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Isn't That Spatial?

a podcast dedicated to casual geography and the spatial component of whatever

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ITS011: Great Moments In Environmental Justice

On this episode, we’re collecting stories from the some of the great environmental justice victories in the US.

By environmental justice, we mean local efforts to overturn practices that have caused environmental degradation on a vulnerable population – often thanks to local organizing, the courts, and some help from the EPA.

Topics include the Cuyahoga River, which caught fire over a dozen times throughout the mid-20th century, due to industrial sludge being dumped there; the Love Canal in Niagara Falls, which was one of the first EPA Superfund sites; the strange killer pollution cloud that formed over Donora, PA; and the Bronx River project, which helped reverse almost 100 years of environmental neglect.

Continue reading “ITS011: Great Moments In Environmental Justice”

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ITS004: REPRESENT!

This episode examines the Geography of Political Representation.

What could be more spatial than the lines that combine and divide us to make up our political representative districts? On this episode, we will take just a peek at how we all get bundled together – or not – to get some representation – or not – in our legislative bodies. What is the makeup of our representation and is it fair and adequate? How did we get here and who is in charge? There has got to be a better way – right?

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Show Notes + Sources

Um, what are Congressional Districts? Via the Census.

Apportionment Method

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Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting

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World’s Most Egregiously Drawn District, the North Carolina 12th
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Maryland’s 3rd District makes a pretty creative showing, too.

Interactive Map of Congressional Districts and “Safety” Ratings

Gubernatorial and State Legislative Party Control, via Ballotpedia

Redistricting after the 2010 Census, via Ballotpedia

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Both major parties have had their shot at gerrymandering in NC.

Under-representation after the 2010 Census and Redistricting, via the Washington Post

Representation at the local level

Unintentional Gerrymandering of ourselves.

More on independent redistricting commissions

Pending court cases related to redistricting schemes

ITS003: Public vs. Private Ride-Hailing Services


Hey, have you heard about this Uber thing? On this episode, I’m looking at ride-hailing services – so-called public taxis versus newer, private app-based services such as Uber and Lyft (among many other players in the market). How do these services fit in to the urban transportation picture? Are the new private services the key to the gaps in our transportation system? Do they complement or harm the public taxi system, or the public transportation system for that matter?

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Show Notes

From FiveThirtyEight:

In NYC, Uber and taxi cabs tend to share the same market –

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Ride-hailing paired with good public transportation can potentially replace the need for vehicle ownership in cities –

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Other Sources:

Cool NYC Taxi stats

Taxi history from Time Magazine

The Economist and The Globalist on Uber vs. Taxis

University of Chicago Law Review on the Social Costs of Uber

The Daily Caller on DC rethinking its public taxi services

Recent court ruling on tossing out taxi company complaints against Uber

Venture Beat weighing the problems and possibilities of private ride-hailing services

The moral quandary of public vs. private car services

ITS002: The Bicycle and Women’s Lib


We urbanists know and have heard much laud for the humble bicycle as a key piece of the multimodal transportation puzzle. But who knew the bicycle was such a feminist?! In this episode, we explore the modern bicycle’s role in enabling the increase of women’s participation in democracy and local advocacy.

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Image Courtesy of University of Virginia

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Note:  I originally researched, wrote, and recorded this as episode 1 for release on November 9, 2016. And then…. Something unexpected happened and I scrapped the whole thing.

But hey, building off the momentum of the Women’s March this last weekend, this topic is still as relevant as ever and perhaps even more so than… back then.

So, I’ve re-recorded this episode – this time with a little less innocence and I think a bit more, mmm, presence.

***

Another Note!:  This episode frequently references Susan B. Anthony, the well-known women’s suffragist, who also happened to be on the record lauding the bicycle during the period of time I discuss in this episode. Let’s keep in mind here that she certainly wasn’t the only major actor in the women’s suffrage movement and Ms. Anthony must also bear some controversy with her name. I just wanted to make that clear. Onward!

***

Show Notes

Sources:

The Atlantic

The Library of Congress 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times over

Cambridge University Archives

How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle by Frances E. Willard

Objections to Women on Wheels:

“The Bicycle Indicted” – This bulletin from 1896 begins, “The Women’s Rescue League intends to begin a national crusade against the use of the bicycle by women.” Cool.

Maysville, KY evening bulletin, 1896 – “Just what relation exists between the bicycle and eternal salvation or destruction of the soul is a question of importance…”

The advocate. (Topeka, Kan.), 09 Jan. 1895.

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Image Courtesy of The Library of Congress

How do like my Christmas Cycle Costume?

Calling for a “rational dress” while cycling

The Rational Dress, explored by the St. Paul Globe (1897)

THEY RIDE BIKES (The Wichita Daily Eagle, 1894)

More on the rational dress phenomenon

Inclusionary Biking

Lots of good work on exploring inclusivity in biking culture and creating a fairer environment for bikers of all sorts of backgrounds

Check out these fun ladies and their work supporting the community of women of color who bike (or would like to)

Featured Music

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“Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” by Harry Dacre – This song was considered rather progressive at the time as it helped to normalize the image of a woman on a bicycle (with a male counterpart, of course).

Sesame Street – Mary Had A Bicycle (full version) – YouTube

Get ready…

…to set aside a whole 10 minutes of your week for the inaugural episode of Isn’t That Spatial.

Hint:

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Photo courtesy of: FogCityFog

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