in Operation Plunder Dome.”

Source: www.providencejournal.com

This is not just a fascinating local story of my new hometown; this is a riveting portrayal of the urban social geographies of organized crime, corruption, and the cosa nostra.  With only three episode to date, they with entertain and inform listeners with delving into the inner working of the mob (and just a heads up–the language will be crass and actual crimes will be discussed–don’t say I didn’t warn you).  To be honest, of course season one of Crimetown dad to been about Providence, and it is all the more compelling knowing the neighborhoods that are being shaped in this historical portrayal of Rhode Island.    

 

Tagsurban, crime, Rhode Island, neighborhood, socioeconomic, poverty, podcast.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑