Presidential Address: Volcanic Eruptions, Earthquakes, and Drought: Environmental Challenges for the Ancient Maya People of the Antigua Valley, Guatemala
Dorothy E. Freidel, 15
Parks, Malls, and The Art of War
Ronald A. Davidson, 27
In the post-war years, Americans migrated en masse into suburbs punctuated by shopping centers that served as social and recreational hubs. Concerned about the civic wellbeing of shopping-centered suburbanites, a group called the Agora Coalition formed in the 1990s to enhance malls’ civic functioning through a combination of design and programming strategies. This paper presents an adversarial alternative to such an approach. Rather than working “with” the mall as its prodding civic conscience, the paper recommends strategizing “against” it on behalf of civic life. The paper reveals four vulnerabilities in malls that such thinking can exploit: mall users may not find malls ego-enhancing places in which to socialize; the current economic recession has pointed up that many mall goods are frivolous nonessentials; malls are less likely to engender topophilia than are local public landscapes; and, as successful retail institutions in a competitive capitalist environment, malls employ successful strategies for gaining customers that designers of civic spaces can emulate. Indeed, the adversarial, zero-sum approach recommended here exemplifies the use of market-honed, “mall” strategizing. To nurture such thinking, I refer to Sun-Tzu’s classic treatise The Art of War. The 2,400-year old text is required reading in MBA programs nationwide and presumably informs the thinking of many who build and manage malls. What would these people do if they were now competing against their creations on behalf of civic life?
A Tale of Two Cities: Re-establishing Cultural Identities in Eastern Europe
Elena Givental, 52
My paper is based on the author’s observations of contemporary cultural landscapes in the cities of Krakow (Poland) and Lviv (Ukraine), which prompted the analysis of the observed differences through the prism of Jewish minority dynamics. Having gone through the centuries of parallel histories, which resulted in the creation of convergent landscapes, Krakow and Lviv experienced dramatic changes in the twentieth century, associated with the Nazi occupation, the Holocaust, and communist totalitarian regimes, which reduced the cities’ Jewish population from a pre-war twenty-five to thirty-two percent of the total to nearly nonexistent. After the return of democracy to Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, Krakow and Lviv acquired distinctively dissimilar cultural identities, characterized by the revival of Jewish culture in Krakow and its obliteration in Lviv. The suggested explanation of the observed differences is drawn from the unevenness of nation-building processes in Eastern Europe, which resulted
in the advancement of Polish cultural plurality and Ukrainian nationalism.
While Polish pluralism allows for the minorities to reestablish their cultural identities, Ukrainian nationalistic movement, aimed primarily at national unity, temporarily stifles the minority discourse. The dynamics of Jewish minority identities, expressed through the evolution of cultural landscapes in Krakow and Lviv, demonstrate the array of democratization pathways in contemporary Eastern Europe.
The Reproduction of the Klamath Basin: Struggle for Water in a Changing Landscape
Jeffrey S. Jenkins, 69
The Klamath River flows through southern Oregon and northern California, from the Upper Klamath Basin (UKB) to the Lower Klamath Basin (LKB), and exits to the Pacific Ocean. I show how the livelihoods in these two sub-Basins have competed for water resources to produce a Klamath Basin that is markedly different from the way it was when Fremont surveyed the land in the mid-1800s. The Klamath Basin has been further produced through reallocation of lands from native peoples to settlers, and subsequent labor unrest by migrant farm labor. The livelihoods of UKB potato farming, LKB tribal fishing, and commercial fisheries at the mouth of the Pacific continue to compete over water. However, this allocation of water to UKB crops led to lower water levels in the Klamath River that decimated the LKB salmon run. The decision on water allocation was disconnected between local decision-making and federal mandate and was no doubt influenced by the demand for crops outside the Basin. This competition is further driven by the demand for electricity: the Klamath River hosts four hydroelectric dams owned by PacifiCorp. These dams have physically disassociated the livelihoods of people between the LKB and UKB, the latter of which lies above the dams and no longer receives salmon runs. The announcement of the 2010 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement shows that the landscape will further be reproduced by being deconstructed by the removal of four dams in 2020.
The City of Atlanta experienced its highest rate of residential burglaries in 2008, up twenty-four and one-half percent from the previous year. In the same year, thefts from motor vehicles also peaked—at nearly twenty-eight percent above the preceding year. The purpose of this study was to determine not only where clusters of offenses were occurring, but temporal frequencies of the crimes and what, if any, environmental factors were influencing increased criminal activity. To accomplish this, the research analyzed hot and cold spots of residential burglaries in three police beats comprising two distinct locations of the city, urban and suburban. It then compared thefts from motor vehicles in those same areas. The results indicated a marked difference in the socioeconomic status of the inhabitants, and the frequency of the crimes between the two areas; each having a comparable population density and beat size. The research also revealed environmental issues that were contributing elements on crime. The study concluded that each area experienced different rates of property crime for the selected categories, and that in this specific case, neighborhood design was an important consideration; and although the urban beats were subjected to higher crime rates per capita than the suburban beat, both selected areas shared a similarity in temporal occurrences of property crime incidents.
Remembering Larry Ford
Everett G. Smith, 97
Celebrating Howard Nelson
Herb Eder, Pete Fielding and Ron Horvath, 109
This review article provides one professional geographer’s view of some of the major dilemmas that population growth has created for us during the past four decades. During that time, Earth’s population grew by just over three billion, a number that is nearly ten times the current population of the United States. Arguably, that growth has come with some price tags that we’ve not yet reckoned with, from rapid depletion of oil and other energy resources to environmental degradation and atmospheric changes that are likely to worsen in the decades ahead. In trying to look at views of population growth and increasing affluence from different perspectives, it seems clear to me that there is growing evidence that in the long run the ecologists are going to be right and the economists wrong. Earth cannot sustain a growing population of ever-wealthier people living on a planet that has a finite supply of resources, and the twenty-first century is going to be the proving ground for this proposition. It would be prudent for us to consider various ways to slow population and economic growth so that we can bring our population into a closer balance with Earth’s carrying capacity for our species.
Book Review: Everything Sings, by Denis Wood; and Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS, 2nd edition by John Krygier and Denis Wood
Reviewed by Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., 133
Book Review: What Americans Build and Why: Psychological Perspectives by Ann Sloan Devlin
Reviewed by Ron Davidson, 138
Book Review: Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count by Paul V. R. Snelgrove
Reviewed by Ed Jackiewicz, 141
Meeting Report, 144