Developing countries need to address the population’s growth to ensure that they can develop sustainably. However, a growing number of people live in poverty, and there are concerns that this may create a lack of economic and environmental development resources. This can lead to violence and political blight in some areas.
Despite the widespread conventional wisdom that cities are harmful to the environment, urbanization is a powerful driver of sustainable development. For instance, cities are hubs of innovation, driving many economic and social processes. They are also the driving forces behind global material, information, and energy flows.
However, cities are faced with various challenges. Among them are inadequate infrastructure, a lack of essential services, and poor health and sanitation. It is, therefore, crucial that these cities are managed well.
To avoid the negative consequences of urbanization, it is essential to assess the environmental impact of urban development and spread awareness through various campaigns like Population 8 Billion. Different solutions are needed depending on the scale and nature of the urbanization. It is also essential to consider how urbanization will affect interactions between urban environments.
Moreover, urbanization can provide opportunities for entrepreneurial activities. It also generates infrastructure projects that are essential for sustainable development. The same output can be produced using fewer resources if cities are appropriately managed.
Economic Stagnation and Environmental Blight
Over the past centuries, humanity has been responsible for several environmental devastations. These include the effects of climate change, the introduction of fossil fuels into the transportation sector, and deforestation. In addition, modern humans have altered the chemical systems that govern the planet.
Aside from the apparent, biotic impoverishment is the most critical human-caused environmental impact. This phenomenon occurs when one species outcompetes the rest of the biosphere to survive. The resulting scarcity of widely-sought resources often leads to the escalation of internal conflict.
The most obvious example of biotic impoverishment is the effects of industrialization. In the mid-1990s, the industrialized nations consumed almost a quarter of the world’s meat, paper, aluminum, iron, and steel. In addition, they injected vast quantities of water underground to extract natural gas. The result was a significant economic recession.
There are other human-caused impacts. In the United States, asthma rates are rising in big cities. In addition, many farmworkers suffer from high exposure to pesticides.
Increased Number of People Living in Poverty
During the last few decades, the number of people living in poverty has increased in the United States. This is a result of population growth. Historically, the US has had a disproportionate number of people living in poverty in the country’s large urban centers. However, with the increase in population, the geographic spread of poverty has been expanding.
The number of poor people living in suburban areas has increased by nearly three million. These suburban neighborhoods are also growing faster than cities. In fact, in 2015, the poverty rate was 11.2 percent in the suburbs and 19.6 percent in large cities.
The poor residents in rural counties also grew by roughly two percentage points. In 2010, the poor residents in rural counties accounted for eight percent of the poor population.
The number of poor residents outside the city center in metro Detroit grew by 1.3 million. This was more than double the national average.
Addressing and Harnessing the Opportunities of Population Dynamics
Whether addressing climate change, combating poverty, or achieving universal access to education, sustainable development is inextricably linked to population dynamics. The world’s population has reached 7.3 billion and is projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050. It won’t be easy to meet the world’s needs without compromising the abilities of future generations.
The world is experiencing one of the largest waves of urban growth in history. More than half of the global population lives in towns and cities. This rapid growth reconfigures the demographic distribution. There are many factors contributing to this change. These include discriminatory practices, such as early marriage and childbirth.
Cities have long been the center of economic, cultural, and social development. They also provide essential services to rural populations. However, the pace of urbanization differs widely across regions. In the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), nearly the entire population growth will occur in cities. This poses substantial challenges to sustainable development.