Discuss the view that urbanisation in both the developed and the developing world is unsustainable (40 marks)


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Sophie Blaney
Discuss the view that urbanisation in both the developed and the developing world is
unsustainable (40 marks)
Urbanisation is the movement of the population moving to urban, industrialised areas compared
to rural areas. But an increase of people moving to urban areas can cause issues for local councils
and governments, such as traffic congestion, pollution and waste management, if these are not
correctly managed then a city can become unsustainable. Sustainability is meeting the needs of
the present, without compromising the ability of future generations meeting their own needs; this
involves considering social, economic and environmental factors working together. A balance
needs to be found in cities to provide a good standard of living to residents as well as being carbon
neutral and having a stable economy. This is a difficult concept to accomplish in growing cities,
particularly in developing countries. This is because of rapid mass rural-urban migration which
causes overcrowding and leads to an increase in poverty, as councils in these developing countries
do not have the money required to provide adequate resources. However, developed countries
still have issues too, for example transport and waste management, which is currently
unsustainable in the majority of countries caused by people's unwillingness to alter their everyday
lives to meet sustainability needs.
Developed cities are encouraging people to live sustainably by enforcing specific bins for recycling
and improving public transport. The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, proposed that every home
in the city should recycle their household waste which would be collected every fortnight, in order
to lower the councils spending on landfill sites and to encourage people to recycle. The latest
figures show that around 32% of the city's waste is recycled, even though 37% of people in the city
still haven't converted to the scheme. Even though this is an improvement for Liverpool in order
to make an impact on the UK, more cities need to adopt this fortnightly system to see a drastic
decrease of waste going to landfill. However, the UK is one of the worst performing countries for
recycling in the EU, as Austria recycled 63% of their waste in 2014, proving that it is possible to
sustainably live in developed countries. Public transport is also being tackled to improve
sustainability in urban areas. London have introduced a congestion charge in the centre of the city
to discourage people from using their cars, and alternatively use other modes of transport, such as
bike, bus, or tube. Since the charge was introduced in 2003 more than £1.2 billion has been
reinvested into London's public transport systems, such as introducing hybrid buses and a bike
hire scheme known as `Boris Bikes', both these sustainable solutions have reduced pollution levels
within London. Copenhagen have developed `green wave' cycling lanes which allows cyclists to
have a continuous journey during morning rush hour, using coordinated traffic lights, and during
the evening rush hour there are LED lights embedded in the lanes to help cyclists keep their speed
to catch the upcoming green lights. This has proved very popular, as around a third of
Copenhagen's population use bikes on a daily basis. Again, this management scheme encourages
people to cycle rather than using their car, reducing pollution and leading to a healthier more
active population in the future.
Cities such as Curitiba, Bogota and Brisbane have all attempted to encourage the use of public
transport by introducing a bus rapid transport system. It provides a reliable, efficient, sustainable
mode of transport providing benefits to customers. The buses are bi-articulated meaning they can
cope with the high capacity of passengers, in Curitiba 85% of the population use the service per
day. There are also designated bus lanes allowing for a fast reliable service, and integrated routes
to connect suburban areas to city centres. In Brisbane the cost of a bus ticket to the city centre is
$3 compared to $18 travelling by car (covering petrol and parking) meaning passengers benefit
financially, so can spend more money using other services within the city, creating a larger profit

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Sophie Blaney
and more money can be reinvested back into public transport, which creates a better quality of
life for the residents.
In developing cities sustainability is hard to achieve due to limited funds and resources. Mumbai
has urbanised over the past 60 years, causing a high level of natural increase and migration from
surrounding rural areas.…read more


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