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Global Geographic Issues

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Jemima Fitzgerald

on 28 August 2014

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Transcript of Global Geographic Issues

Global Geographic Issues
Causes of Urbanisation
Social Impact
Economic Impact
Environmental Impact
How individuals can manage Urbanisation
Everybody leaves an environmental footprint. It is important that individuals take responsibility for the protection of their environment and world. Individuals can do this by minimising waste, recycling and installing sustainable energy like solar power or purchasing hybrid cars. All the choices we make as a consumer has an impact on our environment.
Individuals can also get involved in supporting charity organisations that help with people who are struggling to afford the costs of city living. It is important to have a social conscience and do all we can to help with the inequalities that can exist in urban areas.

How Groups can manage Urbanisation
How Governments can Manage Urbanisation
Governments need to enforce sustainable development in cities to help manage urbanisation. This means that redevelopment and restoration of the city needs to be done in a sustainable fashion on various levels. These levels comprise of environment, economy, culture and interests of all people in the city. In Mexico, the State Government of Mexico and the Health and Environment Department have created a program to help reduce pollution. The program plans on reducing air pollution through introducing fuel efficient cars, improving public transport and reducing factors contributing to soil erosion. They will also introduce some more sustainable fuel sources throughout Mexico.
Explain how managing your issue would promote ecological sustainability
It is very important that individuals, groups and governments work together to tackle the issues associated with urbanisation. These issues include the impact on the environment and social-economic issues. To achieve sustainable cities governments and private companies as well as the individual has to invest in moving towards clean energy sources which would help the environment and provide improved air quality. New developments have to be environmentally responsible by decreasing pollution and waste, this includes new transport systems that would encourage people to take public transport. It is the community’s responsibility to try and live sustainably and not waste precious resources.
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Urbanisation is the process by which the proportion of a country’s population in urban areas increases rapidly. About half of the world’s population live in cites, with the huge growth of large cites increasing in the last 50 years, especially in developing countries. Megacity, such as Tokyo, have more population than most countries. Tokyo is the world’s largest city and has more people than the entire population of Australia. By 2015, the world will have 428 cities with one million or more residents.
Urbanisation is mainly caused by growth on large cities from rural-urban migration. These reasons are mostly a combination of push and pull factors.
Push factors are:
• A reduction in the quality of agricultural land caused by erosion and desertification.
• Lack of health and care services
• War and famine
• Absence of credit to smaller farmers.

Pull factors are:
• More employment opportunities
• Improved education and health care
• Better living standards e.g. sanitation, access to fresh food and water and a safer environment

There are Non-Government organisations that help to manage socio-economic problems in urban areas. An example of one is the, “Habitat for Humanity’ group that focuses on building shelters for the homeless and poor. There are many fantastic charities that help homeless people and socially disadvantaged in Australia and they include the Red Cross, the Smith Family and Anglicare.
There are also many Non-Government environmental protection groups that help protect and promote the right of flora and fauna in heavily urbanised areas. An organisation called Wires helps cares for native animals that have been injured in urban areas. There are also Non-Government groups that help the environment like the Clean-Up Australia council that holds an annual event that involves picking up all the rubbish that is left around communities. Much of this rubbish can pollute our water supplies and damage marine life.

Some impacts of urbanisation on developing countries are increasing numbers of apartments to accommodate for more people in the city. This is better creating urban sprawl as it helps conserve more of the native environment and saves more space for future sustainable development. People have more opportunities to earn money and provide for their family in the city. People also relocate to the city in search of a better education for their children and in developed countries education is mostly provided by the government. Cities enable people to access more jobs and earn money. Health services are superior in the city with very high quality private hospitals. In New York, the poorest families could not afford basic health cover but with a government scheme called Medicaid enables all people access to health care. The city also allows people to utilise more services including health and wellbeing, education and insurance.
If the city spreads you have to provide more services and infrastructure. This costs governments millions and millions which means governments are unable to spend money on other services. Inequality with wealth is a huge issue in developed countries. Quality of life for wealthy people in the city is fantastic but lower socio-economic groups can struggle under the costs of city living.
In the city there are much better opportunities for people, especially those who have moved from rural areas. People that have moved from country to the city are usually able to provide their family with education, fresh food and water and shelter. In Mexico services such as waste collection, recycling, education and health all function efficiently in the city. Tourism in cities like Mexico helps provide more job opportunities for the unemployed because tourists are more likely to visit cities than rural areas.
Unemployment is a huge issue for people in cities in developing countries. When people move from rural areas into big cities they usually don’t have a good education thus they find it hard to find jobs in the city. This leads to no money left to provide for families to eat or find affordable accommodation. Crime is one of the biggest problems in developing countries, especially in cities. The main reason for crime is unemployment and people resort to crime. This is not the right way to earn money but for some people it is their only option. As governments in developing countries are poor it a lot harder to fight crime than in countries in New York where there is a big police presence. The health systems in cities are much more advanced than ones in rural areas, however they cannot keep up with the high demand for health services. In Mexico small children are at very high risk of developing respiratory diseases caused by air pollution. Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental impacts in developed and developing countries.
Cities provide more opportunities for people to make money due to higher employment opportunities. Most residents of New York are employed in the services sector including jobs in education, finance, retail, transport and administration. Not only does this benefit the employed and the New York economy but it also benefits the population of New York using these services. New York has the biggest banking and financial centres in the world. Being such an important financial centre attracts more local and international businesses and consequently opens up more job opportunities.
Large urban populations put increasing pressure on resources. This means that the resources available such as food, water, housing and roads are spread thinner throughout the city. Wealthier people are able to pay for scarce resources while the poor can struggle to cover basic expenses; inequality between the rich and poor in urban areas is becoming more and more of a problem. As jobs and a good income can be scarce in the city many people have to fall back into the informal economy which means people work in jobs that are not officially registered. They usually get paid cash and because of this they don’t have to pay tax to the government. There are many types of informal work that people can do which include newspaper selling, waiters, and market traders. In Mexico, unemployment is a huge issue. People will do whatever they can to get a few pesos just to eat. Many Mexican citizens are so desperate that they will work for a very low pay, sometimes even below the minimum wage of 42 pesos or $3.50 Australian per hour.
Changes in the natural environment are caused by the effects of urbanisation. This doesn’t only affect the fauna and flora but the whole food chain, thus impacting the whole ecosystem. It is impossible to reverse the impacts of urbanisation meaning the natural environment can never be restored. Overcrowding is another environmental impact that severely affects the environment. When more people migrate from rural areas the city has to make more space for them. This means clearing more land for people to increase the size of the city to house more people. Pollution is another major environmental impact. In Mexico 4 million tonnes of pollutants are released into the atmosphere. This is a huge amount and it is only one of the many countries producing this much pollution.
Land degradation is yet another issue caused by urbanisation. Land Degradation is the decline in the quality of land. This is a result of land clearing, industry and mining, logging, disposal of waste, and urban developments: all factors of urbanisation. The impact of urbanisation is extremely worrying for the health of our environment and world.
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