Monday, October 15, 2007

Street Smart: How to do Urban Geography from a Military Geography Perspective

RAND has published a great resource for both purchase or free PDF download entitled Street Smart: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield for Urban Operations. While it was meant to be used by intelligence professionals, no urban geographer's library would be complete without it.

The outdoor or rural landscape has been well studied by military geographers and other researchers. Deserts, forests, tundra and other landscapes offer a variety of challenges and solutions. Urban environments; however, have traditionally been lumped together as one with disastrous results. Besides just being buildings closer together, cities have physical, cultural, economic, infrastructural, social, and many more elements. Cities are also vastly different from each other. An intelligence professional who knows the makeup of a Stalingrad does not necessarily know anything about a Mogadishu.

Street Smart consists of aides and examples of how to do urban research. The beginning of chapter five is particularly useful to cultural geographers because the authors supply new suggestions on how to visualize the cultural dynamics.

The book is a great aid to many geographers. Some who would prefer something along the lines of feminists perspectives on the social geographies of urban environments will be disappointed, but urban geographers and those who wish to have applied, practical uses for their abilities will surely find something of value in Street Smart.

3 comments:

ITF said...

"applied, piratical uses" -- so this is of use if you're trying to invade a city from the sea?

Catholicgauze said...

TU CHE good sir! Tu Che!

Eddie said...

#$*(@#($#)!@@ Sweet.... Thank you for this link..... BTW, I was rejected by USF and a few other schools (please see my blog post about it if you wish but mainly it has to do with me being a dropout six years ago) so I am attending community college in Tampa in January to earn my AA..... Then on to geography somewhere....