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URPN 201 - Urban Form and City Planning (Yu Xiao)   Tags: classguide  

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Project: City Evolution

You will pick a city in the United States and trace its evolution over time.  The final products of this project include a presentation and a report on the evolution of the city.  To complete this project, you will collect and analyze socioeconomic and spatial data from sources such as the internet, books and other printed documents, and government websites, including the U.S. Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Bonus: A bonus will be given to students who find data beyond years required by this assignment or analyze socioeconomic variables in addition to those required.


Credo Reference - History search box

This box will search all of your Credo Reference "History" titles.

More Census Information

The guide developed by the Libraries' government information librarian


Completing the Assignment

Geographic Location

1.  Identify a city of interest and map its geographic location with major transportation networks.

Google Mapmaker

TxDOT Statewide Planning Map

National Highway System Maps - Maintained by the Federal Highway Administration.  Choose state and then urban area.  Maps include symbols for airports and other transportation facilities.

Narrative of History

2.  Describe the history of this city.

Handbook of Texas Online - Texas State Historical Association

Credo Reference - Use search box to the left.

Search Advanced - Texas A&M University Libraries

in subject is (exact) san antonio, tex.
Material type: Books

in subject contains abilene, tex.
Material type: Books

3.  Use historical photos or imageries of the city to show path of city evolution. (Hint: You can use Google Earth to find historical imagery of the city.)

Google Earth - The link will take you to a page to download the software. When you open Google Earth, search for your city.  Use the green arrow icon at the top of the map to show historical imagery.  Use the time slider to move among acquisition dates.

ESRI Landsat Imagery:  ChangeMatters Viewer

Socioeconomic Characteristics

4.  Compare land areas and population densities of this city in 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

5.  Compare the demographic composition, including population by race and gender, of the city in 1990, 2000, and 2010.

6.  Compare and comment on the commuting patterns (such as means of transportation and commuting time) of city residents in 1990, 2000, 2010.

Social Explorer - Census reference 1790 - 2010 with maps and reports.

Choose Reports tab. 
For steps 4 and 5 select Census/Year > Geographic Type Place > State > City > Add. 
Then add the tables of interest. 
You will have a choice of formats for downloading.

For step 6 select Census/Year for 1990 and 2000.
Select ACS 2006-2010 for 2010.

Choose the Maps tab to create and save maps of characteristics of locations, for example, population density per square mile.

American Factfinder  - U.S. Census Bureau (use with Firefox or Chrome)
Data from Census 2000 and Census 2010, as well as the American Community Survey and the Economic Census.

For 2010 start with the simple search on the homepage.  For example, search for Austin city, Texas, and then select from among the Popular tables for this geography.

For 2000 use Advanced Search.  Use the tan search box to select your city; note the box in the upper left labeled Your Selections.  Add topics, including year, by using the tools on the left.

1990 Census - Use the search box on the page or the links below.

Land Area, Population, and Density for Places: 1990

1990 Census of Population and Housing Selected Topics

Commuting/Place of Work/Travel Time

County and City Data Books - University of Virginia
Use City Data for time period needed.  Coverage is 1940-2000.

7.  Find out the county to which this city belongs.  Look for total employment, population, and per capita income of this county from 1969 to 2009.

Bureau of Economic Analysis - Regional Economic Accounts
See Data > Local Area Personal Income & Employment > Personal income and employment summary (CA04)

Science & Engineering Librarian

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Pauline Melgoza
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111B Evans Library
(979) 458-2197
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Government Information Librarian

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Laura Sare
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Geospatial Librarian

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Cecilia Smith, Ph.D.
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Map & GIS Library
Evans, 2nd Floor
(979) 862-1052
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