Geography Unit 1: Exam Essay Example Question

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  • Created by: Tasleem
  • Created on: 13-01-13 01:06

Explain the problems that the worlds megacities face in trying to be more sustainable - (15 marks)

Megacities are places with a population of over 10 million like New York. These cities tend to dominate countries because of their size, location of manufactoring, and investment oppurtunitie.Urbanisation has increased the amount of megacities there are in the world because people like to live in more convininent and technologically advanced cities as they are assumed to be better and have more oppurtunities.

Because of globalisation, we are all connected to different megacities and even worldcities across the globe even if we do not live in one. The idea that we live in a 'global village' or 'global city' is becoming more relevant.

Los Angeles is a worldcity as well as a megacity because it has power based on trade, political strength, innovation and communications. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the USA and is a megapolis with the population of 24 million people. Its growth stimulated from the arrival of a railway in 1876, and continued to grow as more industries set up their manufactoring locations there. The development of the film industry in Los Angeles further pushed its growth as it was associated with the Hollywood glamour. It was the fastest growing city in USA. However, an increasing amount of people have moved out of Los Angeles because their urban push factors. Los Angeles became too big by the 1980's and more people opted for a surburban lifestyle. Some of these problems that Los Angeles are facing are also relevant to many megacities across the world.

The common urban push factors are crowded neighbourhoods, congestion, poor schools and services, declining jobs, high land rents, fears for safety, pollution, and lack of greenfield sites for businesses. The surburban pull factors also attract people to move out of megacities. These include more open spaces, better schools and services, large shopping centres, accessible, cheaper land for large properties, safer neighbourhoods, and low-density single family housing.

Los Angeles is not sustainable as it has congested freeways, air pollution, loss of farmland, massive energy use, only 30% of people use public transport, and tonnes of waste produced everyday. It is difficult for a megacity like Los Angeles to be sustainable because of the high population density and the lifestyle of the people. America is an individualist society which means they put their personal needs above the needs of the community, so in this instance the people of Los Angeles will choose their comfortm lifestyle and needs over the needs of the environment.

Los Angeles, and other megacities, could become more sustainable according to the Progressive Los Angeles Nework proposals. They believe that if employers pay their workers a decent wage and provide them with community beneifts then people will have more money to spend on reducing their carbon footprint like, for example, by insulating their houses. Another idea is to increase urban parks and clean up contaminated brownfield sites. They could also promote clean


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