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Description

For the City Profile assignment, you will be writing a 500-word description of a major global city that is NOT your home city. Your write-up must read like a high-quality travel guide–something that an educated and curious traveler would want to read before going to the city. However, you should address ONE of three themes: sacred, safe, and busy. Joel Kotkin, in his bestseller The City: A Global History, writes that the world’s great cities are places that manage to be “sacred, safe, and busy.” In other words, they allow for places of reflection, places of security, and places of commerce. In your city profile, make sure to address one of these themes, taking care to explain how your chosen city and its spaces fulfill your chosen theme. What spaces in the city, for instance, conjure images of the sacred? It is through impressive religious architecture, impressive cultural institutions, or even a dominating presence of skyscrapers, which are in a sense emblems of the sacredness of capitalist power? What features of the city–waterways, landforms, aspects of the built environment, or otherwise–exude a sense of security and protection? And finally, what is the city’s position commercially? Is it a global city, a regionally significant economic center, or what? What is the nature of its commercial spaces?

In all, you should answer these questions in a way that attempts to get the reader to want to visit the city and to consider it an important place. This assignment is meant to be a change from the typical research paper or question. Obviously, you are expected to do your homework and to know the city. Googling the city, visiting the city using Google Earth, reading the Wikipedia entry, and perusing quality sources like the New York Times and The Guardian are a good start. YouTube is another good source (as long as the videos are produced by reputable sources). But, you are encouraged to go further. See what travel guides like Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide have to say about it. Are there any well-known scholastic works on the place? If so, find them and read their introductions.

This assignment does not require citations.

Criterion

Grading

Report Format

The report is clearly structured.

20%

Report Introduction

The introduction includes what the report is about, a brief introduction of your chosen city, and what is expected in the report. Please makes sure that you include a picture of your chosen city that reflects your chosen theme.

20%

Descriptions

Clearly describe the place(s) associated with your theme.

20%

Reflections

Reflect what the place(s) mean to the city.

20%

Quality of Writing

The report is clearly written and does not have grammatical errors.

20%

  
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