Spot the city skyline - quiz

Test your knowledge of the world's great cities by identifying these silhouetted skylines. Can you recognise all 15? Click on the silhouette to take the quiz.

Where are the biggest cities in the world?

A 2014 UN estimate puts the population at 37,883,000,[4] making it by far the world's most populous metropolitan area, with more people than the countries of Canada or Iraq. Click on the image to find out the worlds most populous cities.

Task 1:

Map the largest cities (metropolitan areas) in the world using the link from the picture above.

You can annotate a paper map or you may prefer to work digitally.


What were the biggest cities in 1900? Click on the image below to find out and then add the cities to your map. Make sure you produce a suitable key for your map.

Picadilly Circus London c1900.jpg
London in 1900. The most populous city in the world with approximately 6,480,000 inhabitants.

Where are the fastest growing cities in the world?

The world's fastest growing city is Beihai in the Guangxi region of China. Average population growth 2006 - 2020: 10.58% Click on the image to find the ten fastest growing cities in the world.

Task 2:

1) Add the ten fastest growing cities to your map. Make sure you produce a suitable key that allows you to identify the largest cities from the fastest growing cities.

2) Complete the table below using the information from the links attached to the photos above.

3) Answer the following questions using the information you have collected.

a) On which continent are the largest number of most populous cities?

b) On which continent are most of the fastest growing cities?

c) Look at the reasons you have given for the development and growth of the cities. What are the most common reasons for the development of these cities? Ports, trade, tourism.....? Make sure you give examples.

d) How can war result in the rapid growth of a city? Give an example of a city that has grown due to conflict and explain why people move to a city during a period of conflict.

e) Bamako in Mali has seen its population grow due to drought in rural areas. What do the terms drought and rural area mean?

f) Why do you think drought can cause people to move from rural areas into a city?

Thinking Skills (extension)

g) Imagine you are the mayor (leader) of one of the fastest growing cities. What problems (Social, Cultural, Economic, Environmental, Political) would the rapidly increasing population cause you? What could you do to solve these problems? Why might it be difficult to solve all of the problems?

What is a Settlement?

Basel is a settlement but what about the photographs below, are they all settlements?

A Refugee Camp in Turkey

Waldkirch, Oberwil

Task 3:

1) How would you define the world, 'Settlement?' Write a short definition for a geography dictionary.

2) Save a copy of the word document below and add definitions for the following words. Find a different example for each one.

Vocab List to add to your Definitions



Capital City

Urban Area

Rural Area




Primate City




Types of Settlement.PNG

How did our city grow? The Past, Present and Future of Basel.

Basel Collage.jpg

Project Step 1: Planning and organisation

The assessment for this unit will be based on your class work and a project. The project will investigate the growth and development of Basel.

1) Brainstorm: What would you include in a project about Basel? Brainstorm ideas as a group and record them using this mind mapping tool.

2) Create a new folder called (your first name)Basel Project. Make sure you can access this folder at home.

3) Front Cover: Open a word document. Put your name and class in the top right hand corner and insert a photograph of Basel.

Give the project an appropriate title.

4) Create a contents page: On the second page of your project create a table of contents that you can add to as you work through the project using the built in MSWord Tool.

Task 4 Site and Situation:

The piece of land upon which a settlement is built is the site.

Site image.jpg
The site of a settlement is the land on which it is built. Click on the image to find out more.

1) Complete the card sort exercise and then use the information below to check your answers.

Some common site factors include:

  • Wet point sites - these have a good water supply. Many settlements grew around wet point sites, eg villages in the South Downs.

  • Dry point sites - these are away from the risk of flooding,

  • Defensive sites - often found on higher ground so that in the past enemies could be seen from a distance, eg Chateau Landskron in Leymen, or in the loop of a meander, eg Bern

  • Aspect - settlements are often found on the sunny side of a deep valley. This is common in settlements in the Alps.

  • Shelter - from cold prevailing winds and rain.

  • Gap towns - Some settlements are found in a gap between two areas of higher ground.

  • Resources - important for industry. eg Water, Coal, Iron, Limestone

  • Bridging point - settlements with 'ford' in their name often grew around a fording point or bridging point, eg Basel is found on the River Rhine.

  • Trading centres - often settlements grow where natural route ways and rivers meet, which helps the development of roads, railways and canals.

2) Add the vocabulary above to your vocab list.

The situation of a settlement is its position in relation to the surrounding human and physical features, many of which will have an impact on the settlement's type, size and function.

3) Add the definitions of Site and Situation to your dictionary definitions list.

4) Now go back to the BBC Bitesize activity on Site. Read through the information and complete the test at the end.

Project Step 2: The Site and Situation of Basel

(a) Read the text below and the copy and paste it into your word document under a suitable sub heading.

Site (actual location) of Basel is at latitude 47°34′N, Longitude 7°36′E °E, approximately 98km north of Bern.

The situation (the location in relation to places & features around it) of Basel is it is in Northwest Switzerland, at the borders of Switzerland, France and Germany. The city lies the banks of the River Rhine, predominantly on the flood plain between the Schwarzwald (Black forest) and Jura mountains.

(b) Click on the image below. Save a copy of the map and insert it into your notes. The map is of Basel in 1792. Once you have inserted the map, add a suitable caption. Make sure you reference the website the image came from in your caption.

Basel topo 1792.jpg
A map of Basel in 1792.

(c) Scroll back up the page to task 4 and you will find a list of the common site factors that were important for the siting of the earliest settlements. Use this list to annotate (label) the map to show the factors that influenced the site of Basel. Add place names wherever you can.

Task 5: Settlements and Rivers

As you discovered in Task 4, rivers are a major influence on the site and situation of a city.

1) Complete the work sheet as an introduction to the link between rivers and settlements.

Project Step 3: Basel and the Rhine

The Rhine has had a huge influence on the growth of Basel.

The photographs below will give you some ideas about how the riber influences every aspect of life in the city today.

Bars along the Rhein


(a) Use the internet to find some photograhs that illustrate the importance the Rhein both today and in the past. Save these photos in your project folder.

1 Basel and its waters.PNG
Basel and the Rhine. Click on the image to find the reading.The extracts are taken from the book, "Basel: A Cultural Experience." Edited by Shirley L. Kearney, published by Spalentor Verlag 2005.

(b) Writing a project requires you to be able to read and make notes from a variety of sources. In this section we are going to use extracts from a book to find out how important the Rhine has been in the development of Basel.

You are to read through the 10 pages of information and make notes using the note taking frame below.

(c) Using the notes you have collected I now want you to write a few paragraphs explaining the importance of the Rhine had in the development of Basel. You must use examples from your notes to explain your answer. I would also like to see you insert some photographs to illustrate your answer.

Task 6:Settlement Hierarchy

Settlement Hierarchy.gif


Hierarchy: Placing things in an order of importance.

Sphere of Influence: The distance or area people travel from to access a service i.e. the area served by a settlement or service.

Services: Facilities that are offered to people e.g. supermarket, cinema, school or train station. Services have a threshold population, which helps explain why bigger settlements have more services.

Range: This usually refers to the number of different services e.g. a school, a post office, etc. It can also refer to the distance people travel to access a service or settlement.

Threshold Population: The minimum amount of people required for a service to be offered and remain open.

High Order Goods (Comparison): Goods that people buy less frequently. They tend to be more expensive and people will normally compare quality and price before purchasing e.g. a TV, car or holiday.

Low Order Goods (Convenience): Goods that people buy every day. They don't usually cost much money and people would not normally travel far to buy them e.g. bread and milk.

Task 8:

(a) Complete this sheet using the information from the Settlement Hierarchy PowerPoint.

(b) As the size of a settlement grows, so to does the number of services offered.

(c) Add the definitions above to the vocab list you began in Task 3.

Project Step 4: Basel and Switzerland

Swiss Conurbations.The data above is from 2010

This work can be done in pairs.

a) Create an annotated settlement hierarchy of Switzerland that includes Basel. Add up to date population data for the cities you include and reference where you found the data.

b) Do some research into each settlement in your hierarchy and find out about the functions and services found in each settlements. Add some of these to your hierarchy in the form of text or pictures.

Individual Work

c) Insert your completed hierarchy into your project document.

d) Write a brief explanation of how you decided on the order for your hierarchy. Was it easy to do? What problems did you have? Give examples to support your explanation.


Watch the video below.

Although the video above is about the growth of cities in the USA, there are many similarities between the growth of these cities and the growth of Basel.


The Function of a settlement is the reason why it was originally founded.

Task 6:

We are going to use the flow diagram below to find out about the function of Basel.

Does Basel have a beach?


Function Flow diagram.gif
click on the diagram to find out more about settlement function from BBC

You are going to work collaboratively to find local examples of the features used in the flow diagram above.

As you do this you will mark them on a shared google map.

Instructions on how to mark places on the map can be found here.

We will discuss which markers to use in class.



Project Step 5: The Many Functions of Basel.

You are to create an illustrated guide to the different functions that Basel has. You base this on the work you did in Task 6. For each function you should name and describe where it takes place and include a photo wherever possible. Can you find evidence of all the functions below?

  • Market Town
  • Mining Town
  • Industrial / Manufacturing
  • Ports
  • Commercial
  • Cultural / Religious
  • Residential
  • Tourist Resort

Task 7: Basel's Population

In this section, we are going to look at the growth of Basel's population. To do this we are going to use the spreadsheet below. The data is the official population data from the Swiss Government.

1) Open the document below and save a copy on your computer.

2) Highlight the first two columns, make sure that you include the top row that contains the column header.

3) Once you have selected the two columns, create a bar chart of this data. Change the title to, "Basel's Population, 1774 to 2013."

4) Once you have had the chart checked, save the chart.

5) In your, "Basel Project", document, put a new heading, "Basel's Population," and beneath it insert the bar chart.

6) Beneath the bar chart, write a short description of how Basel's population has changed since 1774.

7) Repeat steps 2-6 but this time highlight columns for Riehen and then for Bettingen. You will have three graphs and three descriptions.

Project Step 6: A History of Basel

We are now going to take a brief look at the history of B
CIBA dye factory in 1864.jpg
The CIBA dye factory on the site of the current Novartis Tower.
asel and see if we can link events in the city's history to the growth of its population.

1) Open the word document below. It summarizes some of the key events in the history of Basel. Read through the document.

2) Take a copy of the Basel Population graph you produced insert it into the center of a new page in your word document. Give the page the title,"A Brief History of Basel and its Population."

3) Using the history of Basel document, label your graph with the key events in Basel's history.

CIBA 1898.jpg

4) Of the events you have labeled, which do you think had the greatest impact on the population of Basel? Explain your answer.

5) Now read the two excerpts below and add the dates and events to your graph.

"Complaints from the near-by community because of the smell pollution where registered in 1864."

"In 1890 a housing complex was built to home the foreign workers who mostly came from Horburg in Germany, at the Horburgstrasse."

Clavel (the founder a CIBA) built a country home (today’s Schifferhaus) in Kleinhünigen where he led a grand lifestyle. Later on his sons moved to Riehen.

Step 5: How did Basel Grow:

Basel 1642

What would you do?

1) Insert a copy of this map into your word document. Now add labels to the map suggesting where you would build factories, houses and shops as Basel begins to grow. Explain your decisions in a paragraph below the map.

2) Remember this statement from earlier,

"Clavel (the founder a CIBA) built a country home (today’s Schifferhaus) in Kleinhünigen where he led a grand lifestyle. Later on his sons moved to Riehen."

3) Mark on the map the approximate location of the Schifferhaus.

4) What do you think it would be like to have lived on Horburgstrasse or elsewhere in central Basel in 1890? Have a look at the photos below and write a first hand account of life in Basel in 1890

The Bisig was an open channel in 1890. All waste went into the river making pollution and disease a huge problem.




4) look at the pdf below. It contains a comic strip that shows how a small British town grew following the industrial revolution.

Use the information you have collected to create a similar cartoon for Basel. Try to use actual place names, events and dates. You can create your own cartoons or use historical photographs of Basel to illustrate your answer.

Step 6: Land use in a City:

In this section we are going to explore the different zones found within a city. Before we look at Basel we must first look at some geographical models.

The two diagrams below are different models of how land is used in a city. Look carefully at them and the key below them.

What do you think each zone would look like? Where might you find each zone in Basel?

Settlement models.gif

1) Open the pdf below (Urban Landuse Zones). Read the information carefully and answer questions 1-4 on paper.
Answer in full sentences. Make sure your sketch is labelled.

2) Now open the the second pdf below (Why does Zoning Happen). Once again, read the information carefully and answer questions 1-5. Answer in full sentences.