Urbanization in the Middle East - Environmental Impacts and how It Has Affected Engineering of Modern Buildings in the Region - Term Paper Example

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The paper “Urbanization in the Middle East - Environmental Impacts and how It Has Affected Engineering of Modern Buildings in the Region" describes environmental effects of urban developments in the Middle East changing from being negative to positive, with Israel leading in this initiative…
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Download file to see previous pages The Middle East is being faced with the impact of its rapid development hence environmental challenges most notably degradation of water resources and land degradation. Also, the Middle East is being swept by the phenomenon of building monumental tall modern buildings across its cities. They are all in the race to building the highest, the grandest, and the most sophisticated structures per global standards and recognition. For example, Dubai in addition to its long line of tall buildings along Zayed Road still embarked on another of its grand engineering and architectural masterpiece the Burj Dubai. This 800+ meter high building upon completion is set to become the world’s tallest building. It is this trend that was set by Dubai that has initiated a desire for the other Gulf cities such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi, to set out on the same course signaling these architectural and engineering feats as a sign of modernity and power.  This paper will focus on these two environmental impacts of urban development i. e environmental and engineering of modern buildings in this region. This will help in giving the reader a good perspective of how the two are interrelated and is affecting the Middle East.
The Middle East's rapid economic development has made the region to face serious environmental challenges which are as a result of urbanization (i.e high pace of rural-urban migration and population growth, increased demand for supplementary resources most notably energy and water, high level of Green House Gas and other emissions. In 2010 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported that the UAE which is fastest growing economy the Middle East as the global number one for having the world’s biggest ecological footprint (Elgendy, 2011). An ecological footprint refers to the measure of a region's sustainability through the comparison of its populates use of natural resources per capita. 
On the basis of per-capita, the Middle East's energy, water and carbon emissions are one of the highest in the world because most of the countries in this region most notably in the Far East such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have a hot and dry climate which requires them to use a high amount of energy and also import many goods as most cannot be locally produced in the region (Elgendy, 2011). 
Countries in the fertile regions in the Middle East such as Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Syria have got natural freshwater sources which due to urbanization is becoming increasingly insufficient to cater to the high population growth. This has resulted in water conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) because of competition in utilizing three major river basins, that of River Jordan, Tigris-Euphrates River and River Nile (Elgendy, 2011). In contrast, the Far East region that has countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and UAE their approach is different in their effort to satisfy the high demand for water in its urban centers (Taylor, et al, 2012). They have rare natural freshwater sources which are also limited to groundwater. This is why governments in this region most notably the UAE given its fast rate of urbanization is increasingly resorting to alternative measures such as desalinating water produced with the use of excess heat from their electricity generation(Ahmed, & Al-Rawahy, 2011). However, this remedy has not come without a price as it has impacted the marine environment because of discharging high concentrations of seawater into the Arabian Gulf. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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