Monday, February 13, 2012

Research Project - Site and Situation of Cities in the US

You have been assigned to groups of 3 people.
1. Chicago -   Adara, Alejandra, Andres
2. Los Angeles -    Belen, Ben, Brian
3. Salt Lake City -   Costanza, Darwin
4. San Francisco -  Fernanda, Franco S., Franco V.
5. Washington DC -   Gabriel, Genesis, Giovanni
6. Miami -  Giulaniana , Jose, Julio
7. Denver -  Kevin, Lucia, Luciana
8. Seattle -  Mateo, Matias, Matthew
9. New Orleans -  Michelle, Patrick, Rodrigo
10. St. Louis -  Sergio, Stefanie, Teresa

Your group is to put together a presentation (with a poster, an outline with MLA* citations, and an MLA*  bibliography by Thursday, February 23) answering the question:

Why did your city grow to be a dominant city in its region?

Using Marble maps, the internet (suggested links below), and library resources you need to do research on the site and situation of your city to explain what historical and geographical factors contributed to its success.

Analyze the site and situation of your city thinking historically back to when it was founded and when it grew in size and importance.

*MLA Citation Style
Guidelines on How to Write a Bibliography in MLA Style

Site and Situation

The development of a settlement depends upon its site and situation. The site was the actual place where people decided to locate their settlement. The growth of that settlement then depended upon its situation in relation to accessibility and availability of natural resources and trade.

zoom in to research the place where your city is located.
"The site is the actual location of a settlement on the earth and is composed of the physical characteristics of the landscape specific to the area.
Site factors may include:
Landforms: (i.e. is the area protected by mountains or is there a natural harbor present, defence, away from flood risks, sheltered from winds, flat land, easy to build on)
Local resources: climate and vegetation types, availability of a reliable water supply, fertile soil, building materials (stone or wood), fuel supply (wood).

Zoom out to research the relationship between your city with its surrounding areas both physically and how it is connected to a larger hinterland, region, country, and the rest of the world.
"Situation is defined as the location of a place relative to its surroundings and other places.” Factors in city's situation may include
Accessibility of its location, the extent of the city's connections with other cities, crossroads, confluence, gateway, central location, lowest bridging point on a river, and how close the city is to raw materials and other resources if they are not located specifically on the site.

Suggested Research Topics and Links:

Research the history, geography, and economy of your city and its region/state/hinterland.
Try google searches for “history of [your city]”, “economy of [your city]”, “geography of [your city/or state it is in]”,
When was your city founded and why?
USA History: Cities and Towns -
When did your city grow in population? What form of transportation was most important for your city at this time?
US Cities: Population History -
What is the function of your city and what was the economy originally based on? Search for “economic history of [your city]”
for example:
•  Economic History of Detroit
•  Economic History of Chicago
•  Economic History of St. Louis
•  Economic History of Seattle

Historical City Maps - for your poster.
Historical Maps of US Cities:
Panoramic Maps: (search for your city)

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