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How People Change Their Geography

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• Part 2: What Does It All Mean?

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Part 1: Changing Geography

When you hear the word geography, you tend to think of mountains and streams and maps and compasses. But geography is bigger than that. Geography is the world around you, wherever you are.

And the more people live in a place, the more they want to change it to suit their needs.

The more people that live in one place, the bigger the settlement tends to get. A town becomes a city, which becomes a big city. Soon, smaller cities (called suburbs) are forming on the outskirts of the big city. Before you know it, you have a metropolitan area, with a total population of hundreds of thousands of people.

How do these people change their geography? Here are several ways:

  • They build more places for people to live. All those people have to live somewhere. Many live in houses. Many live in apartment buildings. Others live in mobile homes.
  • They build more buildings that house stores and markets. Just about everything you need can be found in either a store or a market. Food comes from a market. Clothing and cars come from stores. More people means more stores and markets. And with those more stores and markets come more jobs, so people can afford to buy food, clothing, and cars.
  • They build roads to carry cars and trucks, so people can drive from place to place.
  • They build dams to create reservoirs, which store water from rainfall and nearby rivers and streams. More people means more water needs.
  • They plant more crops, assuming that enough farmland is left. When a population grows quickly, farmland is often turned into land for housing and for stores and markets. It is sometimes difficult for a city's supply of food to keep up with a growing demand.

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