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An idea for how to proceed now that we've chosen "Cities" as our topic. You can add to the list of possible topics, but if you're particuarly interested in a topic and want to start working on it, turn it into a link (surround the words with double square brackets--[[ and then click on the red link) to describe what you want to do. That way, we can get concrete ideas of what topics we're actually going to discuss.

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Cities Proposals Edit

Here's a list of ideas generated around the theme of Cities from past proposals (initially compiled by Kevin Fogg). As we've discussed, Cities is always a contender!

  • Sustainability / Urban Planning
    • does the shape of the built environment influence how we use resources?
    • does it make city-planning sense to build satellite communities with grocery stores/drug stores/entertainment/etc outside larger cities?
    • how have other cities/communities responded to the challenge of growing populations and dwindling resources?
      • Jared Diamond's new book "Collapse"
    • How could Durham become more sustainable?
    • environmental impact of cities
      • "heat islands"
      • ozone depletion
      • Urban Ecology:
        • www.urbaneco.org[1]
        • www.umass.edu/ecologicalcities[2]
        • www.urbaneco.washington.edu[3]
        • www.urbanecologycenter.org[4]
        • www.urbanecology.org.au[5]
  • Cities and City-states
    • what does it mean to be a "citizen"?
  • Cities and Ideology
    • Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, NYC, Paris
  • Cities as real and imagined communities
  • Fictional cities and historical cities
  • Cities of tomorrow
  • Virtual Communities/Interaction
    • how has the web changed the way people interact, find jobs, partners, appliances
    • Are virtual communities becoming more important than actual communities?
    • a substitution of all the human activities:
      • frindship - go to an internet caffe talk to 'christina18'
      • love - date a beauty from the States
      • compassion - press a button and send 9.99$ to the poor in Africa
      • sex - watch a porno movie
      • revenge - shoot osama bin laden cartoon.
      • And what about here and now (michal)
    • Do people put more energy into web-based interactions than geographically-based interactions - do you e-mail more than you talk to your neighbours?
      • This reminds me a lot of Kylie's seminar last year about integrity and the different ways people act in online communities than in "real life" communities. I think there could be a really interesting discussion at a symposium about the different behavioral norms in online communities, and the way that people act out their real life aggression on faceless--and therefore in some ways fictional--people on the internet. (-jacob)
    • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG)
  • Non-human cities
    • fungus-farming ants
    • bee dances
    • colonial bryozoans
    • ecological communities
    • coral
  • Comparative cities vs. homogenization of cities
  • The importance of cities in a globalized world and the connection to global power and the decentralization of power
  • Migration
    • regional, national, international
    • cities as migration magnets
  • "International" Cities
    • Large = International / Small = Stereotypically domestic?
  • City skylines
    • how architecture and geography shape and affect imagination
    • small towns vs. big cities
  • Underground cities
  • How cities impact our lives
    • threats posed by cities
      • violence is more potent in highly concentrated populations than in rural areas
    • the promises posed by cities
  • (Re)Building cities - civil engineering
    • New Orleans
  • Stereotypes and segregation
    • do cities promote or negate stereotypes of different groups of people?
  • Urban health problems
  • Universities' relationship to the communities around them
    • Duke and Durham as a case study - we could bring in the Uni tutors and kids in the Crest Street program and the CEO of Durham's Chamber of Commerce, a Duke grad
  • The Naming and Re-naming of Cities

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