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Urbanization, Population and the Environment - Essay Example

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Urbanization has had a profound effect on the environment worldwide as it has caused changes to the land, water and atmosphere. The number of people living in urban areas has tripled over the years and studies estimate that more than half the world’s population will reside in urban areas in the next few years (Torrey). …
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Urbanization, Population and the Environment
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Download file to see previous pages This increase as well as migration of the world population will have an effect on the natural environmental resources owing to the increased consumption of food, energy, water and land. It has increased the air, water and noise pollution levels and other phenomena such as global warming which is adversely affecting the health of the population (Torrey; Ichimura). In addition, urbanization has also resulted in extensive exploitation of the natural resources thus leaving irreversible ecological footprints that have long-term effects on the population (Ichimura). Thus both the quality of life and environmental degradation are the major effects of urbanization and as the population in the urban areas is poised to increase in the future suitable strategies need to be implemented in order to maintain agricultural yield, energy and utilization of other natural resources such as water to sustain life.
Urbanization is defined as the “process by which rural areas become urbanized as a result of economic development and industrialization” (Peng, Xiangming and Cheng). However, urbanization is also defined in demographic terms as the redistribution of the population from the rural to the urban areas over a period of time (Ichimura; Peng, Xiangming and Cheng). Urban settlements are larger and denser and the population is a heterogeneous group of people coexisting in the area while rural regions are smaller and less differentiated (Peng, Xiangming and Cheng). According to estimates only about 2 percent of the world population lived in urban settlements during the 1800’s, however, within a span of 200 years it has rose to 50 percent with the development of 18 megacities as of 2000. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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