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ES102 Week 12 Lecture 1.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Environmental Studies
Robert Mc Leman

Environmental Studies Week 12, Lecture 1 Urban Sustainability and Exam Review Human as Urban Species th  Beginning of 20 century, most people lived in rural areas  Africa, Asia still quite common  Today majority live in cities and urban settings Demographic Factors  20 century rapid growth of rural to urban migration  Process begin in Europe followed South America Economic Factors driving urbanization  Wide diversity of economic opportunity in cities  Rural areas, wealth and opportunity is often tied closely to land tenure and control  Access to education health and other social services is usually better in cities  Government allocate more financial resources to urban populations th A 20 Century Phenomenon: Mega City  Literally hundreds of cities with over 1 million people, 18 cities have more than 10 million people  Toronto is small Today urbanization is happening rapidly in less developed areas, many cities do not have the infrastructure in place to support this growth; this leaves large # of people trapped in impoverish, ecologically degraded urban and suburban environments Challenges  Differ between developed and less  Canada US Europe revolve around sprawl infrastructure maintenance and improvements  In poor nations revolve around shelter water supply sanitation and managing wastes The benefit: easier and more cost effective, meet needs when people are concentrated in one place Potential environmental benefits in cities Per capita basis people living in city consume less than rural areas in New York State Urban centers are not self-sustaining Their food, water supplies must be obtained elsewhere Their wastes are typically disposed of elsewhere urban waterways are easily degraded Air quality is often poor As they expand outwards, cities pa e over agricultural land, forests, wetlands etc. Cities= heat islands, buildings and large areas of impermeable surfaces trap solar radiation and alter local hydrology as water runs quickly off them Environmental realities of suburbs  Least energy efficient for of human settlement  Per capita resource use, pollution, energy use are massive  Viable because fossil fuels are cheap  Long term viability of suburbs will depend on finsing affordable alternative fuels for transportation Steps  Less developed regions o Improve access to permnant comfortable shelter o Inprove access to sanitation o Implement basic air quality requirements on vehicles, factories o These are all political and economic challenges Transportation  Urban centres the philosophy is cars best use  Cities must stop spreading upward and start building upward  Sustainable city, priority order for transportation 1=pedestrian, 2=cyclist, 3=public transport, 4= commercial vehicles, 5=personal cars How?  Road pricing : make car drivers pay the true price of using city streets o I.e. if you want to drive personal car downtown at rush hour in Singapore it will cost you $15  Lane allocation o Primary lanes are reserved for buses and taxis o Bicycles have dedicated lanes so they don’t conflict with pedestrians or larger vehicles o Car lanes are allocated by number of occupants  Planning o From outset, new developments must be planned with an integrated transporta
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