Introduction to Transport & Economic Activity
A study at the introductory level of the main geographical theories of location, with an emphasis on the role of transportation in shaping the economic landscape. Topics include land use analysis, industrial and service economies, urban systems. Conceptual and mathematical models are used to describe and understand patterns of location.
|Two lectures, one lab (two hours); one term
|Prerequisite(s): One of GEOG 1HA3, 1HB3
Time/Term Offered: Term One, Fall 2012-13
Instructor: Dr. Antonio Páez
Room: General Science Building Rm. 236
Tel:(905) 525.9149 x26099
Office hours: W 9:30 - 10:30
R. Bui, C. Higgins, R. Thorne
Transportation and economic activities take place over space, giving rise to a rich variety of patterns that capture the geographical imagination. The intricate mosaics formed by the combination of land uses, the dotting landscapes created by industrial activities, and the hierarchies of urban and rural settlements are all examples of the kind of patterns that interest geographers. Describing and explaining the regularities that underlie the complex distribution of human activities in the real world is the goal of location analysis. Geography 2LI3 is designed as an introductory course to the analysis of transportation and economic activity. The topics covered include the theories that study the patterns of land use, the location of industrial activities, and the size and spatial distribution of urban centers. A basic aim of the course is to illustrate how complex geographical problems can be fruitfully studied by means of analytical thinking and the use of conceptual and mathematical models.
At the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Describe and discuss the relevance of transportation in the development of economic activities.
2. Correctly identify the main spatial theories of location.
3. Using theoretical principles, recreate patterns of human activity for different situations proposed by the instructor and by the students.
4. Apply the fundamental concepts of transportation costs, market areas, and spatial interaction to solve simple location problems.
5. Explain and critically discuss the role of models in geographical analysis. Identify the limitations of the theories studied.
Required Text Books/Course materials:
There is no required text, but suggested readings include:
Foust, J.B. and deSouza A.R. (1978) The Economic Landscape: A Theoretical Introduction, Charles E. Merril, Columbus.
Wheeler, J.O., Muller, P.O., Thrall, G.I. and Fik, T.J. (1998) Economic Geography, Third Edition, Wiley, New York.
In addition, journal articles will be occasionally assigned for reading.
Assignments (7: 2@5 each + 5@8 each) 50 %
In-class exercise (December 1) 5 % (optional)
Topical Tests (firstname.lastname@example.org each + 1@15 +1@20) 50 %
Total: 105 %
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The University reserves the right to change any aspect
of this course outline.
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.