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How tourism is changing the landscape in Saudi Arabia
April 15, 2020

Saudi Arabia has seemingly become the subject of more and more headlines in news outlets and academic journals over the past several years.  Some of these headlines can be seen as positive.  The progression of women’s rights within the Kingdom has been celebrated both within and outside the country, including the newly granted ability for women to attain a driver’s license.  Such progressive policies are part of the ­Saudi Vision 2030 plan­, which outlines how the Kingdom hopes to build the nation and the economy through investment of oil revenues toward a nation that will eventually need to survive and thrive in a world that is far less dependent on fossil fuels.  A large portion of this plan is fo­cused on growing tourism in the country. 

Those outside the Kingdom which are skeptical of these new and progressive policies have asserted that such moves are superficial and ­are only meant to distract from far more serious human rights transgressions and policies that will or have remain unchanged.  It is fair to say that the bulk of those people that could be considered skeptics and even critics of Saudi policies hail from Western democracies.  Those that would be highly critical of the Saudi hierarchy and their actions are also those that likely have very little interest in ever setting foot inside the Kingdom.  It is then also fair to say that those at the top of the Saudi hierarchy care little for what these critics have to say about their policies.  They do however care to ensure that Muslims around the world can maintain faith in their religion and faith in the nation that is home to Makkah (Mecca), which attracts millions of visitors through religious tourism every year.  This religious tourism is has created two cities within Makkah as addressed by this piece in the Architectural Review.­

In their piece on the intensity of Makkah, the AR illustrates how the investment in supporting tourism there has created a disparity of living conditions.  No longer is Makkah merely a magnet for tourists during the Hajj.  Gleaming office towers and hotels have been erected near the Grand Mosque to support these visitors, but also, development has occurred throughout the entire city toward supporting this sector.  There is now year-round religious tourism in the city which has helped to diversify the economy.  As such, the land around the Grand Mosque has become very valuable and existing residents have been forcibly removed in order to make way for development.  While this is assuredly part of the Saudi 2030 vision plan, Makkah is becoming a place that is made to serve the visiting pilgrims that are wealthy enough to make the journey, rather than a city that acts as home for its own residents. 

Perhaps surprisingly, despite being one of the most conservative theocracies in the World, it also appears that even more progressive steps are being taken to enhance their image as a tourist destination for visitors abroad in another area: entertainment and gaming.  The Vision 2030 plan outlines multi-billion-dollar investments in theme parks and entertainment complexes in Riyadh including a theme park and sports complexes.  In Jeddah, there are hotels and large arenas that host Belote card games.  Although no betting or gambling is allowed on these games, prize money can be offered to the winners of Belote tournaments.  Prizes can exceed 100,000 Euros for top prizes, and these events are held often due to their popularity in the region.

While there are actual real-money casinos for tourists in the mainly Islamic nations of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, other progressive Arab and Islamic nations such as the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait where development of tourism has also been prioritized, these countries have not yet allowed the development of casino facilities within their borders.  Development of facilities for recreational gaming was a line that even these relatively progressive Islamic nations would not cross, but Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most conservative of these nations has crossed that line at least allowing for prize-money to be won for these gaming tournaments.  While the scale of gaming activity is still small within the Kingdom, and gambling itself is illegal, it is a huge first step toward attracting tourists in the same mode as international destinations like Orlando that have been built on entertainment tourism.  While technically an illegal activity in most of the Middle East, many locals still look to gamble at reputable UAE betting sites­ that operate off-shore.  Given the stance on gambling in the Kingdom, a move to become the Macau of the Middle East remains highly unlikely.  While Saudi Arabia and all these other wealthy GCC nations that are all looking to build tourism as part of their economies of the future, gambling is a source of tourism revenue ­will likely remain taboo for some time.­

Once virtual, esports is sure to change the real world
December 13, 2018

Esports is big, and it’s getting bigger.  According to newzoo, 2017 revenues reached $696 million and should grow to $1.5 billion by 2020 as brand investment doubles.  As this new form of sporting competition gets more popular, a once virtually held and participated-in competition is starting to change the built environment with the demand for esports arenas and facilities.

What is Esports?

Also known as e-sports or electronic sports, esports generally refers to organized video game competitions.  These competitions tend to involve matches between two teams.  Each team consists of several professional players.  The games in which these teams and players participate tend to require multiple players per team in games such as CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, or several other popular titles.

Athletes and teams in traditional sports are watched and celebrated by millions of people for their skills and achievements.  Esports athletes and teams are no different.  With the rise of viewing platforms like Youtube and Twitch, esports and gaming fans have been able to consume the content that they desire.  By 2019, over 427 million people will view esports events in some manner.  Further entrenching esports into the cultural landscape, the market for wagering upon esports has also exploded with over US$23 billion expected to be wagered on esports by 2022.  Consumers are able to do this by accessing licensed, regulated and reputable esports betting sites.

How esports is sure to change the built landscape?

Casino development in Toronto: a source of Nimbyism or economic hope?
July 10, 2017

In 2013, Toronto City Council voted overwhelmingly against the proposal for the development of a downtown casino development by 40 to 4.  Early in the process, the figurative betting odds on approval of the proposal would have been close to even money.  The once embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford and a several city councilors were early proponents of the development due to the belief that the proposal could create 10,000 new jobs and provide the city with annual hosting fees of $100 million.  However, in the end the revenues fell short of those that were initially promised by the province by about half.  But this wasn’t the only reason the proposal failed, a downtown location for the casino was highly unpopular among city residents.  As casino development dithers, off-shore online casinos, Canadian betting sites, and soon, legal Ontario betting sites like bet365 Ontario will be the beneficiaries of this political back and forth.

Detroit’s long structural decline
By Brian Doucet
January 3, 2013

One hundred years ago, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of its day. Entrepreneurs flocked to the city because it was at the cutting edge of industrial innovation. Henry Ford perfected the assembly line, unleashing a whole new mode of production. Mass migration followed and made Detroit one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In the post-war years, Detroiters enjoyed some of America’s best public schools and had the nation’s highest rates of home ownership. Their city was the flagship of America’s industrial power. By 1960, the population reached almost two million.

So what happened to the one-time fourth largest city in the US, now bankrupt and home to under 700,000 people? Many accounts blame the recent economic and foreclosure crises and political mismanagement. It is very easy (and popular) to blame local Detroit politicians for what has happened to their city. But these accounts miss two important factors which the City of Detroit is little able to influence: wider structural trends of deindustrialisation and globalisation and extreme regional fragmentation which encourages sprawl and ensures that the wealth which does exist in Greater Detroit remains in the suburbs, rather than in the city.

Ideas to consider when writing your résumé:
April 18, 2016

I rarely have a problem with the format of the résumés that I read.  It is the content of a résumé that can leave me with questions about its author and their abilities.  As such, I thought it might be good to provide a few ideas to help job seekers understand the kind of content that might help their résumé.  I can’t speak for what others like to see, but hopefully some of these points give you food for thought so that your résumé will get attention from employers and avoid the pitfalls that might land your résumé in the recycling bin.

Emerging Cities of the Global South
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
June 6, 2013

Over the past decades, emerging nations have experienced astonishing economic growth and social progress. Behind the significance of the economic role of emerging nations lies yet another striking phenomenon: the rapid rise of new world cities. If current trends remain constant, cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo will rival London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong as the world`s leading financial centres and business hubs as early as 2025.

Public Housing and Urban Development in Singapore
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
March 10, 2013

Over the past 50 years, Singapore has become an international leader in urban planning and sustainability. One of the four Asian Tigers, this small city-state of 5.3 million people has implemented innovative urban policies and programs such as the Certificate of Entitlements (COE) which limits car ownership,  the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and, in particular, the unique public housing model. Singapore's public housing model is known worldwide as a success story. Singapore's homeownership rate is now among the highest in the world and homelessness is almost unheard of in the City-state. Furthermore, the features of the built environment in public housing neighborhoods have made Singapore one of the most transit-oriented cities in the world, with over 60% of daily trips made using public transportation.

Promise and Betrayal: Can We Really Expect the Olympics to Stimulate Local Economies?
By Adam Blair
October 14, 2012

Soon after the first starting pistol was fired, and this year’s London Olympics were underway, a curious observation crossed the Atlantic: the city was unusually quiet. Following months of warnings from local authorities of imminent disruptions resulting from a surge of visitors, The Telegraph, on the eighth day of the Games, reported a 17 percent decline in traffic, 10 percent decline in local shop patronage, and a 30 percent drop in visits to major tourist destinations. In other words, this world class event had the exact opposite effect of what most would expect. Quickly recognizing the overestimation of expected benefits to London’s economy, business groups began blaming authorities for the lull, believing their warnings to have had a perverse effect on economic activity by persuading many people to avoid the capital all together.

The path to resilience: Insights from New Orleans
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
August 1, 2012

In the past decade, the world has witnessed an unprecedented number of natural disasters of great magnitude.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 as well as the 2011 Tsunami and nuclear crisis in Fukoshima are only some of the dramatic events that have shaken the world. In addition, the world population is growing fast with the projected addition of over 1 billion people in cities by 2050. Climate change and rapid population growth will exacerbate the impacts on water and energy scarcity in some places as well as on rising food and energy prices globally. These issues already have severe implications for communities around the world, including population displacement, financial losses and economic decline.  In 2011, 14 extreme weather events have caused losses of over $14 billion in the United States alone.  As a result, considerable attention is now being paid to urban resilience, that is, the ability of cities to mitigate and recover from potential shocks and crises physically, economically and socially.  I have recently attended the Resilient Communities in North America Workshop held in New Orleans and organized by the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The goal of the workshop was to develop concrete and effective solutions to increase the resiliency of communities across the continent...

Attention GeographyJobs Visitors: Beware of a recent phishing email/spam
July 12, 2012

If you have received an email from a "Dennis Evanson" claiming to be from "Comvitabs" with a job opportunity, please delete the email.  This is a phishing scam and they did not get your email from our job seeker database.  Visitors to GeographyJobs sites whom have never registered as a job seeker are receiving these emails.  Our system is secure. Several of my own email addresses received this message, and these email addresses are not registered on the site.  Please click the title above to read the full phishing email.

The Geography of Energy Production: A Changing Landscape
By Adam Blair
May 17, 2012

It is widely accepted that increased renewable energy generation will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions to the extent that dirtier fossil fuel technologies are replaced by sources like wind and solar. What I would argue is much less familiar to most people, however, is how the geography of energy production will change in countries making a transition to more renewables.  The reason for this shift can be explained in large part by physics: sources of renewable energy (e.g., sunlight or biomass) are, generally speaking, lower in energy density than most conventional, petroleum-based sources. Energy density is a term used to describe the amount of energy stored per unit of volume. In other words, the higher the density of an energy source, the more of it can be stored or transported in the same amount of space.  This concept, while overly technical for some, becomes extremely important when planning for new energy development at the local and regional level.

Glasgow’s waterfront: a patchwork of developments on an industrial scale
By Brian Doucet
April 2, 2012

In the 19th Century, Glasgow was one of the world’s biggest industrial cities. It produced everything from sewing machines to railway carriages, but was primarily known for making ships. Much of this industrial activity was situated on the banks of the River Clyde, which runs through the heart of the city. The long process of industrial decline during the 20th Century meant that this land became abandoned as the shipyards closed. The surrounding neighbourhoods went into severe decline when hundreds of thousands of manual jobs disappeared.  While this story of deindustrialisation may be common in many cities, it was the scale and severity of this decline that sets Glasgow apart from other cities.

Rotterdam’s Waterfront: a grand vision & a political consensus
By Brian Doucet
February 27, 2012

Rotterdam is the main port of the Netherlands and has a long maritime tradition. In the 19th Century, the city grew rapidly as migrants from rural areas arrived to work in the expanding docklands, which were primarily situated on the south side of the city.  The river quickly divided the city between the prosperous northern half, with its historic economic, commercial and cultural heart, and the southern half, which was dominated by shipping, industry and working-class inhabitants.  By the 1970s the port shifted westward, and the old harbour, with its associated neighbourhoods, fell into steep decline. Since the 1980s, the city has used large flagship projects, events and the lure of the ‘creative class’ in order to reverse its fortunes and transform its waterfront.  Rotterdam has created a new waterfront, centred around a development called the Kop van Zuid (English: Head of the South). This is a project which other cities often cites as a model for how to create successful mixed-use development out of an old industrial wasteland.

Growing Upwards: the Tall Buildings Dilemma
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
January 25, 2012

The world is about the get a lot……..taller.  Building tall, that is what an increasing number of cities are now gearing up for.  The goal of transforming cities into more dense, compact and sustainable places is making them consider growing upwards rather than outwards.

Harnessing the Wind, Harnessing the Wealth
By Adam Blair
December 18, 2011

Back in January I wrote about a natural gas boom taking place in the U.S. Northeast and the many economic, social, and environmental impacts communities should be prepared to address. For this article I want to direct your attention further south to the State of Texas. Texas has a long and proud history of energy production, beginning at the turn of the 20th Century with oil and followed by decades of natural gas drilling. While the state has in many ways adapted to and even embraced the boom-bust cycle that characterizes most forms of resource extraction, this new boom may be just as unfamiliar to Texans as natural gas is to Yankees. The main difference this time around: wind energy is the culprit.

BCIT GIS Advanced Diploma Program
November 18, 2011

For my next look at post graduate GIS programs in Canada, I examine that of the British Columbia Institute of Technology located in Burnaby.  BCIT offers an Advanced Diploma in GIS that is designed for those with a university or college degree in a related discipline.  BCIT offers the program to students on a full-time or part-time basis.  This is a challenging program that will give you much of the technical knowledge you need to help set yourself apart in today’s job market.  I spoke with the Program Head, and a successful graduate to learn more.

NSCC COGS Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences
October 11, 2011

The demand for professionals with GIS skills is increasing.  I’ve found it to be a common issue that many recent graduates and experienced professionals have not been able to develop the GIS skills required by today’s employers.  Perhaps they were unaware of the demands and did not pursue GIS education or they were aware, but their school did not offer a substantial GIS program.  In either case, there are schools across Canada addressing this problem with tremendous post-graduate GIS programs.  I want to start with a look at one of the best; the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Science at The Nova Scotia Community College Centre of Geographic Sciences (NSCC COGS). 

Pro Sports and Economic Development: What it means to gain major league status, the case of Oklahoma City.
June 15, 2012

With the Oklahoma City Thunder's feat of reaching the 2012 NBA Finals, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit my article about the team's impact on economic development in OKC: Over the past two decades, billions of dollars have been invested by various government bodies on the construction and renovation of sporting facilities for professional teams, mainly in the name of urban regeneration.  This kind of investment has faced much criticism, especially when the expenditure has been made toward pre-existing teams where economic activity is not created, but merely redirected.   However, the case can be different if the subsidy attracts a new team.  Oklahoma City is the market that has most recently gained ‘major league’ status with the arrival of the NBA’s Thunder, thanks in large part to a city referendum approving $121 million from a sales tax extension toward improvement of their downtown arena to attract the team.  I wanted to explore what the Thunder has meant to Oklahoma City from an economic development perspective.  To do so, I spoke with the CEO of the Oklahoma City Chamber, Roy Williams.

Urban Waterfronts: a challenge to redevelop, an opportunity for greatness. Part 1: Frankfurt’s riverfront: its genius lies in its simplicity
By Brian Doucet
July 13, 2011

Frankfurt, Germany is a city which I have come to know and admire over the last few years. It is one of the world’s wealthiest cities, a major financial hub, home to one of Europe’s busiest airports and a magnet for migrants. It consistently scores highly on quality of life rankings.  At first glance, Frankfurt appears a cold and business-like city. As a tourist, it does not have the charm of a place like Heidelberg, nor does it have the exuberant night life or cool demeanour of Berlin. Its skyline is one of the most dramatic in Europe, leading to it being called ‘Mainhattan,’ after the river Main, which flows through the city. And it is this feature of Frankfurt which I would like to discuss with you now.

Urban Waterfronts: a challenge to redevelop, an opportunity for greatness
By Brian Doucet
June 13, 2011

Over the next few months, I'll examine waterfronts in different cities of Europe and North America. This short series of articles will present five waterfronts in an effort to understand what has made some places work, and other places not. We will also examine the challenges and opportunities faced when undertaking waterfront regeneration.

Retrofitting Suburban Shopping Malls: A Step Towards Metropolitan Sustainability
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
May 6, 2011

It’s no longer business as usual for many suburban malls in North America. Long considered as the success symbols of suburbia, traditional shopping malls now face major challenges. While most malls still do very well, a considerable and growing number now struggle to survive in an increasingly competitive retail environment. Ageing real estate stocks combined with the changing nature of shopping and strong competition from emerging retail forms have forced traditional malls to start reinventing themselves. The retrofitting and regeneration of malls, through good urban design principles and intensification, opens up many opportunities to bring these spaces back to life and contribute to making suburbs more sustainable.

Green Neighbourhoods: the Making of a Sustainable City
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
March 29, 2011

­Cities now find themselves at the very center of the “Green Revolution” as one of the main components for achieving sustainability. As a result, several urban initiatives are being put forward to make cities greener, healthier and more eco-friendly. One of these is the concept of “Green neighbourhoods”, which is probably the very first attempt to connect urban sustainability principles with micro-level community planning. Recent experiences in Montreal and Portland, Oregon have proven successful in enhancing active transportation conditions in neighbourhoods, reducing ­carbon emissions and building community involvem­ent.­

The intensification of suburbs: examples from the Greater Toronto Area
By Brian Doucet
February 23, 2011

If one thinks of the stereotypical North American suburb, images that often come to mind are large single-story tract housing, cul-de-sacs, parking lots, wide roads and shopping malls. In short, developments built at a low density and often described as urban sprawl. While this is how many suburbs begin, it is important to note that their development is not a static process. In fact, if we look at many suburban areas today, we can clearly see a trajectory of development which, over time, can transform them from sprawling developments into urban neighbourhoods.

Planning for a 21st Century Gold Rush
By Adam Blair
January 26, 2011

Don’t look west for what could be the modern-day equivalent of the American gold rush; look to the east, where parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are sitting atop enough shale to supply the entire nation’s natural gas needs for the next quarter-century. This fast-growing industry is not only uncovering the extent of nimbyism in a country founded on beliefs of individual freedom and liberty, but testing the limits of local planning processes as well...

Resilient cities in uncertain times: the Quebec City miracle
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
December 21, 2010

While most cities in North America and Europe still struggle to get their economies back on track, others exhibit a particularly striking economic performance. There is perhaps no better example of an unexpected surge than Quebec’s capital city, Quebec City.

Community Gardens: The Scarlett Letter of Neighbourhood Prosperity?
By Keith E. Hernandez
November 15, 2010

With the recent housing crisis, planners in Detroit have re-introduced the idea of the urban gardening movement. It is a solution that hopes to address issues regarding access to fresh locally grown food and improving the aesthetics of vacant and derelict land. However, several questions remain about what parties shall control the land and what will happen when the land becomes desirable for development...

The Regeneration of Post-industrial Spaces Through the Arts and Creative Industries
By Jonathan Denis-Jacob
October 12, 2010

In recent years, city planners and policy-makers have paid considerable attention to the arts and creative industries because of their potential role in regenerating post-industrial spaces.  In many cities across Europe and North America, former industrial spaces have been left behind by traditional manufacturing activities due to deindustrialization and industrial restructuring processes.  As a result, many inner city neighbourhoods which used to rely on manufacturing industries have gone through a long period of decline. The regeneration of these spaces has remained a significant challenge for urban practitioners since then...

Skin In The Game: The Case For A Planning Mosaic.
By Keith E. Hernandez
September 8, 2010

The pursuit of a planning ideal in urban centers is often sought without the guiding hand of people with a real knowledge of what it means to be a resident in those communities. The coupling of a planning education along with the understanding of what makes a city livable for minority populations is vital for sustaining the practice of planning as a viable tool for change...

Community benefits agreements and urban reinvestment
By Adam Blair
August 10, 2010

While a $294.8 million waterfront development in Buffalo, New York is praised by some locals as a silver bullet to the city’s downtown renaissance, a group of concerned citizens is making sure the project proceeds with caution. Wielding a community benefits agreement, this alliance won’t budge until certain conditions are met...

Understanding Polar Sea Ice Extent
By Mark Bennett
June 20, 2010

An issue that has consistently been front and centre in climate change talks is the dramatic reduction in the northern polar sea ice extent. With all of the discussion around sea ice extent, many interested parties do not actually know what constitutes the extent and how it is derived...

Has Geospatial Technology Finally Gone Mainstream? A Report from SXSW Interactive 2010 – Part 2
By Matt Hiland
May 28, 2010

In the second part of the Location Based Services (LBS) workshop, Tasso Roumeliotis of WaveMarket delved a little deeper into some of the technology and issues with LBS implementation. All mobile phones are locatable, but less than twenty percent of them are smart phones. While smart phones are growing, the others are not going away any time soon which brings about certain issues and challenges...

Who’s sharing and who’s not: A look at the inequitable distribution of U.S. car sharing hubs
By Adam Blair
April 30, 2010

Federally funded transportation initiatives are held to high standards and required to perform equity analyses, but what about forms of quasi-public transportation such as car sharing? Like a new bus stop or subway station, the promise of a car sharing hub in one’s neighborhood can be quite liberating—especially for those who are not fortunate enough or choose not to own an automobile...

Has Geospatial Technology Finally Gone Mainstream? A Report from SXSW Interactive 2010 – Part 1
By Matt Hiland
March 26, 2010

With the growing popularity of personal navigation devices, online mapping applications, and geospatial mobile phone applications, it appears that the technology is finally becoming mainstream. Curious about what impact that might have on the job market for geographers and GIS specialists, I decided to check out what the presenters at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference had to say.

Inner Cities, Inner Suburbs, Outer Suburbs: geographies, changing preferences
By Brian Doucet
January 15, 2010

We can divide cities into three broad areas: inner cities, inner suburbs and outer suburbs. As cities change and develop, so to do the fortunes of each area, and this is the subject this article. It will argue that the traditional beliefs of poor cities and rich suburbs is being challenged as gentrification continues and poverty suburbanises. The changing location preferences of households (particularly middle-class ones) is also reflective of this transition...

2009 National Highway Data Workshop and Conference
By Matt Hiland
October 21, 2009

I recently participated in the 2009 National Highway Data Workshop and Conference (HiDaC). HiDaC’s intent is to encourage collective discussion of the often subjective and loosely defined concepts used to track and assess the performance of the public highway system. It also strives to facilitate coordination of data collection, processing, and analysis practices across jurisdictions in order to derive equitable performance measures and funding allocations across jurisdictions.

Introduction to Highway Safety Analysis – Part 3
By Matt Hiland
August 31, 2009

The recent US economic recovery package funding underscores safety as a key component of new transportation projects and also makes safety data systems eligible for stimulus funding. Many of these new or updated systems make innovative use of spatial technologies such as the global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and linear referencing systems (LRS) to help identify locations on the highways that have potential for safety improvement. This article is the third in a series that provides a very high-level look at the typical data and processes for highway safety analysis.

Airport links, quality of life and place promotion
By Brian Doucet
July 31, 2009

Large infrastructure projects can help to unify a city and bring a better quality of life for its inhabitants. Or it can further reinforce the social, economic and spatial divisions within a city under the guise of the relentless pursuit of urban competition, place promotion, and an appeasement towards business executives. An airport rail link is one such project which, depending on how it is built and operated, has the power to have both types of impacts.

Introduction to Highway Safety Analysis – Part 2
By Matt Hiland
June 30, 2009

The recent US economic recovery package funding underscores safety as a key component of new transportation projects and also makes safety data systems eligible for stimulus funding. Many of these new or updated systems make innovative use of spatial technologies such as the global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and linear referencing systems (LRS) to help identify locations on the highways that have potential for safety improvement. This article is the second in a series that provides a very high-level look at the typical data and processes for highway safety analysis.

Changing geographies of the immigrant city
By Brian Doucet
May 23, 2009

North American cities were founded on immigrants. As such, they have a rich and vibrant history and geography of immigration. It is a pattern that has been repeated over the decades. However, gentrification of these areas by young professionals is changing the patterns of immigration settlement...

Introduction to Highway Safety Analysis - Part 1
By Matt Hiland
April 18, 2009

The recent US economic recovery package funding underscores safety as a key component of new transportation projects and also makes safety data systems eligible for stimulus funding. Many of these new or updated systems make innovative use of spatial technologies such as the global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and linear referencing systems (LRS) to help identify locations on the highways that have potential for safety improvement. This article is the first in a series that provides a very high-level look at the typical data and processes for highway safety analysis.

Examining ‘Industrial Heritage’ of Industrial Cities
By Brian Doucet
February 22, 2009

Many North American and European cities that once thrived as industrial hubs have experienced a great amount of urban decay while simultaneously developing numerous artistic and cultural institutions. In order for us to fully understand why these cities are the way they are today, we first have to return to a time when they were the centres of their national (and in some ways global) economy...

The End of Business as Usual: The Death of Suburban Life
By Rebecca Butler
January 31, 2009

On Tuesday October 29th, 1929 American Markets collapsed and 30 billion dollars vanished into thin air. On Sunday September 14th, 2008 the huge American financial services firm, Lehman Brothers, announced bankruptcy. Of course neither of these events happened suddenly, they were months, years, decades in the making. The truth is nobody knows what the fallout of the current depression will be...

Elections and Redistricting Reform
By Matt Hiland
January 18, 2008

One of the great things about the 2008 US election was that hundreds of thousands of Americans became actively involved in politics for the first time in their lives. With this groundswell of grassroots involvement and the next census just around the corner in 2010, this seems like a great time to bring the topic of redistricting reform to the forefront of political discussion...

How does ‘place’ impact the symbols and traditions of Christmas around the world?
By Matt Hiland
December 21, 2009

Almost 90 percent of the world's population lives north of the equator. Only Australia, the southern portion of Africa, and most of South America are south of the equator. The celebration of Christmas was scheduled on December 25 in the fourth century CE. This date was chosen because it was already recognized throughout the Roman Empire as the birthday of various Pagan gods...

Why immigrants can help urban planning
By Rebecca Butler
December 2, 2008

Politically, it is very difficult for planners to criticize the public participation process. Planners, however, have an interest in ensuring the community is truly represented. Not only for democratic reasons but also because minority groups may offer fresh perspective and innovative ideas...

Olympics, events, and urban regeneration
By Brian Doucet
August 12, 2008

The Beijing Olympics are now upon us. They are an international celebration of sport, with the world’s best athletes coming together and all the world’s eyes fixed on them. But of course, the Olympics are far more than sport. For cities that bid for, and, if they are lucky enough, win the right to host the games, the stakes are just as high as for the athlete’s going for gold.

An introduction to gentrification Part II
By Brian Doucet
June 24, 2008

It doesn’t take much scanning through big city newspapers these days to come across articles about gentrification. From New York to Amsterdam to Toronto and beyond, old formerly working-class inner-city neighbourhoods have been transforming into trendy affluent places very quickly...

An introduction to gentrification Part I
By Brian Doucet
May 20, 2008

It doesn’t take much scanning through big city newspapers these days to come across articles about gentrification. From New York to Amsterdam to Toronto and beyond, old formerly working-class inner-city neighbourhoods have been transforming into trendy affluent places very quickly...

So what is a Geographer anyway (Part III)
By Brian Doucet
March 10, 2008

Chances are if you have studied geography, you have read a lot of literature written by people who are not geographers. Because the definitions of geography overlap onto many different other fields of study, it is only logical that some of the authors who are the most influential to our own discipline, come from other subjects...

So what is a Geographer anyway? (Part II)
By Brian Doucet
January 17, 2008

As I have mentioned previously, geography is a very broad term. In many regards, this is one of our strengths; as geographers, we study and learn about such diverse topics which enable us to learn from each other...

So what is a Geographer anyway? (Part 1)
By Brian Doucet
December 21, 2007

That’s not an easy question to answer. As someone who has studied geography all my life, I find it difficult to convey exactly what our discipline is to others. I was at a party recently, when someone asked me what I studied...