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Lecture 24

11:375:101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Smart Growth, Light Pollution, Sustainable City

Environmental Sciences
Course Code
Craig Phelps

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Chapter 22: Urbanization and Sustainability
Core Case Study: Portland, Oregon: Urban Sustainability in Action
Smart growth strategies and strong land-use policies control urban sprawl and
provide green space
Encouragements of clustered mix-use neighborhood development
Recycling program
Farmer’s markets
22-1: What Are the Major Population Trends in Urban Areas?
Urbanization continues to increase steadily, and the numbers and sizes of urban
areas are growing rapidly, especially in less-developed countries
More Than Half of the World’s People Live Urban Areas
Creation and growth of urban and suburban areas
52% of people live in such areas
Urban growth
Rate of increase of urban populations
Immigration from rural areas
Pushed from rural areas to urban areas
Pulled to urban areas from rural areas
Four major trends
Proportion of global population living in urban areas is increasing
Number and size of urban areas is mushrooming
Megacities; hypercities
Urban growth slower in developed countries
Poverty is becoming increasingly urbanized
Mostly in less-developed countries
Case Study: Urbanization in the US
Three phases between 1800 and 2008
Migration from rural areas to large central cities
Migration from large central cities to suburbs and smaller cities
Migration from North and East to South and West
Aging infrastructure
Urban Sprawl Gobbles Up the Countryside
Urban sprawl
Low-density development at edges of cities/towns
Contributing factors to urban sprawl in the US
Ample land
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Low-cost gasoline - highways
Tax laws encouraged home ownership
State and local zoning laws
Multiple political jurisdictions - poor urban planning
22-2: What Are the Major Urban Resource and Environmental Problems?
Most cities are unsustainable because of high levels of resource use, waste,
pollution, and poverty
Urbanization Has Advantages
Centers of economic development, innovation, education, technological
advances, and jobs
Recycling economically feasible
Preservation of biodiversity outside of urban areas
Mass transportation
Urbanization Has Disadvantages
Huge ecological footprints
Consume 75% of the world’s resources
Lack of vegetation
Water problems
Deprive wild and rural areas of water; flooding
Concentration of pollution/health problems
Air and water pollution
Solid and hazardous wastes
Excessive noise
Noise pollution - impairs or interferes with hearing, causes stress
or accidents
Altered climate and light pollution
Cities tend to be warner, rainier, foggier, and cloudier than rural
Artificial light has affected some species
Life Is a Desperate Struggle for the Urban Poor in Less-Developed Countries
Areas dominated by dilapidated housing
Squatter settlements/shantytowns
Scavenged materials, on unoccupied land without the owner’s
Terrible living conditions
Lack basic water and sanitation
High levels of pollutants
Case Study: Mexico City
19.5 million people
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