The environment is constantly changing and evolving. Our response to these drastic changes are what makes the future of the earth and living. Whatever decisions we make, will be crucial as a lot is at stake. So I would like to take the side of the approach where we would make small and incremental changes based on only what we know for certain will come, in other words playing it safe. Many may argue that playing safe is not ideal, however in my opinion, there’s a lot at stake, and we’ve already made many alterations to the environment, specially causing negative impacts to accelerate. So we need to be very careful and weigh our options before taking any new step.
An example that comes to my mind is that, how urban sprawl has been affect the environment and how urban sprawls effects to the environment are being completely overlooked. Urbanization has been taking place all of the world at a rate that we are no longer being able to control. Even if we say that urban areas are only taking a little bit of the space on earth, the impacts it has been having is immense. Urbanization is mainly caused by the migration and industrialisation. Both are correlated. Cities are trying to grow their economies, which has led to the industrial revolution late in the 1800’s. Urban sprawl leads to several environmental degradations such as rise in air pollution, water pollution, decline of biodiversity or loss of habitat, over use of land, and lastly the quality of life (Wilson & Chakraborty, 2013).
We need to be able to understand the impacts of urban sprawl and also the main reasons why urban sprawl is happening. Urban sprawl is most likely to happen, and is inevitable. We cannot stop it however we can try our best to shift it or spread it out. We need to come up with concepts that are feasible both economically and environmentally. One such idea is of smart cities and how it will be beneficial for urbanization. Smart cities are also referred as resilient cities or eco cities (Jong et al, 2015). Creating a sustainable city from the beginning before migration starts in an area, or even once urbanisation has occurred, educating the people to live in the smart cities.
Although the main idea of smart cities is to put its people first, it is a big investment in the people as these people will create a sustainable environment for the future generations. Our lives revolve around cities, our work, our homes and our schools, all are in cities. The idea of moving to cities is seen as stepping up in life and doing better. So in order for us to protect our cities we need to have a solid guideline for the people to follow and create livable conditions and as well as protect the environment from degradation. Access to clean water, proper sanitation, all fall under protection of the environment.
To solve global environmental change, it is not a day’s work. We have already done enough damage and now we need to think wisely and take decisions that are in favour of the environment and the people.
- Wilson, B., & Chakraborty, A. The Environmental Impacts of Urban Sprawl: Integrating New Evidence and Emergent Issues.
- Bhat, P. A., ul Shafiq, M., Mir, A. A., & Ahmed, P. (2017). Urban sprawl and its impact on landuse/land cover dynamics of Dehradun City, India. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 6(2), 513-521.
- Wilson, B., & Chakraborty, A. (2013). The environmental impacts of sprawl: emergent themes from the past decade of planning research. Sustainability, 5(8), 3302-3327.
- Alberti, M. (2005). The effects of urban patterns on ecosystem function. International regional science review, 28(2), 168-192.
- Kummitha, R. K. R., & Crutzen, N. (2017). How do we understand smart cities? An evolutionary perspective. Cities, 67, 43-52.
- De Jong, M., Joss, S., Schraven, D., Zhan, C., & Weijnen, M. (2015). Sustainable–smart–resilient–low carbon–eco–knowledge cities; making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization. Journal of Cleaner production, 109, 25-38.