Unit 3: What is a City Made Of?
Don't forget this week's Ideal City activity.
- Measure the area of your classroom and calculate its population density. Explain why a high population density can be an advantage for a city. In what cases would it lead to problems? (You can use the example of your classroom to clarify your answers.)
- Make a list of things the city and its citizens need to function healthily. Some are mentioned in the text. Can you add to these?
- Which of the city's services (including cultural services) do you use during the week? Next to each write the infrastructure necessary for the service, (e.g. Education : school buildings/ water : plumbing, etc.) Are there any problems with the services or infrastructures in your town or city? Do you think they could improve? How?
- In the sections on "Garbage" and "Water", some of the expenses of providing these services are mentioned. For example, transporting waste to a distant dump site is more expensive than taking it to a close one. But a distant dump site is healthier. What are some of the costs of providing other services such as public transport, electricity, parks and museums?
- Can you suggest why wealthy cities generate more waste than poor ones? For one day, collect everything you would usually throw away. How much of it could be recycled? Find a way of weighing the garbage. How much garbage do you generate in one day? Assuming this is your daily average, what would it amount to over a year? Compare that to the figures for wealthy and poor cities quoted in the text.
- In some cities half the population does not have access to piped water or electricity. Explain some of the reasons why not everyone benefits from these. Does everyone benefit from these in your city? What solutions would you propose to the mayor of a city where water and electricity are not reaching everyone?
- Pick some or all of the items you listed for question 4. Do you know or can you find out whether they are provided through the city government, through private enterprises or through a combination?