Growth of Madrid: Puerta del Sol

My term paper focussed on the growth of Madrid throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I really enjoyed researching for my paper because I knew nothing about Madrid before this assignment, and now I have a greater knowledge of how Madrid came to be the city that it is today!

The information that was most intriguing to me, was from Carlos Sambricio`s piece “Arcades in Early Nineteenth-Century Madrid”, and his discussions on the Puerta del Sol. It was recorded as the best known and busiest place within Madrid, and the heart of the city. As the center of the city, it was used immensely for transportation, communication, and entertainment. When it was first created, medieval suburbs began to surround the Puerta del Sol and created it to be a central meeting place from then on. Within the Puerta del Sol there are a lot of famous buildings and landmarks. For example, mounted in the square is the statue of Charles III of Spain. Such monuments create a historical feel for the lively square and in 2011, the square had been established as a focal point and a symbol for ongoing Spanish democracy. Overall, I truly enjoyed digesting all of the information on Madrid that I researched, and thought that Sambricio`s piece, “Arcades in Early Nineteenth-Century Madrid” was the most effective in describing how influential the Puerta del Sol was as the center of Madrid.


The Affects of a Global Event on an Individual City

Being a part of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was an amazing experience. I will never forget how great it felt to be a part of such a large community, and how so many people came together to celebrate something so incredible. Plus, getting two weeks off of university classes to partake in all of the festivities wasn’t so bad either!

Vancouver, 2010 Winter Olympics

I think that the Vancouver Olympics were a global event that had a tremendous effect on the growth of the city in regards to its size and its community. The media coverage and venues that were built for the event attracted millions of people, and ultimately made the city a large amount of money. Events where the whole world is focusing in on one city can really influence the way in which a city grows. For example, the 2014 Olympics are being held in the city Sochi in Russia, a place where MasterCard was not even heard of until they began to plan for the Olympics. Such an event has allowed the city to grow in many diverse ways it may not have if they weren’t elected to host.
The Olympics placed a spotlight on the city of Vancouver and allowed aspects of its urban planning to shine. The transportation routes that were planned and executed throughout the event allowed for mass amounts of people to get to where they needed to be, very quickly. The cost was very reasonable, yet since so many people were using Vancouver transportation, the city made a lot of money off of it. Not only was the Sea to Sky Highway method of transportation in Vancouver efficient, but it allowed for a great sense of community – connecting outer parts of Vancouver to the downtown core. Everyone was there for the same reason and were able to share the experience together.

     Overall I believe that global events, such as the Olympics, are very beneficial to the growth of cities in regards to a rapid expansion in population and development for future urban planning. Not only does the city benefit financially, but it grows socially as well. I think that the 2010 Vancouver Olympics relate to our class discussions because we talk a lot about how community and transportation have a large influence on a city as a whole, and the Olympics clearly effected Vancouver in those ways. The city of Vancouver has expanded and grown to be well known to the rest of the world all thanks to the Olympics, which will have the same effects on the cities to host in the future.

The Importance of a Hinterland

This semester I decided that I wanted to minor in history. Taking such a variety of history classes has been extremely interesting and beneficial to my overall degree of wanting to be a teacher. The topic that I have been most intrigued by so far is the concept of each city’s hinterland.

Why are they so beneficial?

Before this class I never thought about the outskirts of a city and how beneficial they can truly be in regards to the concept of imports and exports. The hinterland is such a necessity to the city that it is surrounding because it has the ability to attract mass amounts of buyers to that city. The large amount of interest in the products that the city has, makes a big profit and benefits the area as a whole. Also, a city’s hinterland can attract many tourists from surrounding cities. For example, the wineries beautiful that surround Kelowna attract people from all over to vacation in Kelowna and taste the wine, which in turn makes money for the city. At the same time, the liquor stores within the city are supported by those same wineries to stock their stores. Coming from a large city like Vancouver, I never considered the power that the surrounding, much smaller, cities had on Vancouver’s city center. For example, a lot of the fruit that is purchased within the greater Vancouver area is in fact from the Okanagan. I fully agree with Max Weber’s belief that a Hinterland is detrimental to a city and that without the aid of a hinterland, the city would struggle immensely in terms of buying imports and selling exports.