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Delivery guides are designed to represent a body of knowledge about teaching a particular topic and contain:
- Content: A clear outline of the content covered by the delivery guide;
- Thinking Conceptually: Expert guidance on the key concepts involved, common difficulties students may have, approaches to teaching that can help students understand these concepts and how this topic links conceptually to other areas of the subject;
- Thinking Contextually: A range of suggested teaching activities using a variety of themes so that different activities can be selected which best suit particular classes, learning styles or teaching approaches.
|5.1. Why do more than half the world’s population live in urban areas?||Scale|
|a. How is the global pattern of urbanisation changing?||G|
|b. What does rapid urbanisation mean for cities?||G, R, N, L|
5.2. What are the challenges and opportunities for cities today?
This enquiry question is studied through case studies of one city in an AC and one city in an LIDC or EDC to answer sub-questions a and b.
|a. What is life like for people in a city?||G, R, N, L, F|
|b. How can cities become more sustainable?||L, F|
This topic will both engage and challenge students as we rarely think about the complex interactions that have caused our cities and urban areas to display the characteristics that they do.
It is important from the outset that students have a clear idea of what the word ‘urban’ actually means. An activity that compares urban and rural landscapes is a useful way to approach this as is creating a list of what are and are not urban characteristics.
The topic is structured into three parts. The first part looks at the pattern and pace of urbanisation globally and the causes and consequences of these patterns. The second part looks at the people living in these cities and how their lives are affected by the various functions of the city in which they live. The third and final part looks at the issue of sustainability within the chosen case study cities.
The topic requires students to study two contrasting cities, while this is a sensible approach to managing student workload and reduces the need to learn endless content; it should not restrict the teacher from highlighting other examples to supplement students learning.
Common misconceptions or difficulties students may have
If students do not have first-hand experience of urban areas their impressions of urban areas can sometimes be influenced by various aspects of the media. Therefore, it is useful in these circumstances to deliver an activity where you simulate the class being in an urban area by playing city sounds and displaying images as students enter the classroom and asking them to note down what it looks like, feels like and sounds like etc. to actually be in a city.
Similarly students living in urban areas have often not visited a different city or left their own part of their home city and so their understanding of urban can be biased towards their experience of their one location. Therefore, it is also useful for them to experience another UK city in a virtual fieldwork activity.
It can also be very worthwhile showing images and videos of cities in LIDCs as often students can have misinformed ideas of what these cities might look like and it is worth addressing these misconceptions early on. You could ask students to draw a picture of a LIDC city and then compare their ideas to reality and explore where any misconceptions have come from.
A final issue that often arises during the teaching of this topic is that although urbanisation is higher in ACs the rate of urbanisation is faster in EDCs. While a simple concept to grasp, it is worth referring back to this regularly as students often get confused between current urbanisation levels around the world and the current rate of urbanisation around the world.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set students up for topics later in the course
There is a clear link to Global Hazards. For example, how tectonic hazards impact on the structure and the growth of the city.
There is a clear link to Changing Climates through the sustainability section of the topic. For example, industry, air quality and pollution in Beijing.
Other links can be made to Dynamic Development and the UK in the 21st century, especially when looking at the quality of life in cities. Selecting a UK city as the AC city could provide crossover with the UK in the 21st Century topic.
There are multiple opportunities to deliver a wide range of skills in this topic, including the collection of primary fieldwork data, choropleth mapping and GIS.
Approaches to teaching the content
In a world where more people now live in urban than rural areas there has never been a more important time to consider urban futures. There are a number of geographical contexts that can be used to frame student understanding of urban futures. For example, being able to recognise the consequences of urban growth trends in ACs and LIDCs, understand the range of contemporary urban challenges and opportunities facing cities in ACs and LIDCs/EDCs and how different cities can become more sustainable in light of the challenges that they face.
This Delivery Guide provides a starting point for investigating the case studies in 5.2. London is used as the AC city case study and Lagos is used as the LIDC city case study. The case study activities do not cover the whole case study but the activities included could be used as part of building up full case studies for 5.2. Depending on your chosen case studies these activities could be adapted accordingly.
As students enter the classroom display a collage of urban images (use a Google image search/street view) and play the city sounds audio link (see link on worksheet).
The aim is to try and immerse students into the environment that they will be learning about. Ask students to complete the boxes asking them about their experiences in the city. This short activity leads into a discussion about what characteristics an urban area displays.
The three activities allow students to explore exactly what ‘urban’ is and how we classify urban areas.
It begins by playing a clip of a Yeo Valley advert which will get students thinking about what a rural area is and therefore in turn what an urban area is. Students are then asked to draw two images of an urban and a rural area. This should stimulate discussion and lead to the completion of the table where students describe different characteristics of urban and rural areas, which could be completed in pairs or small groups. Finally, complete the Venn diagram classifying the characteristics of urban and rural areas.
The interactive resource shows the growth of urban population from 1955 to 2015.
You can use the interactive slider to show the numbers and locations of the changing urban population globally. A number of tasks could be set based upon this resource, including asking students to produce compound bar graphs to show the changes in urbanisation by region over time. Students could also complete the homework activity sheet while accessing this resource at home.
The first activity reinforces the pattern of global urbanisation by asking students to describe a graph. The second activity then asks students to consider why people in developing countries consider moving from rural to urban areas.
Students are asked to watch a video clip and note down some ideas and then complete a question sheet that tries to humanise the rural to urban migration story.
An interesting activity is to map the parts of the city migrants have moved to in the last 10 years. This is a great way of getting students to use real life census data, to display this data in an appropriate way and to then try to interpret it.
Linked to this activity is a spread sheet showing migrant population data by borough in London. This data can be used in its raw format or edited depending on the ability of the group. For example, the “less than 2 years length of residence” data column can be sorted to help decide the intervals for the choropleth key. The data can be displayed in a variety of ways, please see the London Mapper and Business Insider links for ideas
As a stretch activity students can map a different length of residence e.g. “more than 10 years” and compare their maps to identify any patterns, similarities or differences.
This could lead to a discussion about which areas of a city are most and least affected by migration and why. This could be investigated further and compared to employment and housing type data etc. See 'Census data' link for further info.
Comparison to a city in an EDC or LIDC is difficult in a like for like way due to difficulty in accessing such detailed census data. However, other evidence such as aerial photographs, personal stories and video clips could be used for comparison. A good example may be to use Mumbai in India and focus on some of the shanty towns on the outskirts of the city where most migrants first move to.
This activity allows students to investigate contemporary challenges that affect life in their chosen AC city.
In this example, London is used as the case study city to explore the contemporary issue of access to transport. Students begin by reading the article about transport and traffic congestion in London. They then investigate some of the solutions using the article and the embedded video links on the worksheet to complete the London transport options table. They finish by completing a diamond ranking exercise about the traffic solutions being implemented in London and justify their choices.
Learners use the Learner Resources and their own internet research to understand where Lagos is and why the city is important at different scales.
Learners should use the 2 maps in Learner Resource 7a, and the Internet (e.g. Google Earth), if available, to locate Lagos. They should write a description of Lagos’ location in the ‘Where is Lagos?’ box on Learner Resource 7a. Learners should then be given a set of cards (Learner Resource 7b). They should examine the cards to determine ways in which Lagos is important at different scales (i.e. locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally). They should record their answers in Resource 7a, ‘Why is Lagos important?’. As an extension, they could think about why Lagos is important globally, and record their thoughts in the ‘How important is Lagos globally?’ box in Learner Resource 7a.
Learners analyse changes in Lagos, particularly linked to migration, urbanisation and population growth.
They should be given a copy of the information sheet (Learner Resource 8) and should be encouraged to list at least 5 ways in which Lagos is experiencing change. They could then be asked to determine the 3 changes that they think are most significant and why, and whether the changes are positive or negative overall. They could also be asked whether they think the changes are sustainable.
Clip: ‘Witness – Street Life in Lagos’
The clip can be broken up into the following sections;
- Challenges regarding education 3.35-5.00mins
- Challenges regarding informal employment 5.00-6.05mins and 9.30-10.20mins
- Challenges regarding traffic 10.20-12.10mins
- Challenges regarding water supplies 12.20-14.25mins
- Challenges regarding waste management (and informal employment) 14.25-16.00mins
- Challenges associated with accommodation/shelter 16.05-18.40mins
- Challenges associated with infrastructure/electricity 18.50-22.10mins
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