All posts by Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography Benjamin is currently an Assistant Professor of American Studies at International Balkan University in Skopje, Macedonia. He received a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Tennessee, where he also taught courses on Urban Geography, Appalachia and World Geography. His main academic interests are urban and economic geography in Europe and North America.

The Economic Impacts of New MLS Stadiums

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

There are very few events that have the ability to bring people together (or to push them apart) quite like sports. Sports franchises possess the ability to become the public face of an entire city. As such, big-city mayors from Boston to San Francisco are jumping on board to participate in the current boom in the construction of sports-related facilities. According to the Brookings Institution, American cities spent over $7 billion on new facilities in the first decade of the 2000s, most of which came from public sources.

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The Rise of the New West

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

In terms of its significance to symbolism and cultural imagery, perhaps nothing is more quintessentially “American” than the Intermountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming). The West is a living metaphor for values that so many Americans identify with, such as freedom, independence, individualism and self-reliance. The region is also home to some of our most iconic national parks like Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Canyon.

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How Geography Affects Your Health

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to start working out and get back in shape. While this is a noble goal, experience and evidence show that two out of every three people lose sight of their New Year’s fitness plans after just a few weeks.

This state of affairs is particularly relevant considering that one of the defining issues of the Obama presidency was health care. Lifestyle, diet, and a commitment to personal fitness are major factors in controlling the high cost of health care.

Most Americans are well aware of this, but data show that many people continue to engage in a variety of unhealthy activities and do not get enough exercise. It turns out, however, that the extent to which people lead an unhealthy lifestyle has a strong geographic component. In other words, some places display healthier behaviors and have a healthier population than others.

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Striking a Balance Between Quality of Life and Social Capital

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

After going through decades of decline and outmigration, city living has come back into vogue in the United States. In a reversal of post-war trends, more and more people, especially young professionals, are opting for close-in neighborhoods rather than the spacious suburbs.

For many urban mayors, this is a welcome change and a potential source of much-needed tax revenue. To improve their attractiveness even further in the eyes of the young, talented and educated potential movers, many cities have made substantial investments in “quality of life” projects.

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The Rise of the Southern Automobile Industry

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

In the minds of most people, the American auto industry is synonymous with the Midwest (Detroit in particular). After having been left for dead many times since the 1970s, the Midwest still conjures up images of American heavy industry and assembly lines churning out cars. Indeed, the Motor City continues to be a major hub of automobile production in America, and heavy industry is still alive and well in parts of the Midwest.

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The Social Geography of Evangelicals in America

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

After experiencing strong growth throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Evangelical Christianity is now the largest religious denomination in the United States. Due to its size and growing political significance, this group has entered into the national spotlight, sparking curiosity on the part of people who do not live communities with a strong Evangelical presence.

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The Sorting of America in the Obama Era

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

Historically, America has been divided along racial and income lines. In 2008, Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort” forwarded the idea that America is also becoming increasingly segregated along political and cultural lines. Using a variety of datasets, he and his research assistant Robert Cushing demonstrated that liberals and conservatives are very likely to cluster together near like-minded people. The result is an even more divided country in which people of one political persuasion are less likely to encounter dissenting viewpoints in their immediate vicinity.

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