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Global and Urban Geography
Population distribution is described
according to location and density. Factors
that influence population distribution include
• Natural Resources (oil, arable land, water)
• Climate (hot/cold, wet/dry)
• Economic development
• Government policy
• Rural/Urban settlement
• Capital resources ( transportation,
• Conflicts (refugees)
Characteristics of human population differ
over time and from region to region.
Characteristics include
Birth and death rate
Age distribution
Male/Female distribution
Life expectancy
Infant mortality
Population growth rates are influenced by
humans, environmental, economic, and
political factors.
Modern medicine and hygiene
Industrialization and Urbanization
Economic development
Government policy
Role of women in society
Migration occur because of
social, political, and
environmental factors
Push Factors
Religious persecution
Lack of jobs
Agricultural decline
Political persecution
Natural hazards
Limits on personal freedom
Pull Factors
Economic opportunities
Land availability
Political freedom
Ethnic and family ties
Arable land
Migration have influenced cultural
landscape. Impacts include
Religion and religious freedom
Cultural landscapes
Modern transportation and communication
are encouraging higher levels of cultural
interactions worldwide
• Diffusion of US culture to other regions
• traditions in the US
The use of a resource depends on a
nation’s culture, value, access to
technology and governmental priorities
as they change over time.
Social and economic priorities that influence
a culture’s perspective on resources
• Economic development priorities
• Environmental conservation priorities
• Priorities of indigenous minorities
Examples of technologies that have created
demand for particular resources
• Steam engine- demand for coal
• Internal combustion (cars and trucks)
demand for gasoline
• Computer chips –demand for skilled labor
Cost of using resource
• Resource depletion
• Environmental degradation
• Health problems
Benefits of using resources
• Production of goods and services
• Employment opportunities
• Development of technologies
Divisions are regions of the
Earth’s surface over which
groups of people establish social,
economic, and political control
Example of spatial divisions include
Election districts
School districts
Regions districts
Conservation districts
Planning districts
Area code zones
Cities countries
Reason for spatial relationships
• Desire for government closer to home
• Need to solve local problems
• Need to administer resources more
Spatial divisions may generate
Boundary disputes
Cultural difference
Economic difference
Competition for scarce resource
Political advantage
Spatial divisions may generate
• Natural disasters
• Economic advantage (attract new
• Cultural similarities
• Addressing regional issues waste
management, magnet school,
Site and situation are important
geographic concepts when
studying the growth of cities
Site is the actual location of a city
Harbor sites
Island sites
Fall line site
Confluence site
Hilltop sites
Oasis site
Sites where rivers narrow
Harbor sites
• New York City
• Alexandria, Egypt
• Istanbul, Turkey
Island sites
• Paris
• Hong Kong
• Singapore
Fall Line
• Richmond, Virginia
Confluence Site
• Khartoum, Sudan
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hilltop site
• Rome, Italy
• Athens, Greece
• Jerusalem, Israel
Oasis site
• Damascus, Syria
Sites where rivers narrow
• London, England (United Kingdom)
• Quebec City (Canada)
Situation is another name for
relative location-the location of a
city with respect to other
geographic features, regions,
resources, and transportation
Baghdad –command of land
between Tigris and Euphrates
Istanbul, Turkey commands of
straits and land bridge to Europe
Mecca, Saudi Arabia and
Varanasi India focal point of
Cities that grew up around trade routes (Silk
Road, Trans Sahara trade, and maritime
• Samarkand, Uzbekistan
• Xi’an China,
• Timbuktu, Mali,
• Singapore
Capetown, South Africa supply
station for ships
Cities that grew up along the US
transcontinental Railroad
• Omaha, Nebraska
• Sacramento, California
Cities that grew up along the TransSiberian Railroad
• Novosibirsk
• Vladivostok
The function of towns and cities
change over time
Security, defense
Religious centers
Trade centers
Government administration
Manufacturing centers
Service centers
Examples of change in cities
functions over time
• Rio de Janerio-move of Brazils capital city from
Rio to Brasilia
• Pittsburg Pennsylvania early function connected
to defense then became steel manufacturing
center later shifted to diverse services (light
• New York City-changes in trade patterns,
coastal, and transatlantic trade, trade from great
lakes via Erie canal, world wide trade and
• Mining towns (ghost towns) resource depletion
change in the environment
Urban population exercise a
powerful influence the world’s
cultural, political, and economic
ideas and systems
Nation building (monuments, symbols)
Transportation/ communication hubs
Magnets for migration
Seed beds of new ideas and technology
Diversity leading to creativity in the arts
Universities educational opportunities
Corporation headquarters/regional offices
Media centers news, entertainment)
Urban Development may lead to
problems related to human
mobility, social structure, and the
• Transportation problems emerge, especially as
automobile travel increases
• Rich and poor neighborhoods exist in different
areas isolated from one another
• Providing essential services
• Air, water, and noise pollution increase
• Sprawl results in the conversion of agricultural
land to urban uses, especially in North America
• Rapid immigration results in shantytowns on the
edge of cities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia
• In developing countries, major cities are more
connected to regions outside the country than to
regions within the country
An understanding of the practical
application of geography enables
students to be informed, active
citizens in their community
Recycling program
Conversion of land from agricultural use
Water source
Airport expansion
Air quality
Bicycle path
Mass Transit
City planning and zoning laws
Energy use
Location and size of public building
Selection of locations for new stores and
Current events shaped by the
physical and human
characteristics of the place and
regions where they occur
How physical characteristics
influence current events
• Natural hazards( flooding, earthquakes,
volcanoes, drought)
• Climate and vegetation
How human character influence
current events
Population distribution
Geographic patterns of ethnic diversity
A sense of place
Geographic patterns of trade and
• Geographic patterns of wealth and poverty