Reflection on the Five Themes of Geography

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RIUNNING HEAD: REFLECTION ON THE FIVE THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY

Reflection on the Five Themes of Geography
Julia Lampert
GEOG 200- B06
January 18, 2014

Reflection on the Five Themes of Geography

The five themes of Geography are key to understanding this amazing subject. Location, place, movement, human environment interaction, and region are the five themes that will be discussed in this paper. The area that we will examine using the five themes of geography is the Genoa Township Hall in Brighton, MI. We will begin by looking into the specifics of location.

Location
Genoa Township is a central location in Southeastern Michigan to many of the major cities including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and the capitol city of Lansing. This township is a bedroom community for many of the major cities. “As of the census of 2010, there are 19,281people, 7,807 households, and 5,647 families residing in the township.” ("Genoa Charter Township - Official Government Site - Livingston County Michigan", n.d.). According to Fouberg, et.al (2012) “location highlights how the geographical position of people and things on Earth’s surface affects what happens and why. Location helps to establish the context within which events and processes are situated.” Another aspect of location that geographers use is called location theory. “Location Theory- an element of contemporary human geography that seeks answers to a wide range of questions – some of them theoretical, others highly practical: Why are villages, towns and cities spaced the way they are? A geographer versed in location theory might assess where a Super Target should be built, given the characteristics of existing neighborhoods and new developments, the median income of the people, the locations of other shopping areas, and the existing and future road system.” (Fouberg, Murphy, & Blij, 2012, p. 11-13). In this township there are many places for shopping, dining and entertainment. There is a local theater, plenty of restaurants, and a strip mall just off of the highway. Geographers must be able to spend time and use research to get a good understanding of where an ideal location would be for a large and important building to be placed. The Genoa Township Hall, located in Brighton, Michigan, is in an ideal location because of its accessibility, being just a few minutes out of town and right off the main roads. This accessibility makes it an ideal place for government affairs.

Place
Place is the second of the five themes of geography that will be addressed. The theme of place is an interesting one to discuss because it does not have a set-in-stone definition, but is defined by people and their experiences. “People develop a sense of place by infusing a place with meaning and emotion, by remembering important events that occurred in a place, or by labeling a place with a certain character. Because we give meaning to places, we can have a feeling of “home” when we are in a certain place.” (Fouberg, Murphy, & Blij, 2012, p. 11-13). One example of a feeling of “home” is looking at one of the elected officials of Genoa Township. The township Office Supervisor and Board of Trustees Chairman, Gary McCririe, is a local resident that is active in our community and went to high school with my Dad. At the Genoa Township Hall some of the things that are used to commonly identify its “place” are the play park, sledding hill, and soccer fields. It is also associated with many local government activities such as utilities, bills, voting, and waste removal/disposal. The township hall and surrounding properties are a place where families can play and create memories together. I have fond memories of taking many sledding trips with my Dad and siblings during the cold winter months. It is a place where official government decisions are made and local government services are provided. The initial perception of this place is positive due to its community...
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