Geography (Cycle One)

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Urban territory

Cities subject to natural hazards
Heritage cities

Urbanization is an increasingly important phenomenon in the world. More than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. The study of different urban territories allows students to become aware of the various social and environmental problems created by urbanization. Three urban territories are studied in Secondary Cycle One: metropolises, cities subject to natural hazards and heritage cities.

A.   Metropolis

A metropolis is a major urban centre, in which power and services are concentrated. It attracts people from the surrounding region and the national territory as a whole. It also faces many issues, such as access to housing, the organization of transportation, waste management, water supply and the health of residents.

Two of the five metropolises suggested in the program must be studied. The first, Montréal, is compulsory. Teachers may choose the second from among the following: Cairo, Mexico City, New York City and Sydney. Cycle teams may determine in which year each metropolis will be studied. It is recommended, however, that the content be spread out over the two years of the cycle.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a territory that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: planning and development, suburb, slums, concentration, growth, density, imbalance, urban sprawl, metropolis, multiethnicity and urbanization.

  1. KNOWLEDGE RELATED TO METROPOLISES

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.

 

Student reinvests knowledge.

Year
1 2
  1. Location of a metropolis
    1. Locates the metropolis studied in the appropriate continent and country
    1. Locates major metropolises on a map of the world (e.g. Lagos, Cairo, Mexico City, Montréal, Moscow, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, São Paulo, Sydney, Tokyo)
  1. Characteristics of a metropolis
    1. Describes site of the metropolis studied (e.g. Montréal is located in the St. Lawrence Plain, on an island surrounded by the St. Lawrence River and the Rivière des Prairies)
    1. Lists characteristics of the metropolis studied (e.g. high population density, high land occupancy and concentration of services in New York City)
    1. Lists characteristics of the population of the metropolis studied (e.g. large population size and high population density in Mexico City; multiethnicity and urban sprawl in Sydney)
    1. Establishes the relative size of the population of the metropolis studied as a proportion of the country, province, state or district as a whole (e.g. the population of Montréal and its suburbs accounts for approximately 50% of the population of Québec)
    1. Indicates places where power is concentrated in the metropolis studied (e.g. The United Nations headquarters is in New York City)
    1. Indicates places where economic and financial power is concentrated in the metropolis studied (e.g. headquarters of large corporations in Sydney)
    1. Explains the concentration of services in the metropolis studied (e.g. the size of the population in the metropolitan area explains why there are several hospitals and universities in Montréal)
  1. Planning and development of a metropolis
    1. Describes different neighbourhoods of the metropolis studied (e.g. concentration of high-rise office buildings and convergence of public transit networks in Montréal’s downtown core)
    1. Explains the presence of disadvantaged neighbourhoods or slums in the metropolis studied (e.g. a metropolis attracts people who do not always have the resources necessary for adequate housing and who therefore settle in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in New York City, or in slums in Cairo)
    1. Describes the suburbs around the metropolis studied (e.g. the northern and southern suburbs of Montréal include several dozen municipalities, which are primarily residential in nature and have a lower population density than the metropolis)
    1. Indicates types of infrastructure that stem from particular features of the metropolis studied (e.g. because of its harsh winter conditions, Montréal has developed a network of underground passageways that are connected by metro and link numerous apartment buildings to office buildings and service centres)
    1. Explains the concentration of transportation networks in the metropolis studied (e.g. because of its large population, New York City has several international airports, an extensive highway system, one of the largest train stations in the world and an international port)
    1. Indicates development constraints associated with urban sprawl in the metropolis studied (e.g. highway expansion and extension of mass transit lines in Cairo)
  1. Issues affecting a metropolis or metropolises
    1. Describes housing-related problems in the metropolis studied (e.g. in New York City, housing is scarce, expensive and, in certain cases, unsanitary)
    1. Explains why the population of the metropolis studied may be moving to the suburbs (e.g. in Sydney, some residents move to the suburbs in search of more affordable housing, while others seek a better quality of life)
    1. Indicates measures taken to solve housing problems in the metropolis studied (e.g. construction of satellite cities on the outskirts of Cairo; social housing units in Montréal)
    1. Explains some consequences of urban sprawl in the metropolis studied (e.g. as the city of Montréal expands, agricultural land decreases and road congestion increases as suburbanites commute to and from the metropolis)
    1. Identifies problems associated with transportation in metropolises (e.g. air pollution, traffic congestion)
    1. Indicates measures taken to reduce transportation problems in the metropolis studied (e.g. implementation of alternate-day driving restrictions to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads in Mexico City; improved public transit networks in Sydney; implementation of a bicycle rental program in Montréal)
    1. Explains some of the repercussions of developing public transit networks in the metropolis studied (e.g. in Sydney, reducing the number of cars on the road cuts down on pollution and improves the quality of life of residents)
    1. Identifies problems associated with waste management in the metropolis studied (e.g. garbage collection and disposal problems in Cairo; exporting waste to increasingly distant landfill sites in New York City)
    1. Indicates measures taken to reduce waste management problems in the metropolis studied (e.g. in New York City, installation of incinerators, development of recycling and waste recovery programs)
    1. Identifies problems associated with water supply in metropolises (e.g. uneven access to drinking water, depending on the level of development of the countries where metropolises are located)
    1. Indicates measures taken to reduce problems related to the supply of drinking water in metropolises (e.g. installation of water meters, improved water systems)
    1. Explains some effects of population density on the health of residents in metropolises (e.g. high population density increases the risk of the spread of diseases)

Cities subject to natural hazards
Heritage cities

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