City Construction Simulation


Purpose: For students to see a connection between governmental actions and environmental results.

Materials: poster boards; street plans of three different local neighborhoods; pre-cut pieces of red, orange, green construction paper that students cut into shapes resembling factory smokestacks (red), apartment units (orange), & single family houses (green), tape for paper shapes

Divide class into 3 teams.

Distribute to each team poster board with a street plan representing a city neighborhood.

Explain each neighborhood team must plan their neighborhood goals & request building permits from the City Counselor (represented by teacher).

Explain teams will build their desired neighborhood by requesting building permits for factory complexes, multi-unit apartments, single family houses.

Have each team discuss its goals send one representative with their building request.

City Counselor distributes pre-cut paper symbols to each representative red symbols (factory complex) orange symbols (multi-unit apartments), and/or green symbols (single family houses), and responds in 3 different ways:

1 to one representative refuse permits for single family houses because they waste materials & space; push factory permits and apartment units because neighborhood residents need jobs.

2. to second representative discourage factory complex because they pollute. Encourage them to build single houses.

3. To third representative allow them to build mixture of houses, apartments & factories.

Teams affix colored symbols to street plans and step away to examine results.

Teams look for neighborhood differences: one dominated by large red factory shapes & orange apartment units, another, by spaced apart green houses; another, by a mix.

Discuss consequences: Ex. Teams with single family house assume residents can afford cars & will drive to another neighborhood for work while saving their neighborhood from smokestacks.

. Explain results of a study of asthma rates in different neighborhoods: the rate of asthma cases is proportional to the number of factories in neighborhoods.

. Wait for student reaction: blaming city counselor for forcing them to follow his/her plan.

Discuss why people in government may be biased toward preserving the environment in some neighborhoods & creating jobs in others.

Teams research statistics of average selling prices of houses in selected towns throughout state and rate of bronchus/lung disease statistics in these towns. Compare & record correlation.

Graph results.


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