Megacities Assignment 2020
A recent UN estimate had calculated that over 55 per cent of the entire population of the world live in the urban areas and that figure is expected to rise to 68 per cent by the year 2050 (Chee& Neo, 2018).
This basically means that cities are likely to grow bigger and become way more numerous than they have ever been.
Such massive growth also brings along with it its own share of challenges particularly with regard to the environmental health, governance and the use of resources among other such issues. Let us try to understand some of those issues:
Among the biggest issues that mega cities are likely to face in the future are environmental threats. The rapid rates of urbanization that strain the infrastructure that is already existent.
Apart from that, the frequent changes in the weather condition of the cities as a result of the change in the global climate would accelerate the impacts and the influences of the environmental threats (Bugliarello, 2008).
Some of the common environmental threats that are likely to occur include regular floods, epidemics, heat waves and tropical cyclones particularly in the coastal cities.
Also, as a result of the great density of the people living in such megacities, the environmental threats pose a great risk and can result in massive financial losses or even deaths.
The city authorities of the cities which are on their way towards becoming megacities need to consider these environmental threats very seriously. The goal must be to make such cities resilient towards fighting these threats.
Big cities require an abundance of energy, food and water to sustain its huge population or to simply remain viable. Mega cities not only reducethe available sources of water but they also significantly raise the demand for energy while also reducing the agricultural lands.
If technology is put to good use, agricultural productivity might be boosted momentarily but it will be extremely difficult to keep up with the ever-growing population.
Apart from these basic requirements, the continuous growth in the population will result in the reduction of tress or the green spaces within those cities (Hunt,2012).
This would in-turn affect the livability in those cities. Moreover, with the growing scarcity of fresh water, the fertile lands are more likely to diminish in size. This would inevitably lead to great intermittent hikes in the prices of foods which would seriously pose a threat to the poor living within those cities.
The levels of inequality in megacities are more likely to grow leaps and bounds in the coming years as compared to the other cities. This is due to the growing gap between the number of rich and the number of poor in these cities.
The forecast for the resilience against envioronmental threats as well as the provision of the basic resources shows that it is highly uneven for various different groups living in these mega cities. With the growing number of superrich people in the mega cities, the numbers of poor will also see a great increase.
Technology will be of great importance in these mega cities as managing the needs and requirements of the people will become more and more difficult by the day (Schoen, 2014). One of the major challenges will be to meet the requirements of power and energy in the cities.
When the non-renewable forms of energy dry out, leaders will then be compelled to look at other means to cater to the rising needs. In order to avert such desperate times, cities need to invest more towards the utilisation of solar energy (Kotkin, 2015).
This form of energy can be used in the creation of wetlands as well as for the use in different housing estates for achieving a certain level of ecological balance (Worldpopulationhistory.org.,2016).
Another sphere which must be given more attention would be the development of smart mobility technology which can be used to improve the traffic situation of these mega cities (Public.wmo.int.,2019).
The growth in the trends of urbanization all over the world has raised the risk of the spreading of more and more infectious diseases(Qiu, 2012). T
he World Health Organization had earlier published a list of 17 tropical diseases which were earlier considered rural but are now urban as a result of the great migration from the rural areas to the larger cities in search of jobs and employment (Neiderud, 2015).
Another major problem that mega cities might face is a dearth in the leadership or in the quality of governance. With huge populations and people hailing from all different ethnic backgrounds, good governance becomes imperative and a highly essential requirement (Pal, 2014).
Chee, CH & Neo, H. (2018), 5 big challenges facing big cities of the future, viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/the-5-biggest-challenges-cities-will-face-in-the-future/
Neiderud, CJ. (2015), How urbanization affects the epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases, Infect EcolEpidemiol, Vol. 5(10), viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4481042/
Kotkin, J. (2015), The problem with Megacities,viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/megacities/2011/04/04/the-problem-with-megacities/#2a64693d6f27
Schoen, JW. (2014), Megacities’ explosive growth poses epic challenges,viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.cnbc.com/2014/03/21/megacities-explosive-growth-poses-epic-challenges.html
Bugliarello, G. (2008), Megacities and the Developing World, viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.nae.edu/7529/MegacitiesandtheDevelopingWorld
Public.wmo.int. (2019), Urban Cross-cutting Focus, viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/focus-areas/urban-development-megacities
Hunt, J. (2012), Megacities facing mega problems,viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.themoscowtimes.com/2012/06/26/megacities-face-mega-problems-a15773
Worldpopulationhistory.org. (2016), Urbanization and the megacity,viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://worldpopulationhistory.org/urbanization-and-the-megacity/
Pal, M. (2014), 3 Challenges Facing India’s Growing Cities,viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.wri.org/blog/2014/03/3-challenges-facing-india-s-growing-cities
Qiu, J. (2012), Megacities pose serious health challenge, viewed on 8th May, 2019, retrieved fromhttps://www.nature.com/news/megacities-pose-serious-health-challenge-1.11495