Challenges in the human environment

  • Created by: mackerss
  • Created on: 20-10-17 18:59


  • Urbanisation is the growth in the proportion of a country's population living in urban areas. 
  • It is happening all over the world and more than 50% of the world's population live in urban areas. 
  • HICs (UK, Japan, Germany) are more economically developed and have very slow rates of urban growth - people are moving away from cities and they can do this because of good transport and communication systems that allow them to easily acess the city.
  • LICs (Ethiopia, Nepal, Afghanistan) are less economically developed and have very high rates of urban growth and economic development - not much of the population live in cities but they are moving there for a better quality of life.
  • NEEs (Brazil, China, India) are countries whose economic development is increasing rapidly. These countries are experiencing rapid urban growth

Megacity - an urban area with over 10 million people living there e.g Mubai. There are now 34 megacities and more than two thirds are in LICs and NEEs.

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Why are people moving to cities?

Natural Increase - when the birth rate is higher than the death rate so population grows 

Push Factors encourage people to leave an area

  • Natural disasters - floods and earthquakes damage property that people can't afford to fix
  • Mechanisation - people's farming jobs being taken over by more effcient machines
  • Desertification - land becomes infertile so people cannot grow crops to support themselves
  • War and conflict - people's cities become dangerous and so they flee their homes

Pull Factors encourage people to move to an area

  • More job opportunities - the jobs in cities are often higer paid and more reliable than farming
  • Better health care and education - it is a lot easier to acess health care in the city and the schools are often much better quality
  • To join family - often people move to the city to join family members that already live there
  • Better quality of life - due to better facilities and higher income opportunities
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Lagos is loacted in Nigeria (an NEE) and is the biggest city in Africa with a population of over 21 million people. It is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the world and is the main financial centre for the whole of west africa. More than 275,000 migrants arrive every year, creating an urban sprawl of the city into the country side. Migration, urbanisation and natural increase are all causing rapid population growth. 

Social opportunities in Lagos

  • More healthcare centres and a better range of medicines
  • 68% of the population of lagos have education (40% don't attend primary in rural areas)
  • Acess to elecricity means acess to lighting, cooking facilities and helps develop businesses
  • Water treatment plants provide safe water which is piped directly to areas in the city

Economic opportunities in Lagos

  • Rapid growth means many construction job opportunites
  • Lagos is home to banks, government buildings, manufacturing industries and two ports
  • Lagos has a thriving film and music industry 
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CASE STUDY - Lagos (Challenges)

Social Challenges In Lagos

  • Over 60% of the city's population live in slums e.g Makoko. Houses in Makoko are flimsy wooden huts built on stilts. There is only one school and most families can't afford schooling
  • Communal toilets are shared by 15 households and the waste goes straight to the polluted lagoon. This causes hygene and health problems e.g Cholera
  • Water is bought from a communal water point that can be up to 3km away and electricity comes from unreliable illegal connections. 
  • Crime rates are high and the slums are self policed by gangs called 'Area boys'

Environmental Challenges In Lagos

  • Only about 40% of rubbish is officially collected and so large toxic waste dumps are formed
  • Waste disposal and gas emmsions from factories are not monitored causing pollution

Economic Challenges In Lagos

  • There aren't enough jobs for migrants so people have to make money scavenging in dumps
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Urban planning example

Urban planning schemes can reduce the impact of urban growth and improve the quality of life for the urban poor. 

Rio De Janeiro is in south east brazil and has more than 600 squatter settlements (favelas). The Favela-Bairro project (1995-2008) involved 254,000 people in 73 favelas.

Social Improvements

  • There are now day care centres, adult schooling  and services to help with drug addiction

Economic Improvements

  • People are gaining legal ownership of their properties and are training for better jobs

Environmental Imrpovements

  • Buildings are being rebulit with brick and there are now rubbish collection services
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UK Cities

The population distribution in the UK is uneven. Major cities have developed into conurbations - town that have merged to form a large urban area. The relief of the land affects where peole live.

  • Upland regions (North scotland) are sparsely popoulated due to the land being difficult to farm
  • Coastal areas attract human settlement and key ports (Liverpool/Cardiff) have grown into cities
  • Mineral wealth ( of coal and iron) leads to rapid population growth due to industries developing
  • Most urban area have developed in lowland areas (Birmingham) as they are easy to build on and have a milder climate than upland areas
  • London is the UK's biggest city with over 8.6 million people (10% of the country's population!)
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Urban regeneration example

Because most of the major cities were built in the industrial revolution, the buildings are old, cramped and outdated so regeration projects are helping to make city centres more attractive.

New Islington is an inner city area in Manchester.

The cramped buildings were built in the 1960s and by the 1990s they were run down and 50% of the houses were empty or being used as squats. The area had many social and economic problems - high unemployment, crime, drugs and vandalism.

The government built 1700 new homes, more transport, a health centre, a village hall, restaurants, an orchard, an eco-park and a footabll pitch. These features improved the area and made it a nicer place to live in. 

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