Spotlight: A New Age of Urbanization

Evening at Chandni Chawk, New Delhi

Chandni Chawk, New Delhi, India (Photo courtesy denharsh.com, Creative Commons)

Today, billions of people find their home and/or business in densely populated areas. A recent study done by researchers at Yale, Texas A&M and Boston University determined that by the year 2030, the amount of urban land in the world will have nearly tripled since 2000. This is a daily expansion of nearly 463,000 square miles or the land area of 20,000 American football fields.

Karen Seto, the lead author of the study stated, “The world will experience an unprecedented era of urban expansion and city-building over the next few decades. The associated environmental and social challenges will be enormous, but so are the opportunities.” If population growth continues its current trend, the majority of the land growth, being about 50 percent will occur in Asia, primarily China and India. However, Africa will see the most changes with an expected increase of 590 percent in urban land since 2000, while North America’s urban land is expected to double.

Urbanization and populations shifts throughout the world serve a community better, however, when logistical planning is taken into account. The study points out that measures should be taken into account which include “avoid(ing) infrastructure ‘lock-in,’ be(coming) adaptable to unforeseen demands and have low embodied and operating energy needs.”

If these recommendations are not taken into account, the biggest expansion of urban land in history will negatively impact the world and its fragile environment.

View the original article HERE.