Unit 2: Sustainable places Description
This unit examines the economic, social and environmental sustainability of places. While all places are subject to changes produced by economic, demographic, social, political and environmental processes, the outcomes of these processes vary depending on local responses and adaptations.
At a global scale, the process of urbanisation is not only affecting the rate of world population growth and human wellbeing, it has created a range of challenges for both urban and rural places. How people respond to these challenges, individually and collectively, will determine the sustainability and liveability of places into the future.
The interconnected challenges faced in places, including population growth and decline, employment, economic restructuring, transport infrastructure needs, housing, demands for improved health and education services, and other matters related to liveability, are a particular focus of this unit.
In Australia’s metropolitan and regional cities, the challenges may also include managing economic growth, urban sprawl, car dependency, environmental degradation, abandoned land, and deficiencies in urban planning, service provision and management. In rural and remote places the challenges may include lack of employment for young people, lack of educational services, poor transportation connections to major centres, closure of a major industry, lack of service provision, isolation and remoteness.
Students examine how governments, planners, communities, interest groups and individuals try to address these challenges to ensure that places are sustainable. They also investigate the ways that geographical knowledge and skills can be applied to identify and address these challenges.
This unit includes an overview of places and the challenges faced by cities in the developed and developing world. The unit also includes two depth studies: one focusing on challenges faced by a place in Australia, and one focusing on challenges faced by a megacity in a developing country. The scale of study for this unit, unless specified, can range from local to global, as appropriate.
The scale of study in this unit begins at the global, through an examination of the process of urbanisation and its consequences, before focusing on the challenges facing places in Australia, with the opportunity to undertake a local area study. The scale of study then shifts to national and regional to investigate megacities in developing countries. This approach enables students to develop an understanding of the challenges for places in both the developed and developing worlds. It also enables them to compare and contrast the way in which the challenges are addressed at a variety of scales and in different contexts.
In undertaking these depth studies, students develop an understanding about using and applying geographical inquiry, tools such as spatial technologies, and skills, to investigate the sustainability of places.