Urbanization and the evolution of cities across 10,000 year

About 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers, aided by rudimentary agriculture, moved to semi-permanent villages and never looked back. With further developments came food surpluses, leading to commerce, specialization and, many years later with the Industrial Revolution, the modern city. Vance Kite plots our urban past and how we can expect future cities to adapt to our growing populations.

Starting with those first small farming villages, people have flocked to cities in ever increasing numbers. Urban environments offer the promise of a higher standard of living. Most of the great technological innovations that make our lives what they are came out of the exchange of ideas that result from so many people and ideas being concentrated in one area. This concentration of ideas facilitated rapid, global improvements in living standards which allowed the human population to grow at an unprecedented rate.

The fact of the matter is that the future of cities lies in the hands of the students that currently fill our schools. It only seems logical that they should start thinking about the unique challenges of cities now with an eye towards developing unique solutions. This lesson from Lab207 places students in the role of city developers. Ultimately students will create a fictitious city centered on a specific industry, engineer the demise of the city, the reimagine and redesign the future of their metropolis.

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