POL469H1 Lecture Notes - Istanbul Technical University, Informal Sector, Environmental Health

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24 Apr 2012
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IDS B02 Notes
Tüzin Baycan Levent Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Istanbul Technical University, Taþkýþla 80191 Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey Fax: 0090 212 251 48 95 E-
mail: baycan@arch.itu.edu.tr
). - Economic condition corruption showed its effect on all developing countries,
especially in many parts of Africa and Latin America, and caused a fall in the quality of
life. Urban poverty increased everywhere faster than rural poverty; policies to increase
agricultural productivity and decreasing the public spendings known as macro-economic
policies were more effective in urban areas as they are more highly-populated, and led to
price increases in food, water, energy and housing, in contrast to low real wages against
inflation. On the other hand, the number of those who migrated to the urban areas from
the rural areas increased, most of those comers started to work irregularly as street sellers,
and cleaners, and high level informal economy become a character of the developing
-Rapid population growth, land consolidation and agricultural modernization in fertile
agricultural areas and inequalities in land tenure have caused more and more people to
migrate to less productive areas or urban places.
- Depending on these, opening the farmland after deforestation, plantation on steep
slopes and land erosions are the outcome. In lands where traditional agricultural
technology is applied, high population growth forces the limited resources to be
divided to decrease continuously, and this period in time, in areas where fragile
environmental conditions exist leads to environmental degradation and poverty
getting into a spiral. On this context, the poorest people of the world live in two
areas; remote and ecologically fragile rural areas and the edge of growing urban
- the poor must often pay higher prices for food, shelter and essential services
depending on budget restrictions, and financial reforms. Among the poor; the
women, children and the elderly are the mostly affected group in regard to
environmental threats
- Although cities play a key role in the development process, they can also be
unhealthy, inefficient and inequitable places to live in. Third world countries face
the problems of lack of safe water, inadequate waste management and pollution
control, accidents linked to congestion and crowding, inappropriate use of land,
loss of the historical inheritance, occupation and degradation of sensitive lands
and the interrelationships between 3these problems.
- The pressure created by the rapid demographic and economic growth threaten the
ability of cities to respond with efficient policies and sufficient infrastructure and
services. In city centers of most developing countries, basic environmental
infrastructure and services in the megacities or in secondary urban centers are
becoming increasingly difficult to be met.
- The environmental consequences turn into negative impacts on human health, the
quality of life, the productivity of the city and the surrounding ecosystems. In
developed city centers, on the other hand, housing problems, unemployment,
crime and violance and unqualified labour force in cities are the basic problems
- In most developing countries industry holds a major share in commercial energy
demand. Service sector becomes increasingly important, industrial production
volume keeps expanding in most of these countries and a growth in energy
demand follows it.
- Depending on migration, unprecedented rise of population caused inadequacy of
infrastructure and rapid deterioration of urban environment. Rapid
industrialization, inappropriate land use decisions and industrial wastewater
which is discharged without any treatment to the receiving bodies have caused
environmental pollution. On the other hand, loss of soil and erosion, decrease in
the quantity and the quality of the forests, the pressures of urbanization and
tourism activities have been the other major problems of Turkey
- Urban poverty has increased since 1980 in most of Africa and
Latin America but has decreased in most of Asia (UNDIESA, 1989;
World Bank, 1992a). Most parts of Asia escaped lightly from the
debt crisis of the 1980s, at least compared to the impact in most
of Africa and Latin America
-People arriving in already overstressed urban centres are forced to live in dangerous areas that are unsuitable for real
estate or industrial development, many constructing their own homes in informal settlements on floodplains, in swamp
areas and on unstable hillsides, often with inade- quate or completely lacking infrastructure and basic services to
support human life, safety and development. Many of these slum residents are often blamed by their governments for
their own poor living conditions. Even without additional weather-related stresses, such as higher-intensity or more
frequent storms, these are dangerous living environments.
Furthermore, climate impacts upon the tourism industry can induce migration from rural to urban areas, thus increasing
the demand for goods and services within urban areas.133
Moreover, indigenous peoples often lack security of land tenure and legally recognized property rights, which can force
them to settle in hazardous areas if they are removed from their land.2
s a further complicating issue, environmental degradation itself may occur not only due to climate change impacts, but
as a side effect of war, political instability, overpopulation or widespread poverty. Changing environmental conditions
may exacerbate longstanding problems such as conflict or food shortages. Many factors that can be implicated in
migration are difficult to entangle, and it is impossible to ascribe blame to a single starting factor.
In the least developed countries where rural economic activities are disrupted by environ- mental conditions (e.g.
drought), migration is usually temporary and internal.25
Populations located at low elevations are vulnerable to climate-induced migration, especially in areas where other
vulnerability factors exist (e.g. overcrowding). Small island states, including the Bahamas, Marshall Islands and
Kiribati, are located entirely below 3m or 4m above sea level, so their populations here may have to relocate entirely as
sea-level rise and coastal subsidence continue.258
Rural to urban migration has been a major component of urbaniza- tion across Africa and in Asia, though it should not
be an assumed response to environmental degradation around the world. In regions with strong agriculture sectors,
migrants may move from one rural area to another rather than from rural areas to cities.
. Forced migrants can also find themselves vulnerable to a range of risks, climate related and otherwise. They often face
threats to their health and personal security and, in some areas of the world, are at danger of human trafficking and
sexual exploitation.261
- Increasing population means greater demand for resources including energy, food and water and greater
volumes of waste products. Thus, for those regions of the world where resource scarcity is an existing
problem, urbanization can be a significant vulnerability factor. Population growth can also cause stronger
urban heat-island impacts, which can be a particular challenge for small compact cities such as those typical
of Southern Europe.
- Where population growth occurs rapidly, demand for housing, infrastructure and services can grow much
faster than supply. This can force development in hazardous areas or with inadequate construction materials
and techniques. In many cases in developing countries, urban slum expansion results in part because
population growth outpaces the construction of adequate affordable housing. Unplanned population growth
can also result in sprawling urban settle- ments that encroach upon natural flood and storm buffers.
population growth can act as an acute threat multiplier, concentrating residents in high-risk areas without infrastruc-
ture or services, and accelerating environmental degradation. As cities continue to rapidly urbanize surrounding areas,
they typically increase their exposure to climate events as develop- ment patterns expand into areas that are more
vulnerable to climate change and extreme climatic events.265
- Despite the inherent issues associated with growing urban populations, most problems can be mitigated with
urban planning that diverts growth away from highly hazardous areas, enforces energy and water efficiency
standards for buildings, and minimizes urban heat effects. Thus, the extent to which urbanization acts as an
additional source of vulnerability often depends on the integration of future population projections within
land-use and infrastruc- ture planning at the city level.
- Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, has been experiencing rapid urbanization and slum expan- sion. Currently,
over 50 per cent of the urban population live in informal settlements characterized by poor sanitary conditions,
infrastructure deficiencies and lack of waste disposal services.
In these areas, even relatively small amounts of rain can cause flooding. The natural drainage capability of the land has
been impaired because of the extensive amounts of construc- tion, complex roadways and collection of trash and debris.
Runoff is therefore six times that which would occur in a natural environment, leading to hazardous conditions during
rains. Flood-related accidents result in deaths of slum residents each year, many of them children. Sewers are available
to only a small proportion of the population, so flooding carries faeces and spreads diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera.
- cities become the destination of very large flows of rural migrants driven from their homes and livelihoods
by, for instance, the damage brought by climate change to agriculture, it will add further to the infrastructure
deficit and probably to the scale of settlement on hazardous sites.
- There are predic- tions that by 2050, some 200 million people may be forced to leave their homes due to
environmental degradation and water shortages caused by climate change.148 Yet, studies of migration show
how population movements are generally rational, well-informed responses by individuals and house- holds
to changing circumstances. Thus, they are, in fact, a key part of individual and household adaptation. Land
degra- dation or decreases in rainfall do not inevitably result in migration. Or where they do, most movement
is short term, as in response to extreme weather disasters, and short distance, as in migrant responses to
drought and land degra- dation.149
- Rural Urban Migration in Kwara State 1970-1985 by
- he oil boom of the 1970s created greater opportunities,
especially in the urban centres where development was
concentrated; and many rural dwellers abandoned their age long
subsistence economic activities to take advantage of the boom.
- .The consequent neglect of the rural area in term of
development which the boom created, invariability led to mass
exodus of rural population to the urban areas. The income gap
between the rural and urban centres was the push and pull
factor in individuals decision to migrate. It is true that the
pattern of migration before 1960 (migration of colonization) was
replaced by a new pattern, principally migration of urbanization
- This ultimately resulted in greater migration to urban centres
- Greater economic opportunity became the primary and dominant
motive for migration.
- Beside economic motives, certain political, sociological, medical
and educational factors also influenced people's decision to
migrate to Lagos and other southwestern areas.