Environment and Society in a Changing World




Cities and transportation are central to contemporary development because they enable large numbers of people to come together for specific purposes. Food is important because everyone eats it, and agriculture is important because it's how we get most of our food. This module was designed to present urban transportation and farming in a systemic, geographic perspective with emphasis on their sustainability. Urban landscapes are heavily dominated by human activity but are nonetheless influenced by environmental features such as the presence of ports. Urban design in turn influences which modes of transportation we use, as seen in urban areas designed for pedestrian, public transit, and automobile transportation. Cities and transportation impact the environment in several ways, including energy use and air quality. By minimizing food transport and carbon footprint, urban farming makes cities less fossil-fuel dependent and more environmentally-friendly. Finally, there are efforts in cities around the world to transition towards sustainable development.

The transition to sustainability can be difficult. The transition is often more difficult than the end result of being in a more sustainable state. Transitions to sustainability can involve transitions in both physical infrastructure and in our own minds. The challenge of the transition is an important aspect of sustainable development, one which can present opportunities for those interested in pursuing sustainable development in their lives.

You have finished Module 7. Double check the list of requirements on the first page of this module to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before beginning the next module.

This is the final module of Unit 2! Next week we will review this unit, working on Written Assignment 4 and the Unit 2 quiz.