The urban environment: agendas and problems

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Abstract

The United Nations estimate that by 2025 there will be around 5 billion people living in urban areas, more than the total world population 20 years ago. Currently, the developed nations are the most urbanised with, on average around three-quarters of their population living in cities, but this is changing. Increased levels of economic growth, of migration, of population expansion and, in some cases, of unprecedented industrial growth, mean that Asia and Africa will be the regions most radically affected by urban development over the next twenty years. Increasing debate on issues of urban sustainability has led to the consolidation of environmental agendas and the definition of a specific body of problems and policy issues on two levels. The first involves green agenda problems occupying the concerns of many in the developed nations such as global warming, ozone-layer depletion, loss of bio-diversity, deforestation, and the exhaustion of non-renewable resources. For the developing world, however, these global environmental problems are less immediate than the need to resolve acute problems relating to poverty and the so-called brown agenda problems of air and water pollution, inadequate waste management, the lack of basic services and green areas, declining infrastructure, and poor housing conditions, as well as issues of health, crime, violence, and social exclusion. It is now a commonly held belief that the green agenda cannot be addressed until the urgent problems of urban social deprivation and inequalities are resolved. This paper reviews the scale and character of contemporary urbanisation and the rapid growth of cities, particularly within the developing nations, and examines associated implications with respect to the physical arrangement of cities, their resource consumption and their environmental impact.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

Ozone layer
Deforestation
housing conditions
nonrenewable resource
social exclusion
Water pollution
Crime
Biodiversity
Global warming
crime
Waste management
environmental impact
United Nations
Air pollution
violence
water pollution
Consolidation
urban development
deforestation
waste management

Keywords

  • urbanisation
  • environment
  • sustainability
  • architecture

Cite this

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title = "The urban environment: agendas and problems",
abstract = "The United Nations estimate that by 2025 there will be around 5 billion people living in urban areas, more than the total world population 20 years ago. Currently, the developed nations are the most urbanised with, on average around three-quarters of their population living in cities, but this is changing. Increased levels of economic growth, of migration, of population expansion and, in some cases, of unprecedented industrial growth, mean that Asia and Africa will be the regions most radically affected by urban development over the next twenty years. Increasing debate on issues of urban sustainability has led to the consolidation of environmental agendas and the definition of a specific body of problems and policy issues on two levels. The first involves green agenda problems occupying the concerns of many in the developed nations such as global warming, ozone-layer depletion, loss of bio-diversity, deforestation, and the exhaustion of non-renewable resources. For the developing world, however, these global environmental problems are less immediate than the need to resolve acute problems relating to poverty and the so-called brown agenda problems of air and water pollution, inadequate waste management, the lack of basic services and green areas, declining infrastructure, and poor housing conditions, as well as issues of health, crime, violence, and social exclusion. It is now a commonly held belief that the green agenda cannot be addressed until the urgent problems of urban social deprivation and inequalities are resolved. This paper reviews the scale and character of contemporary urbanisation and the rapid growth of cities, particularly within the developing nations, and examines associated implications with respect to the physical arrangement of cities, their resource consumption and their environmental impact.",
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