Lots of interesting issues were brought up in this video; cultural identification and division, cooperation of states, city planning, and others. I enjoyed the lesson segment on Amsterdam, mainly because it is a city that I have visited. I think it's important to show american students a view of a different type of city than what we have here in North America. It is true that the city was planned before the industrial revolution, so buildings and streets are just not suited for mass amounts of traffic like they are over here. This gives Amsterdam much of its appeal, yet the city is still able to maintain a high degree of modernity and industry.
The segment on the city of Strasbourg brought up some very interesting points. Certain places that are on the cross roads do have a very multicultural feel. Even though one may be in France proper, it is just as likely to run into a German or other 'foreigner'. I wonder how this phenomena tranlsates to the selection of Berlin as the 'new' German capital? In a way, Berlin is deep into Germany, and foreign influence may be limited. Had a city in the Ruhr valley neeb chosen, would there have been more of an international feel? Or is one German city just as German as the rest?
The concept of spurationalism was an important topic in this workshop. Entitites like Nafta and the EU supposedly begin to break down barriers between nationalities. The question was posed as to whether countries will maintain their identities after the creation of bodies like the EU and the establishment of common currency as well as other border blending phenomena. I think a student in the AP human geography class answered it well when she said that just because goods, money, and human bodies can now move around more freely, this does not necessarily equate to the melting of culture. In my opinion, cultures and ethncities have been in making for thousands of years. The easing of a border that itself may be only a couple hundred years old will not eliminate the cultural differences on either side. Simply because French and German governments have aggreed to cooperate economically, this says nithin about their cultural traditions. The economies are tied, but are the city slickers in Paris necessarily tied to
the farmers in Bavaria? Does the winemaker in Provence somehow become closer ethnically to the tulip grower in Eindhoven simply because they use the same currency? I do not think they do?
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Received on Thu Apr 24 16:41:46 2008