Urbanization or urban sprawl is a term that refers to the expansion of the geographic extent of cities towards the suburbs. Now, why is this happening, and what are the impacts of this expansion? Well, the first and foremost reason is the surging population globally. The global population of humans has reached up to 7.774 billion as of 2020. Whereas the rate of annual expansion is 83 million. Huge? Isn't it?
With such a massive rise in population, cities are getting congested, and pollution has no bounds. It has started to have severe impacts on all the living beings on our planet. Keeping all this insight, people are moving from the cramped up life of cities to the suburbs, which are apparently closer to nature. But these are not the only reasons for this movement. People are also trying to lower their mortgages by purchasing bigger houses for lesser amounts as compared to the cities. But do you know what they are not caring for?
Guys, while we are moving to the suburbs, we are uprooting the homes or habitats of animals and plants. We are also capturing the farmlands to build our houses. Our current global urban population is 3.9 billion, and it is expected to reach 6.34 billion by 2050. The urban settlements will then increase by more than 3 million sq km by 2050. But what's more important is that out of this 3 million, 2 million sq km is currently our most productive farmlands. Already the current food production is not keeping up with the population. In the coming years, the augmenting urbanization ought to threaten the global food supplies as well.
But that's not it yet, the swelling spatial footprint of us human beings has given rise to more and more issues. By moving to the suburbs, the geographic separation of essential places such as work, home, school, and shopping has increased. In turn, this has increased the reliance on private automobiles for the commute. Meanwhile, it has increased the use of energy, pollution, and traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. The purchase of single-family homes and private automobiles has also boomed. At the same time, road building projects and infrastructure development has made the countryside more accessible and adaptable to humans.
Is there any solution? As they say, only in the darkness can you see the stars? Well, several communities Europe and North America, have been optimistic about it and came up with the idea of developing urban growth boundaries beyond which construction is prohibited. Meanwhile, limiting the influence of urban sprawl through innovative land use planning techniques or community cooperation. Many organizations have taken to themselves and have started proactively working towards this issue. But it is always better to have more help, and we hope that you will help us to help our motherland to survive.
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