Month: December 2011

Welcome to Lagos

In the past few weeks, we have been discussing settlement patterns in rural and urban areas. We learned about settlement site, situation, function, hierarchy and services. We have also discussed three urban land use models that seem to demonstrate certain patterns in urban settlement between cities in MEDCs.

Yet all these cities developed mainly during, or soon after the industrial revolution. Although many conurbations are still growing, we have seen in the previous unit that most urban growth and rural to urban migration today is happening in LEDCs. With over 50% of the Earth’s population now living in cities, will settlement patterns be the same as it was in the much less populous 19th and 20th century Europe?

Welcome to Lagos.Probably one of the most extreme urban environment in the world, the Nigerian ex-capital went from 300 000 to over 16 million inhabitants in a single lifetime, and is still growing by about 300 000 per year.  The issues raised by such urban growth in the new world economy are creating a new form of urban settlement pattern.

As we watch part of the BBC series Welcome to Lagos, create detailed notes on:

  • the problems associated with the growth of urban areas in Nigeria
  • the effects of urbanisation on the environment
  • the growth of informal economic activities
  • possible solutions to overcome these problems

Also, keep in mind the various urban settlement patterns we have studied in class, and try to point out differences between urban settlement in MEDCs and LEDCs.


IBDP Geography, Winter break homework

Hi guys,

You have worked very hard these past few months and a well deserved break is in order. Although I am not assigning any homework, I encourage you to keep up with our current theme,Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability, and visit  to view at least one documentary on any current environmental issue.

Once you have watched the movie, do a quick search to see if there are any articles “debunking” some of the more controversial claims made in the film.

You do not need to write a report or prepare a presentation, I will simply ask you to discuss the movie you have watched, and if possible the controversy, at the beginning of the first class in January.

Have a wonderful break,

Mr. McKeown


Here are a few suggestions of movies to watch, but feel free to find one on a topic that really interests you.

Manufactured Landscapes

Flow: For Love of Water

Earth: The Climate Wars

The Cove

What in the World are they Spraying?

The World According to Monsanto

How to Save the World?


The Oil Factor

The 11th Hour


The need for change

While it definitely doesn’t show the whole picture, this short video discusses many issues we have been looking at in all Geography classes this semester.

Have a look!

Energy Resources Project 1

To help you start your research for your energy resources project, you can have a look at my Diigo account, or these useful websites.

  1. Natural Resource Defense Council
  2. Union of Concerned Scientists
  3. Renewable Energy World
  4. Geothermal Education Office
  5. BBC GCSE Bitesize
  6. Energy Resources
  7. Wind Power Monthly
  8. Energy Matters
  9. Hydro-Quebec Sustainable development
  10. La Grande Hydroelectric complex
  11. World’s largest Nuclear Plants
  12. Alternative Energy Primer
  13. The Geyser, World’s largest geothermal power plant
  14. BrightSource solar energy deal
  15. Biogas power plant on Turkney Basis
  16. Indians protest the building of Nuclear power plant
  17. Mississauga residents protest natural gas power plant
  18. Russia to build its first solar power station
  19. Bulgaria to build its third nuclear power plant



Energy Resources

This week we have been looking at various kinds of energy resources, both renewable and non renewable.

Watch the following videos and answer the following IGCSE-style questions:

1. Describe how demand on fuelwood is increasing in India. [2]

2. Discuss the following statement:  Biogas can easily be used to replace fuelwood as the primary energy resource in LEDCs. [5]

Settlement Hierarchies

Settlement hierarchies are essentially a way to order settlements based upon their size and the services that they offer. This ranking will take into account the population size, the distance from other settlements, and the range and number of services provided.

Similarly, shopping centres can also be ranked in a hierarchical way, depending on the size, number of specialty shops, and distance from other shopping centres.

Today’s Activity:

Using the Montego Bay map, complete this table.


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