Changing European Demographics in 4 CityLab Maps





















Europe’s population is shifting to the Northwest. The GDP in its more easterly nations seems to be booming, while the countryside and many smaller cities continue to empty at the expense of the great conurbations. And while Europe’s southern nations continue to suffer under austerity, cities around the Mediterranean are nonetheless among the fastest growing in terms of population. These are just some of the key demographic shifts outlined in a recent report [PDF] from Bloomberg Philanthropies and LSE Cities. While the report focuses overall on the 155 submissions made to last year’s first ever Europe-based Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, its data provides a fascinating snapshot of a continent on the move.

via 4 Maps Crucial to Understanding Europe’s Population Shift – CityLab.

Geographical Literacy

Europe is the stuff of American dreams: Tuscan sun and food. strolling around the Eiffel Tower, and even visiting the “cousins” in London.  Recently, Buzzfeed posted a series of empty maps, purportedly filled in by geographically-challenged Americans.

I haven’t been able to determine exactly who did this experiment or how the sampling was done so caveat emptor.  Still, its a great introduction for teaching about why it is important to know name/place geography. And we know that Americans do struggle with geographic knowledge, as Daniel C. Edelson, vice president for education at NatGeo explained in 2005.

via Americans Try To Place European Countries On A Map.

Robin Wright on Imagining a Remapped Middle East

How national geography is shaped by current events and conflict–and how in the Middle East, everything is connected:

Syria’s unraveling would set precedents for the region, beginning next door. Until now, Iraq resisted falling apart because of foreign pressure, regional fear of going it alone and oil wealth that bought loyalty, at least on paper. But Syria is now sucking Iraq into its maelstrom.

“The battlefields are merging,” the United Nations envoy Martin Kobler told the Security Council in July. “Iraq is the fault line between the Shia and the Sunni world and everything which happens in Syria, of course, has repercussions on the political landscape in Iraq.”

via Imagining a Remapped Middle East –

In Afghanistan, Comment on Border Brings Tension –

Sometimes a line is not just a line.  What a border dispute tells Afghans about US and Pakistan relations:

The “issue of the line,” as he called the border, may be minor to the rest of the world. But it “shows us we have friends who we cannot trust,” said Mr. Barakzai, 43. Everyone listening knew he meant America, and they kept nodding.

The border, of course, is no simple boundary: It is the Durand Line, named for the British colonial official who drew it up to separate Imperial Britain’s Indian possessions from Afghanistan — dividing traditionally Pashtun lands between Afghanistan and what would later become Pakistan. To the world at large today, the line, however contentious, is official.

via In Afghanistan, Comment on Border Brings Tension –

Who Do You Call When Nobody Represents You?

The answer is not “Ghostbusters”…

In the International Organization world we note governments, “non-governments” and even some “inter-governmental” bodies, but what to do if you’re not in one of those categories?  (MNC’s would be included through a sideways dotted line.)  Join the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, of course.

It looks as though these groups miss out being discussed in broad political geography classes–although I’m sure many are included when you go regional or sub-regional.