Urbanization can be defined as drift of population from rural and agricultural land to urban and non-agricultural sectors (Gollin et al 2002; Michaels et al 2012). The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2018), has reported that world’s urban population has accelerated from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018 and will reach to 6.4 billion in 2050. Desire to achieve better housing and health-care facilities, sanitation, education, better employment opportunities, socio-economic benefits and modern technology based lifestyle drag the bulk of population to urban sector. As the every change has both positive and negative impacts, perhaps urbanization has promoted the economic and financial status, but due to over and rapid urbanization, socio-economic issues like development of slums, bad sanitation and drainage has resulted into many communicable diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, influenza, plague, dengue. Also, rapid deforestation to obtain land for development of colonies and infrastructure is resulting in air and land pollution, results in loss of habitat (Czech et al, 2000) and extinction of native species (Vale and Vale, 1976., Luniak, 1994). The sedentary lifestyle of cities has invited many health issues like hypersensitivity, asthma, depression, mania, cardiac arrest etc. many devastating diseases. In the upcoming paragraphs there are some measures for the healthy and sustainable urbanization.
Measures for Healthy Urbanisation
Extinction and elimination of native biodiversity is also one of the threatening impact of urbanization (Vale and Vale 1976, Stein et al 2000). To revegetate the native plants and to protect the ecosystem, there is need to restore natural remnant habitats during colonization and development. As mentioned by Wasowski and Wasowski (2000), in their book- The Landscaping Revolution- by retaining pre-development vegetation during housing development preserve and sustain the native flora and fauna of the area. In long-term mass construction and development, retaining pre-development vegetation is much cheaper (Dorney et al 1986) and is adopted by many house owners also (Wasowski and Wasowski 2000). This is one of the way to protect the endangered species of the area. Cognizant public to promote the ecosystem conservation, is also one of the application of urban ecology to promote sustainability in habitat (Kendle and Forbes 1997). Around 80% of population of America lives in urban area, who are conscious about their native biodiversity (Clergeau et al. 2001). Revegetation of lost habitat can be recovered by replacement habitats, like managed vegetation, ruderal vegetation and natural remnant vegetation in which maintenance of green spaces at residential and commercial area is accounted (Whitney 1985).
To promote resource and space management and sustainability in urban and rural sector, Bi-dimensional matrix model for sustainable urbanisation is one of the approach, which aims at resource allocation and transformation in all sectors of community. This model has divided human settlement into urban and rural area by horizontal plane (X-axis), and development into sustainable and unsustainable sector by vertical plane (Y-axis), resulting into 4 quadrants, Quadrant I, II, III,IV, as shown in figure below. “A Sustainable city” addressed by Quadrant I, is the common goal for both developed and developing countries (Padisson, 2001), followed by Quadrant II, depicting the sustainable rural form as goal (Altieri and Masera, 19993). Quadrant III is characterized by the unsustainable rural form (Marsden et al., 2010) and the unsustainable city reflecting demographic explosion is characteristic of Quadrant IV (Breese, 1969). Transformation process in Quadrant I and II, has raised the economic status by continuous flow of resources. Industrialisation in rural areas has enhance the economic status by contributing in micro and small scale business. This model explains the transformation of one quadrant to other in various aspects, land and traffic congestion, resource allocation and utilization, water and energy system, recycling process etc. Proper sharing of services and resources at both rural and urban sector can promote urban sustainability.
For healthy urbanization, alongwith the proper allocation of land and its resources, management of wastes, and generation of renewable energy source is must to combat with the energy load on exhaustible sources like, mines, fossil fuels etc. (Bong et al, 2017). Kathirvale et al, (2003), in their review has mentioned that with solid waste management (SWM), the production rate is expected to rise upto 9 Mt/year in 2020 from 0.5-0.8 kg/person-day. In the constitution amendments in Malaysia in 2000, Renewable energy has declared the fifth major source of energy, followed by hydro energy, coal, oil, gas. Biogas, solar, and waste from municipalities is the major source of renewable energy. In Malaysia, effluent from palm oil mill, livestock waste, and corporation waste is the major source of biogas production (Mekhilef et al, 2014). Mahlia et al (2011), has reviewed that from biogas the estimated electricity production to be 100MW by 2015, and reserve of around 410 MW by 2030 and by 2020 it would be360-400 MW. Malaysia’s government use to make and implement various plans and policies for the generation of renewable energy resources and solid waste management, some of which are, Waste minimization master plan (MWM) (2006), National solid waste management policy (2006), which was focused on 3R’s (recycle, reduce, reuse) and segregation of solid waste (Pang, Chau, Oh, 2010).
Urbanization and industrialization is inevitable. So need is to adopt the steps to promote the sustainable and healthy urbanization. Preservation of biodiversity by protection of ecosystem, transformation of services and resources from rural to urban sector and vice-versa to promote equality and development, and recycling of wastes and generation of energy from waste can promote the healthy planetary integrity. Regulation of policies made by government is required to maintain the sustainability in ecosystem.
- Jedwab, R., Christiaensen, L., Gindelsky, M. (2017). Demography, urbanization and development: Rural push, urban pull and…urban push? Journal of Urban Economics, 98, 6-16. Retrieved from https://doi-org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1016/j.jue.2015.09.002
- Gollin, D., Jedwab, R., Vollrath, D. (2016). Urbanization with and without industrialization. Journal of Economic Growth, 21(1), 35-70. doi: 10.1007/s10887-d5-9121-4.
- Michaels, G., Rauch, F., Redding, S.J. (2012). Urbanization and Structural Transformation. The Quarterly Journal Of Economics, 127(2), 540-560.
- McKinney, M.L. (2002). Urbanization, biodiversity, and conservation. BioScience, 52(10), 883. Retrieved from http://ucpressjournals.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/journal.asp?j=bio
- Zhang, X (2015). Sustainable Urbanization: a bi-dimensional matrix model. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134, Part-A, 425-433. Retrieved from https://doi-org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.036
- 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, 16 May 2018. United Nations: Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html
- Bong, C.P.C., Hashim, H., Shuin, L., Siong Ho, C., Lee, C.T. (2017). Review on the renewable energy and solid waste management policies towards biogas development in Malaysia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 70, pages 988-998. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.12.004
- 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, pages 25-38. Retrieved from https://doi-org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.02.004