This module was created to accompany “Understanding the Changing Planet” Chapter 4: How and Where Will 10 Billion People Live on Earth? Through the use of interactive maps, students will learn what role the geographical sciences have to play in understanding human settlement over the past 2000 years, the visualization of urban growth in one region in China, and how this relates to growth in your own city.
This activity should take a total of 90 minutes for your students to complete. You can separate these activities into 45-minute segments, choose one of the two activities for a 15- or 20-minute experience, or you can assign the activities for homework. Your students will be able to freely obtain all tools necessary to complete these activities independently should you so choose for them to complete these on their own.
The student will be able to:
Have students watch the YouTube video “7 Billion” and then read the “How and Where Will 10 Billion People Live on Earth?” paragraph to provide them with some background knowledge of urban population growth and U.N. projections of growth over the next forty years.
We live in the century of the city. In 2008, humanity crossed a milestone as it marked the first time that more people lived in urban areas than any other type of settlement. The United Nations forecasts that most of the global population growth in the coming decades will occur in urban areas. World population is expected to increase by 1 billion to 5 billion between 2007 and 2050 (UN, 2009), 1 yielding a global total of between 7.9 and 12 billion people by 2050 depending on fertility and mortality trends (Figure 4.1).2 Under the medium-growth scenario, world population will be almost 10 billion by 2050, with an estimated 3.1 billion new urban dwellers.3 (UCP, 49)
Ask students to hypothesize how population centers may have changed over time. They can write their answers on their Student Answer Sheet (on paper or digitally).
Instruct students that they will be investigating two geographic investigations of actual urban settlement over the past 2000 years to present. Tell them to continue filling out their answer sheets with their thoughts and conclusions and that they will be “collected” at the conclusion of the exercise. If you would like to minimize class time for the answer part of the activity, you can assign this for homework where the students can review the interactive maps and do research on the Internet and in their textbooks to help them to answer the questions.
In this short investigation 1 of the Settlement Module, the investigation requires the student to click through an interactive presentation of the top ten populated cities since the year 100 CE through 2005 CE. This investigation sets the scene for the student to think about how and where cities have grown over the past 2000 years. Students should record their observations on how the cities change over time and they can click on any city at any time during the presentation for more information. This part of the exercise should take approximately fifteen minutes. Have the students answer the questions for the remainder of the class period. If they do not complete the answers, they can finish them for homework.
In this short investigation 2 of the Settlement Module, the investigation asks the students to view the Pearl River region in China. Students can read the brief description of the satellite photos and compare the two images. The students will answer one question relative to the change in population of this region.
The students will then progress to the ChangeMatters Viewer to look at the region the students live in. This viewer has three images, one from 1975, one from 2005 and the change in vegetation in that 30 year period of time. The students will answer one question regarding the change in the region where they live.
All data and maps in this lesson are to be used for educational purposes only. It is not to be used for research purposes.
Top Cities Through Time
Years 100, 1000, 1500, 1800, 1900, 1950 data compiled from About.com
http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa011201b.htm Original Source for About.com Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census by Tertius Chandler. 1987, St. David's University Press.
Year 2000 and 2005 data compiled from United Nations Population Division for use with Understanding the Changing Planet. The creative selection, coordination, data and selection is original to the author. Only non-copyrightable facts were used. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/
ArcGIS Online Map
Presentation link: http://explorer.arcgis.com/?present=fa0861b505cf4868999d3e752265862b
Map link: http://explorer.arcgis.com/?open=8d79ae2c79524a43ae8bc6b3366b1c44
Urbanization of the Pearl River Delta
NASA Earth Observatory
Esri Understanding Our World website http://www.esri.com/landsat-imagery/index.html
Authors: B. Duke, A. Palmer & R. Palmer