CUE: Consequences of urbanisation/urban growth

  • Created by: mayono1
  • Created on: 14-09-18 15:53

Urban sprawl

= the spread of an urban area into the surrounding countryside which typically occurs in an uncontrolled and unplanned fashion.

Urban sprawl has many negative impacts:

- requires more roads and infrastructure such as pipes, cables and wires. It is less economically efficient to service low-density rural areas compared to compact urban developments with the same number of households.

- wildlife habitat loss.

- requires more commuting from the suburbs to the city and thus more fuel consumption and traffic congestion.

- increases air pollution since a more car-dependent lifestyle leads to an increase in fossil fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases. The areas may also experience higher temperatures in line with the urban heat island effect.

- loss of farmland and open spaces, which in turn has led to the loss of fresh local food sources with greater food miles as a result.

- urban sprawl can have a serious impact on water quality and quantity. Covering the countryside with impermeable surfaces means that rainwater is unable to soak into the ground and replenish the groundwater aquifiers . In addition, it can lead to greater water run-off and increased flood risk.

- decentralisation has increased homogenisation (where cities become indistict from one another). This can create edge cities.

Shortage of housing in lower-income countries

Population density tends to be high in urban areas and one of the consequences of this is a shortage of accomadation, leading to inadequate housing. These normally develop on the edge of the city or in areas of low land value prone to flooding or landslides.

They may also be found adjacent to transport networks or in areas suffering high levels of air, noise or water pollution. These settlements tend to have limited access to basic infrastructure and a lack of services.

In 2013, UN Habitat reported that the number of people living in slum conditions was estimated at 863 million.

Informal settlements take on different names and different forms depending on their location. The settlements lining the hills of Rio de Janeiro are called favelas. The use of the term 'slum housing' has been criticised by those who see it as a political label. Between 2000 and 2014, for example,


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