Geography of Urban Diversity
Course Outline and Syllabus
Location of economic activities and social groups among and within U.S. urban areas. Geographic perspectives on underlying processes and resulting problems resulting from changing distributions.
Most of you—like most Americans—live in urban areas. This course helps you to understand the urban environment in which you live, the diversity of patterns and processes that help to make it distinctive, and similarities and differences with other urban places.
This course examines alternative explanations for the origins, growth, and distribution of cities. Geographic approaches are utilized to understand relationships among the processes of urbanization, population growth, and economic development. Models are introduced that help to explain the location of different groups of people and economic activities within urban areas.
1. To understand patterns of differences in how people earn a living and in where various social groups among and within U.S. urban areas.
2. To apply geographic concepts to explaining reasons for distinctive distributions of economic activities and social groups among and within urban areas.
3. To examine from geographic perspectives problems resulting from distinctive economic and social conditions in U.S. urban areas.
A. Two papers (5-10 pages), plus poster for class discussion, work in teams, each count 20 percent of grade.
1. The first paper and poster: Describe a community’s most important economic activities and the reasons why those businesses have located there. Assigned September 19, paper and poster due and discussed in class October 21.
2. The second paper: Compare the characteristics of the people and the housing in two communities and the reasons for similarities and differences between the two. Assigned November 7, due December 7.
B. Six examinations, in-class one-hour blue-book essays, each count 10 percent of grade.
September 23 October 12 December 7
September 30 November 4 December 16 (2.45 PM)
C. Readings. Purchase and read packet of readings from DuBois Book Store, 118 E High Street
James Rubenstein, firstname.lastname@example.org
hours: 9-11 MWF in 211 Shideler (529-5025)
Miami Plan for Liberal Education
GEO 201 forms part of the core of courses required for Urban and Regional Planning majors and minors. It is also a Miami Plan for Liberal Education Foundation course that meets the Social Science and U.S. Cultures requirements. It is also the first course in the Urban Geography Thematic Sequence (GEO 1). For the second and third courses choose two among Urban & Regional Planning (GEO 451), Urban Geography (GEO 454), Race, Change & Urban Conflict in America (GEO 455), and Advanced Urban & Regional Planning (GEO 459).
The course addresses the four principles of the Miami Plan for Liberal Education as follows:
· Thinking Critically: Analyze through essay examinations, term papers, and in-class discussions geographic perspectives on the location of economic activities and social groups among and within U.S. cities, processes producing distinctive geographical distributions, and resulting problems.
· Understanding contexts: Recognize distinctive roles played by people of different classes, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientation in particular urban places.
· Engaging with other learners: Understand geographic perspectives on diversity of people and activities in urban areas through discussion, presentations, and site visits.
· Reflecting and acting: Think about actions and behavior resulting from living and working in urban areas.
Liberal Education offers students taking this class for their thematic sequence the opportunity to register for one extra hour of credit to do Extended Study or Service Learning. You initiate the idea, and I agree to it. You decide how I assign a grade for the Extended Study or Service Learning. An example of Extended Study would be a proposal to read an entire book instead of only a chapter in the assigned reading. An example of Service Learning would be volunteer work with an organization in Over-the-Rhine.
Detailed outline of topics
Week 1. August 24 & 26. Which came first: cities or agriculture?
Case for agriculture first: cities survive on agricultural surplus.
Case for cities first: cities as centers of innovations, including agriculture.
Readings: 1. Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities, Chapter 1, pp. 3-31.
Week 2. August 29 & 31, September 2. Understanding differences between urban and rural areas.
Causes and consequences of rapid urbanization during the past 200 years.
Relationships among urbanization, population growth, & economic development.
Readings 2. T.S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution: 1760-1830, Ch. 1, pp. 3-17.
3. James Rubenstein, “The Demographic Transition,” in The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, pp. 58-76.
Week 3. September 6, 7, & 9. Different ways that people earn a living in U.S. cities.
Geographic factors in location of manufacturing.
Change from manufacturing to service-based economy.
Readings 4. Harry W. Richardson, “The Urban Economic Base and Urban Growth,” Regional Economics, pp. 165-170.
5. Paul Knox, “Economic Restructuring and the Emergence of 'Informational' Cities (1983-present),” in Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography, pp. 56-64.
6. J. Clark Archer and Ellen R. White, “A Service Classification of American Metropolitan Areas,” Urban Geography, April 1985, pp. 122-151.
Week 4. September 12, 14, & 16. Examples of economic transformation of U.S. cities.
New York (textiles), Chicago (steel), Detroit (cars).
Readings 7. Irving Cutler. Chicago: Metropolis of the Mid-Continent, pp. 73-95.
8. Peter Krouse, “The Tangled Story of Steel Imports in America.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer. July 1, 2001, p. 1A-3A
9. Steve Babson, “End of the Line?” in Working Detroit, pp. 210-221.
Week 5. September 19, 21, & 23. Papers and exams.
September 19. First term paper assigned.
September 21. Finish discussion of manufacturing.
September 23. First examination (10% of grade).
Week 6. September 26, 28, & 30. Services in cities.
Central place theory.
Readings 10. Richard L. Morrill and Jacqueline M. Dormitzer, “The Central Place System,” in The Spatial Order, pp. 200-219.
September 30. Second examination (10% of grade).
Week 7. October 3, 5, & 7. Distinctive role of downtown in U.S. cities.
Readings 11. Thomas J. Baerwald, “Changing Sales Patterns in Major American Metropolises, 1963-1982,” Urban Geography, October 1989, pp. 355-370.
12. James H. Johnson, “The City Centre,” in Urban Geography, pp. 105-122.
13. Brian Williams, “Designing a Downtown,” Planning, December 2004, pp. 20-23.
14. Timothy S. Chapin, “Sports Facilities as Urban Redevelopment Catalysts: Baltimore’s Camden Yards and Cleveland’s Gateway,” Journal of the American Planning Association, Spring 2004, pp. 193-209.
Weeks 8 & 9. October 10, 12, 17, 19, & 21. Diversity in where different social groups live within U.S. cities.
October 12. Third examination (10% of grade).
October 21. First paper due and poster discussed in class.
Readings 15. Mark LaGory and John Pipkin, “Descriptive Models of Residential Structure,” Chapter 5 in Urban Social Space, pp. 77-102.
16. Chauncy D. Harris. “‘The Nature of Cities’ and Urban Geography in the Last Half Century,” Urban Geography, 1997, pp. 15-35.
Week 10. October 24, 26, & 28.
Differences in where social groups live within U.S. and European cities.
Case studies: London, Paris
Readings 17. Linda McCarthy and Darrick Danta, “Cities of Europe,” in Cities of the World, 3rd ed., Stanley D. Brunn, Jack F. Williams, and Donald J. Zeigler, eds., pp. 168-221.
18. James Rubenstein and Bernadette Unger, “Planning After the Fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia,” Focus, Winter 1992, pp. 1-6.
Week 11. October 31, November 2 & 4. Differences in where social groups live within third-world cities.
Case studies: Olomouc, Mexico City
November 4. Fourth examination (10% of grade).
Readings 19. Larry R. Ford. “A New and Improved Model of Latin American City Structure,” Geographical Review, July 1996, pp. 437-440.
20. “The Brown Revolution.” The Economist, May 11, 2002, pp. 73-74.
Weeks 12 & 13. November 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21. Social diversity in U.S. cities.
November 7. Second term paper assigned.
Race and segregation, Crime and security, fiscal problems of central cities.
Readings: 21. Louis Wirth, “Urbanism as a Way of Life,” in On Cities and Social Life, pp. 67-77.
22. Richard Florida, “The Economic Geography of Talent,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 92, No. 4, 2002, pp. 743-755.
23. Studs Terkel, “The House I Live In,” in Race, pp. 97-111.
24. Mark Singer, “A Year of Trouble.” The New Yorker, May 20, 2002, pp. 42-46.
25. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission), Report, pp. 47-52, 203-206, 236-265.
26. Oscar Newman, “Defensible Space: A New Physical Planning Tool for Urban Revitalization,” in Journal of the American Planning Association, Spring 1995, pp. 149-155.
27. Derek Ali, “Five Oaks’ Gates Still Hot,” Dayton Daily News, July 6, 1998.
28. Jim Bozdech, “People Saved Neighborhood,” Dayton Daily News, August 3, 1998.
29. Carla Philpot, “Less Crime, Affordable Housing Make City Living Attractive Option,” Dayton Daily News, July 12, 1999.
30. “An Inner-City Renaissance,” Business Week, October 27, 2003, pp. 64-68.
31. Blake Gumprecht, “The American College Town,” Geographical Review, January 2003, pp. 81-96.
Week 14. November 28, 30, & December 2. Transportation.
December 2. Fifth examination (10% of grade).
Differences in mobility and access.
Readings: 32. William Thomas Bogart, “Transportation,” in The Economics of Cities and Suburbs, pp. 319-341.
33. Dan Gordon, “Get Me to the Job on Time,” Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2001, p. W-1.
34. Gloria Ohland, “Return of the Trolleys,” Planning, May 2004, pp. 12-13.
35. Alex Marshall, “Love (and Hate) That Metro,” Planning, February 2004, pp. 18-23.
36. Ginny Finch, “Congestion Pricing: Reducing Traffic Jams Through Economics,” Public Roads, Autumn 1996.
37. Monte Morin, “91 Express Lanes Pricing Some Drivers Out,” Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2001, p. B-1.
38. “The Road Tolls for Thee,” The Economist, June 12, 2004, pp. 30-32.
39. Elizabeth Lunday, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” Planning, May 2005, pp. 10-15.
Week 15. December 5, 7, & 9. Understanding differences between cities and suburbs.
December 7. Second term paper due.
Suburban development process.
Readings 40. Kenneth T. Jackson, “The Baby Boom and the Age of the Subdivision,” in Crabgrass Frontier, pp. 231-245.
41. Marion Clawson and Peter Hall, “Dispersed Decision Making,” in Planning and Urban Growth, pp. 18-31.
42. Joel Garreau, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, pp. 3-15.
Final, Friday December 16, 2.45-4.45 PM. Sorry the instructor is not permitted to change this time slot. Exceptions are granted by Dean of College of Arts & Science in 146 Upham.