Warming cities – W15.5

More than half of the world’s people live in urban areas, and this number continues to grow. Some scholars think that, by 2100, almost all people will live in cities because the benefits from efficiency and productivity outweigh the costs associated with any negatives of city life. Other scholars think that increased urbanization is unsustainable due to the high levels of material consumption and waste production that result from large populations co-existing in a relatively confined area.

Big cities have many social problems, such as congestion, crime, inequality, and unemployment, but they are even more significantly threatened by climate change. Our ceaseless burning of fossil fuels fills the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, leading to global warming and to more severe, not to mention less predictable, weather patterns. Paved surfaces preventing evaporation and the heat storage capacity of large buildings means that cities create their own micro-climates resulting in much higher temperatures, and lower rates of cooling, than are found in the surrounding areas. These urban ovens are basically baking themselves into extinction.

In a recent article in Futures (2015, 66: 45-53), on the future of cities in a warming world, Patrick Moriarty and Damon Honnery identify three areas of concern: health, flooding, and geological.

Large cities already suffer from increased air pollution that can cause or exacerbate a variety of pulmonary disorders. As temperatures rise, the potential for heat stroke, especially among the elderly, increases dramatically. Warmer cities outside of tropical areas may see a rise in the number of cases of tropical diseases, such as malaria.

Most of the world’s major cities are on sea coasts or the banks of major rivers. The increase in severe weather events has exposed these areas to threat from storm surge. Even a small rise in water levels as a result of polar ice melting is likely to leave some of the heaviest populated urban centers in the Mediterranean and South Asia partially submerged only a couple of decades from now.

Research has shown that global warming can even have an impact on major geological events, like volcanoes and earthquakes. In mountainous regions, destabilization of the terrain is leading to more rock slides and mud slides that can quickly bury a city and cut off access to help from outside.

When the impact of climate change is taken into account, a more realistic forecast for urban development can be constructed, with Moriarty and Honnery suggesting that we will reach a stage of peak urbanism within a few decades. Some existing cities will no longer be habitable. New, more sustainable (less densely populated) cities, specifically designed to co-exist with the environment, may arise in previously less hospitable areas. There might also be a resurgence of rural living, as large portions of the population seek an alternate lifestyle.


About Robert A. Campbell, PhD

Robert A. Campbell, PhD, teaches courses in change management, leadership, and organizational behavior, as part of the MBA program in community economic development, for the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University.
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61 Responses to Warming cities – W15.5

  1. Lindsey MacIntosh says:

    I am not quite sure where to jump into this blog, but if the future that Moriarty and Honnery suggest is to become a reality, I think that by taking the proper steps, cities that might be considered inhabitable could be saved. The big question that will come into play is allocation of resources and funding! I came across the following video that I highly recommend my fellow classmates to check out.

    This project is massive! And yes it is only an experiment but the general principals that the engineers are using to design the city are all eco-friendly and green focused. The city essentially seems amazing, the concept is to have work and play in close proximity (walking distance), it will have all the necessary essentials we have grown to expect in our everyday lives, but by doing so in a way that we are not leaving a footprint on the environment around us. (much less of one anyways) If such a project is successful, just think of the many cities that can be redesigned and saved. The city can be replicated and fine tuned to adapt to respective cultures, climates and environments.

    What I find extremely sad is that it took us this long as a society to realise we can not continue to create the amount of unnecessary waste that we do. (lots of people still don’t even get this point) As well the amounts of energy we use and the amount of fossil fuels we burn just can not be sustained. Replicating this Chinese city all over the world is no easy task, but doable. This particular city is built on land that was once polluted and no longer populated. It would have been more convenient for us as a society to have understood these issues much earlier. Before our cities expanded so vastly. I guess that in itself is a learning moment for us all. It’s a weird feeling to hear academics and politicians discuss the future of our world. In one instance it’s hard to believe that our beautiful world is under so much stress, and then on the other hand, we are experiencing issues especially climate related that are due to the problematic misuse of our resources. This may seem super weird but I find days when I look ahead to the future and imagine my family, I think about common things such as where we will be living, what my children will do as they grow. But when I have these “daydreams” the environment that surround these concepts is often much like our world today, or something that is like an episode of the Jetsons. I remember watching that show as a child thinking how cool it would be to live in a world like that. We are on path to make that show our reality and there is nothing I would want less now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyinD6ZDqeg

    • SUCCI (SIXIAN ZHU), 20132436 says:

      The only thing I want to say is let us race. Our enemies are ourselves!

      • Nada K. says:

        I do agree with you Succi, that we tend to be selfish and look at the temporary benefit to statisfy our current need, without looking at what might be the results that the next generations might suffer from as well as the environment. However we are not doing it intentionality, our constant search for convenience is what pushed us for this.

  2. Lindsey MacIntosh says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-Pjq37Lhqg this is the actual video that should have been displayed 😦 sorry!!! WATCH THIS ONE!

    • Yunshan Cui #20132434 says:

      Thank you for showing this video! It’s absolutely a great video. I notice the officer of Tianjin eco- city project mentioned that: better means more than the best. Can’t agree more! Yet it is impossible for us to achieve 100% eco-friendly living style but as long as we are making efforts to the right goal, we will be there one day.

  3. Peggy says:

    I would like to plug people watching the first season episode of VICE – a documentary style news program. They travel to the Antarctic to talk to the researches there about the ice melt. Basically we are screwed because the increase in the ocean’s temperature has melted the sub ice and its breaking apart so much so, that it has become irreversible. So there is now evidence of the ocean encroaching on low lying cities such as Bangladesh where hundreds of thousands of people are coming to from rural areas in need of food and work. Its at the critical stage now and there is very real fear of outbreak of violence. Then they head to the United States to investigate when this is happening now in the world, WHY is the notion of climate change still being debated in congress as to whether it exists or not. Just recently in Florida, the governor is prohibiting his bureaucrats from using terms such as climate change and now they use language such as nuisance weather. This is scary because its not ignorance due to the volumes of scientific proof of climate change, its stupidity. Ignorance we can fix, you can’t fix stupid!

    • Aiqun Shan says:

      I agree with you, the broken parts are irreversible, and it is unfair for the result on some countries. That is the reality for western country and developing country. And that’s why we need to say environmental protection is a whole world task. Western countries need to take actions to these low lying countries for example. And I believe such countries have already take actions for their development as to solve social issues as well. The labor source is not as cheap as before, and they also search for a new development way. So we need to face the issues appearing such days and these issues also remind us to find a way to build country better. Just like we have gone through many disasters even we lost too much, and we will triumph over this one too.

    • Tanya says:

      As yes, let’s see how Florida feels about ‘nuisance weather’ in the next several decades. The Natural Resource Defense Council predicts global warming will raise Florida’s average temperature by between 4 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years. The summer heat index increase of 8 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit will be the MOST DRAMATIC IN THE NATION (aka ‘nuisance heat’). Sea levels could rise by 8 inches to over 2 feet by the year 2100 (aka ‘nuisance flooding’). And rainfall is anticipated to become more intense but also more sporadic, causing worse droughts and storms. Nuisance, indeed!

  4. Peggy says:

    Yikes, I don’t want to plug people, I want to make a suggestion (plug) for people to watch…

  5. From read this article, It makes me think about the China, following China ‘s economic development more faster, and the increased huge population,the country’s environment pollution also become more and more serious, such as people overuse the natural resources, high vehicle emission, heavy industry pollution and so on. Especially in the big cities, due to the big cities have the perfect facility, better economic developing environment, high salary and more job opportunities, it attract more and more people want move to city to live or find a job. Therefore, big cities environmental pollution became more seriously, and it also led some area has appeared rural area or remote area economic development becomes poorly,lack of talent and resources. This is the big reason to make the gap between city and rural area developing inequity. Actually, no matter in which country, if we want to have the sustainable and stable development, we should balance to develop the city and rural area. Make sure give full play to develop city or rural area advantages and rational utilization limited resources. Then to achieve decrease the gap between city and rural area. In addition, it also is required to improve people’s protection environmental awareness, and the government should have the perfect contingency plan to face some natural disaster, and make some policy to support the rural or remote area of economic development. In my opinion, the climate change is a global problem, and it also is a long term process to solve this problem. The global warming problem should blame for high carbon emission countries, those high carbon emission countries have the responsibility for solving environment pollution. Such as improve the technology skills, use renewable resources to instead of the non-renewable resources, recycle resources and so on.

    • Lijuan Wang (vivian) #20142447 says:

      Yes, I agree with what Ting Zhou said, China is going through the tough time on urbanization. But what I want to say that most of the countries cannot avoid these issues because each country will focus on different aims at the different time and steps for developing their countries. Back to early 18-19 century, China was suffered from the basics issues such as lacking of food and clothes, so at that time, Chinese worked hard and dealed with the food and clothes issues. After Chinese had gone through these issues, we started to solve other issues such as the cultural construction. Until now, Chinese are focusing on protecting the environment and anti-corruption issues and so on. In other words, Chinese are now focusing on the long-term projects for the development of the economy, politics and culture. For example, developing the society by using high technology skills along with protecting the environment and reducing natural resources using. All in all, each country needs to go through different steps of development, once we can figure out the method to deal with these issues, we are fine and the society still can have a good development in the future.

    • Chengcheng Zhong says:

      Yes,this article also reminds me a Green fighter -—Chai Jing. She is an investigative reporter in China. Lately, she gave a speech “Under the Dome” which is one of the most important pieces of environmental awareness building ever in China. This speech details Chai’s yearlong investigation into the root causes of China’s air pollution. Except for all the related departments should take the responsibility for the air pollution, very single person should have awareness to supervise and report any illegal behavior that could damage the environment. Because the environmental pollution not only harm the ecological balance on earth, but also does great harm to everyone who live on earch, even generation after generation.

  6. Lijuan Wang (vivian) #20142447 says:

    The discussion of the increasing growth of urbanization is becoming heated topic. Big cities have their social problems, and these series of social problems would affect the environment. The article mentioned the future of urbanization concerning the health, flooding, and geological and mention the effect of air pollution and global warming for cities. The result getting from this article is that cities will be the place where is not suitable for people’s living.
    With the development of economy and society, the pollution and global warming issues are becoming the global issues. More and more people come to cities to live and work partly because the big cities can provide huge opportunities for them to improve their career and live standards, partly because the cities would provide more advanced condition to live. However, at the same time, it would bring some negative effects for cities such as heavy carbon emission, overuse the natural resources and so on. Now, the government and individual already realized the serious negative effects from these series of development. So we make some action in decreasing the negative effects by making new policies for protecting the environment, regulating human being’s activities and son. We all know it is a long-term project for the government and individual, and we cannot reduce vigilance any more about these series issues.

    • Yes, I agree with you said. The growing threat of many kinds of pollutants in the face of rapid urbanization therefore calls for proactive measures to be adopted. For example, better traffic management and control of vehicle and industrial emissions, use of cleaner and safer fuels for household needs, employment of pollution forecasting technologies and strict legislations to ensure adherence to guidelines on air safety.

      • Yan Huang/Yadira/#20122952 says:

        I totally agree with what vivian’s and Mickhael’s opinion. Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing the nation, and it is changing our economy, health and communities in diverse ways. Based on the report, urban air pollution is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries, and thus, addressing and protecting environment is urgently required. Reducing vehicular emissions, and use of cleaner and safer fuels for household needs are the good approaches for developing countries to improve urban air quality.

    • Yuting Yang#20142476 says:

      Exactly. Many years ago, there is a heated trend for people to move from country to urban seeking for better life. But when the city collected so much people, a lot of issues appeared. Most people are finding ways to live in the country that is one hour drive from city nowadays in order to avoid the serious problems such as air pollution, security problems, and so on. We can directly feel that urban is 2-3 centigrade higher than country. It is harmful for people living in urban so that more and more people who are focus on their health want to live away from city.

  7. Generally speaking, with the development of big cities, the environment becomes deterioration. The fast speed of the development in big cities leaves people serious pollution problems, which may affect human health. It is more prominent in urban areas as a result of excessive industrialization. For example, approximately half of the population in China drink unqualified water.

    • ZIMING FENG says:

      Pollution, in my opinion, is caused by two areas. Firstly, a country discharges a huge number of pollution by developing infrastructure projects. For example, with constructing the infrastructure, CO2 and some pollutions are emit. Secondly, pollution is also caused by individual’ personal undesirable behavior, like throwing garbage. Therefore, both a country and every single individual should concern a lot about pollution, and pay their most attention to improve environment.

  8. Yan Huang/Yadira/#20122952 says:

    Indeed, increasing population in urban area is becoming more and more issue that drew people’s concern. According to the data from the United Nations in 2014, the urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014, and it predicted that the urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050. Too fast population growth inevitable will generate some negative impacts, as mentioned in the article, environment issues and global warming. Nowadays, more than 1 billion people are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually. Urban air pollution is linked to up to 1 million premature deaths and 1 million pre-native deaths each year. In particular, in developing countries, like China and India, most air pollutions in these countries is attributed to vehicle emissions brought about by high number of older vehicles. Traffic jam in Shanghai and Beijing in China is worsening a very serious phenomenon. Although both of country have implemented about limiting the number of license plates issued, the purchase quantity still remains in a high level.Thus, personally, except external force control, what’s more important is to awake people’s consciousness about environmental protect both in spiritual level and in action. Only a cognitive awareness change, it will lead to a change in behavior.

    • Zhichao Yang says:

      I agree with Yadira, that it is important to awake public awareness of environment friendly, especially in urban area. As the article mentioned above, big cities have lots of advantages, which attracts millions of people, but there are also existing severe pollution, such as air pollution and water pollution. Owing to lack of environment protection awareness and a growing number of new residents, natural environment become worse. Given that, it is of great importance for related departments to publicizing environment friendly to public, so as to awake public awareness about environment protection.

    • He Jingting student ID: 20140505 says:

      Your point that only a cognitive awareness change, it will lead to a change in behavior. Yes, societies change just as people do. The change we see in people is often very obvious, as when they have a growth spurt during adolescence, lose weight on a diet, or buy new clothes or get a new hairstyle. The change we see in society is usually more gradual. Rural–urban migration is one of the most widespread global demographic trends. This change because the people of rural area want to seek better jobs and educations, or better lifestyle. While, the result is that it will increase air pollution, workplace competition and traffic jams in urban area.

  9. SUCCI (SIXIAN ZHU), 20132436 says:

    I would like to take the example of Cape Breton island. Why are there a large number of young people outflowing? What causes the emigration of young generation in Cape Breton? Low rate of employment, limited potential personal development, lacking of entertainment, and so forth results in declined population in this area.
    Urban regions as well as big cities do really attract adults to stay for all kinds of reasons. We don’t really concern about the environment, including intensive workplace competition, traffic jams, serious pollution, etc. Elders would rather comfort and peace so that they are more likely to live in rural areas. In comparison with young people, they do not need too much materials, such as food, money, or luxury goods. Imbalance of population geography intensifies the current status quo.
    At this point, green economy was introduced and suggested by scholars. We cannot be so selfish. If we don’t carry out sustainable development, we are going to be overwhelmed one day. Economic development should be harmony with environmental protection. Human beings are only parts of the supply chain in the nature. People play significant role in the history. It is our choice to protect ourselves. Damaging environment is harming ourselves.

    • Lindsey MacIntosh says:

      I agree with your comment that economic development and environmental protection should be both be considered all the time. I don’t necessarily think that elders prefer the comfort of rural areas, I think that is an individual choice not an age thing. Some people thrive off the vibrancy of a city. Cities are not the problem, it’s the way in which we have chosen to operate within the cities and the lack of concern for the future enviromental issues that has create our biggest problems. You are correct, damaging our environment is essentially hurting ourselves, and if not us directly, our children and their children to come!

    • Zhe Cao ( Mark) ID20140535 says:

      Indeed, Cape Breton island is more suitable for senior to life. It is similar with the situation of China. Young people would like to stay big cities. More and more people move to big cities can lead to air pollution, workplace competition and traffic jams.

  10. Zhichao Yang says:

    There is no doubt that urban area is more attractive for most of young people, compared with rural area. Admittedly, Rural area has good natural environment and slow-pace life. But these advantages cannot meet the needs of most of young people, who need lots of job opportunities, entertainment facilities, convenience, etc. Therefore, it is no wonder that a growing number of people choose to settle down in urban area around the world every year.
    Urbanization may cause lots of issues, such as pollution, crime. While, these problems may happen at any place where there is human beings and unequal salary. So, related departments need take some measures to try to solve these problems, such as planting more trees along streets. Because natural environment is related to everyone and world climate will definitely has effect on the future of human beings. Human should make a contribution to their future.

    • Julia Yusuf says:

      Exactly, we can turn this unsustainable situation into sustainable, for instance, with sustainable transportation and efficient water systems, There is a great chance that we will consume less energy which eventually minimize the negative impact on our environment.

  11. He Jingting student ID: 20140505 says:

    Rural–urban migration is one of the most widespread global demographic trends.
    While, rural–urban migration is having a consider-able socioeconomic and environmental effect in the countryside. In response, most rural development programs discourage outmigration on the grounds that it has negative social consequences and compromises ecological sustainability. However, rural–urban migration generally improves the living standards of migrants and leads to the disintensification of land use in fragile ecosystems with low productivity, thus stimulating ecosystem recovery and improving watershed and biodiversity protection.

    People migrate for many reasons, including seeking better jobs and education, or following family members who have migrated. For example, like in Bolivia, even though migrants have a low level of education, they are able to find jobs which pay similar to jobs held by other urban workers, with salaries are at least 4 times those of rural workers. Thus, rural communities lose human capital, particularly young adults who are attracted to education and job opportunities in urban centers.

    However, the urban areas like the article mentioned urbanization is unsustainable due to the high levels of material consumption and waste production that result from large populations co-existing in a relatively confined area. Therefore, rural–urban migration is a big problem in global, we should seek an alternate lifestyle for better future.

  12. Yunshan Cui #20132434 says:

    As far as I think, human won’t all move to urban areas in the future. Just as scholars said “increased urbanization is unsustainable due to the high levels of material consumption and waste production”. Excessive urbanization will cause problems in many aspects. It is possible to think that if human all gather in big cities, the overload burdens will destroy the cities’ systems.Take pollution as an example. Recently Beijing has been trapped into the nightmare of PM 2.5 and the major sources of this type of air pollution are from daily power consumption, manufacture sector and the waste emission of vehicles. The increase of population density will induce the over consumption of cars and electricity. As a result, humans’ living environment will continuously worsen. In addition, if human beings all move to cities,to some extent, people are isolating themselves from nature. This action in some level will weaken human’s control to the world. Obviously, yielding the control of the world is not a good choice for human beings to live, so does the excessive rualization. All in all,extreme urbanization or ruralization will hinder the development of human society. Instead of joining the debate of which road will we go in the future, trying to find out the critical point which will create the best environment for human to live seems to be more valuable.

    • Little Deng says:

      I agree that not all human being will move to urban areas, and I realize the problem of urbanization. However, what I concern more is an ethical problem–who should live in urban areas and who should live in rural areas? In China, we hear lots of presevation of historical buildings. It sounds to be great idea. However, I hear from people who live in these old buildings that they don’t want to live in these old buildings, and they are waiting for government’s reconstruction plan so that they can live in new buildings. The question is–they are sacrificing for the sake of presevation, why aren’t we? Similarly, we are criticising urbanization, why don’t we live in rural areas?
      Personally, I would like to bring everyone who want city life to urban areas. Therefore, to prevent high population density, I suggest that we should build up more cities.

    • Jiaxuan Kang#20142783 says:

      I agree with your opinions. It is impossible that all human beings will move to urban areas. Actually, people have the rights to choose where they want to live. You cannot stop this progress because of the growing threats of the environment issue. The environment pollution is mostly resulted by the unreasonable business activities. So more efficient way to remit the environment problem is to normalize the illegal economic activities. In addition, more and more people are willing to move to rural areas, which also remits this problem.

      • Bozheng Wang # 20142463 says:

        Urban area and rural area should be a harmonious status. All human beings cannot totally move into the urban area, and also cannot move into rural area. Scientific Concept of Development is good way to measure the balance between those two areas. I agree with you, since you have an in-depth look on this topic. On the other hand, why people willing to move to rural area, since urban are cannot give them a ideal lifestyle. IN this case. more and more people chose living in rural area.

  13. Little Deng says:

    Due to the global warming, Amsterdam may be one of those cities that are no longer habitable in a few decades. It is the capital of Netherlands, and it is one of the most important entries for goods and logistics to enter into Europe. I wonder what will happen if such an entry is no longer habitable and which port will become a substitude for Amsterdam as an entry for logistics.
    Some tax havens are located at cities by sea, such as Hong Kong, and Island cities, such as the Cayman Island. I wonder whether the global warming will become another determinant that influences the popularity of a tax haven. If so, maybe we need to build up some inland tax haven.
    I don’t worry too much about the negative factors of city life. There is always pros and cons, and people should have their right to pursue city life. We should look for ways to minimize the negative factors of city life rather than to abolish city life.

  14. Jiaxuan Kang#20142783 says:

    Urbanization is an important social and economic phenomenon of industrialization process and an important symbol of a country’s social and economic progress status and the productivity level. With the development of global urbanization, urbanization in developing countries develops rapidly and its urban population growth rate is much higher than that in developed countries. With the rapid increase in population and urbanization, human’s survival and development environment constantly change. The resources issue, environment issue, population issue and other social and economic issues also increasingly acute and environmental issues have become important factors hindering sustainable social and economic development. The development of urbanization results in many serious consequences to the urban ecological environment even many problems affecting human life and production. For example, 1.Air and water pollution is getting worse. 2. The development of high-density urban exacerbates the scarcity of land resources. 3. The expansion of the urban scale leads to a contradiction of the road traffic. 4. The management of urban waste is lagging.

  15. Julia Yusuf says:

    People concentrate in urban areas since urbanization seems to be a reflection of success. It is the place where new investments are made and new jobs are created. However, It is also the place that struggles to accommodate new comers or maintain functioning infrastructure. If not managed properly, the effect of the rapid urbanization is definitely a threat to our future. I think there is nothing wrong with urbanization, but the problem is how to make these citizens to live productive.

    • Qiwei Zhang 20140465 says:

      People serving for their own goods, as a common sense, make urbanization never stops. As a process of human history, we will all disappear under the inefficient resource to support populations, the question is in what way we go to an end. This 100% urbanization in my view can be treated as a ground stone for such.

  16. Bozheng Wang # 20142463 says:

    As for this topic, I thought, there really has the negative implications and positive implications. For light side, urbanization is a big contributor to contribute the national economy. the existing of urbanization provides enough labor force for modern industrial development. The first industrial revolution is a good example to explain this opinion. Enclosure Movement makes rural surplus labor to transfer the labor that need by industrial revolution. Urbanization also improve the development of financial Industry and tertiary Industry. However, with the rapid developing of urbanization, there are some serious issues produced in the urban area, for such, climate change , traffic jam, environment pollution, and so on. Therefore, we cannot deny its positive influence and also, cannot neglect its negative implications.

    • Chao Hu 20142781 says:

      I agree with your idea that there are both positive and negative implications for this issue. Urbanization would help a lot to the economic growth of the cities by providing enough labor to the process of modern industrial development. This would increase the speed of the growth of the city. As the growth speed has changed, there would also cause some issues because the stable has been broken. I think the reason why people focus on the negative aspect is that the negative aspect has over its positive aspect. However, these problems still need people to try their best to solve. In my opinion, it would be better if people can come up ways to overcome these difficult by using the advantage of urbanization. For example, the well-developed industry can use resources in a more efficient way to solve part of the problem of resources shortage.

  17. Yuting Yang#20142476 says:

    Environment issue is not new to all people in the world. Since the industry revolution, people devote to developing the economy and try to have a better life, gradually ignoring the environment which we are relying on. Because of the melting of ice, countries like Maldives are on the verge of disappear in the world. After many times’ revenge from nature, people begin to realize how important the environment is and try to take actions in order to improve the bad situation. Take China for example, China used to have slogan for the development of the country: make our economy developed faster and better. But now, after realizing the significant role of nature, the slogan changed to make our economy developed better and faster and, which is the most important thing, to have sustainable development. To reach the goal of sustainable, we need to emphasize the protection of environment when developing the economy. Everything in the is changing, whatever is bad or good. But as the saying goes: “old habits die hard”. It is difficult for us to change people’s mind to spare no effort pursuing the benefit, especially selfish is one of the native instincts. Although people aware that it is necessary to protect our living condition, they still submit to the fact that the measures to improve the environment would increase the cost. Therefore, education is most important. It is better to change people’s mind when they are still young. If we inculcate the idea of protecting the environment to the children during their growth stage, they will form the value system to put the environment at the first place.

    • Lingshan Meng (Helena) 20132781 says:

      Yes. The main point is to protect the environment for sustainable growth in the world, not where should people live. Moving to rural areas cannot solve the problem. Human beings are creative and amazing since they can change a rural area into another crowed urban city. Climate change impacts urban cities more though, it impacts every corner in the world. Improving education of environment protection and coming up with more efficient and effective approach to build sustainable system are essential.

  18. Aiqun Shan says:

    With the high speed of development for all countries in the world, more companies and industries are settled in urban areas, more labor force contribution is needed as well, and then urban areas are becoming more attractively, increased people choose to live in urban for a better life. Looking from this side, this phenomenon is following social development and also satisfied social development.

    Normally, people pay much attention on money and construction, social problems, material consumption, environmental pollution, for example, would be ignored at the first stage. And this is reasonable, since source is full at that time, and it is too much for people using to some degree. When the fortune is accumulated for a long time and the number of urban people is highly enough for people concern natural resource would be used up one day and it is not as much as human need actually. People start to think resource in reasoning way. They realize bad effects caused by more people choosing urban to live in. Congestion, crime, inequality, such prophase problems are showing up, as the environment is becoming worse, the issues like health influence, global warming and even geological events would be concerned like what written by Moriarty and Honnery. However, we still need to say this is normal during the stage of social development, and even though people know the bad effects, it will not stop more people coming to urban areas. Or the cities’ development would be stopped, which is against regular development. Meanwhile, I believe the number of urban people will not reach the peak urbanism since the self-regulation of nature. It is just like there would be a stop of a war or food chain cycle. With the growing concern of environment and also the economy and civilization’s development, people will show more like of rural living before reaching the peak urbanism. Anyway, there will be a balance way found, since we always find a way for a better life on earth. Such as rural reform, since as social development, the changes of rural areas are needed as well and we also need to concern how to allocate resources scientifically and efficiency, since all the bad effects are irreversible now.

    • Zhaojing Li says:

      I agree with your opinion. Nowadays, more and more people choose to live in urban areas. The reason is quite clear: they can get higher wages, the price of commodities are much cheaper, more opportunities of getting a job, etc. However, the growing concern of the environment attracts people’s attention. The reason why more people coming to those urban cities is because they want to live in a better place. However, the reality is not seems like what they think before. The worse environment raises people’s awareness of protecting our living environment gradually. People paying more attention to improve the basic living condition. Simple comparing the environment and social issues, it seems that rural areas are better than these urban cities. However, the economic opportunities attract people more. Therefore, if we can combine these two advantages together, we may live in a better city. To create a better city, it is important to allocate resources legitimately.

  19. Chao Hu 20142781 says:

    Urbanization is now an increase trend in many countries along with the economic and industrialized development. As more people move into city, there would definitely cause positive and negative effects for both people and society. For the positive aspect, since more people move in and find job in cities, there would be more people make contributions to the cities’ development. At the same time, more people live in the city can help small and medium business to grow, for example, small restaurant. For the negative aspect, as more people get into the big city, the density of the city would increase and then the city would become crowded than before. No matter for the traffic condition, or living condition, the bigger number of people would decrease their service qualities. The increased population also brings burden to the cities’ all kinds of resources. The average amount of resources for one people declined and this would cause some issues. In the long run, the city may lack of resources, no matter tangible or intangible resources. What’s more, as we all know, the cost to live in city would be higher than live in county, so people need to get a stable job to keep their lives. Since more people move into city, the number of job positions in a city is limited. That is to say, it is hard for many people to find job in the big city and further more, it would cause some social issues.

  20. Hanqi Zhou says:

    currently, many big cities have already get urban disease. Urban disease id actually caused by the excessive urbanization which lead to an excessive concentration of resources, and thus lead to social conflices and problems. According to the general course of the world’s urban development, urban development process can be divided into four stages, namely urbanization, suburbanization , counter urbanization , re- urbanization. In the process of urbanization development, if excessive agglomeration population exceeds the level of industrialization and urban economic and social development occurs in some developing countries appear ” over-urbanization ” phenomenon , produced a series called ” urban disease” contradictions and problems.

    Urbanization push too fast, too short time to gather the city population, the size of the city also big, but this city is rapidly expanding up the “virtual table” boom. Similar to the “ruins” of the city is empty and not real, it needed to maintain the normal operation of the city, an integrated system to improve economic relations, organizational systems to keep posed no integrity management, will inevitably bring the employment area of ​​the city tension, lack of fresh water and energy supply, increased traffic congestion, crime, environmental degradation and an increased risk of various disasters and other phenomena. Some of the city ‘s own industrial structure and layout , there are many unreasonable , serious lack of coordination and regional economic development , with its urban planning did not do reasonable science , urban management and can not be done strictly in place.

  21. Nada K. says:

    This is quite interesting, as i have read couple of articles talking about the oil peak, and it also mentioned that the we are running out of natural resources, and the climate changes we are facing today is a result of all the damages we have exposed the earth to, But as human beings we are in constant search of the convenience and we are always updating our selves and our life style, but we are not looking at the bigger picture. what if we run out of resources? My point is we have to look deep and stop acting like we are our own enemies, and take an action before it’s too late!

    • Lei Ji says:

      I agree with you. Human beings seek for all kinds of natural resources. The earth is already about 4.6 billion years old. The natural resources have spent such a long time to form. From 1750 (The industrial revolution) to 2015, there are only 265 years. Human being used 265 years to spend 45% of natural resources on the earth. What a shame!

    • Euphemia Zhang says:

      That’s so true. Human decisions are constantly following benefits and convenience. To put a pause to the negative consequences, transition movement could be a solution. However, more than half of the certified transition towns had stopped update their project web page. The movement was stimulated by the premise of peak oil and climate change, but undeniably, many initiatives were founded because of the oil price. Since the oil price dropped significantly since last year and were likely to stay low for a relatively long period, it’s inevitable that many transition towns gave up their initiatives. We are still our own enemies after all.

  22. Lingshan Meng (Helena) 20132781 says:

    Firstly, urban cities are impacted by the climate change a lot. Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. The urban heat island effect and localized warming due to land surface changes. Secondly, the climate change is mostly caused by the pollution from the urban areas. Urban areas have much higher density of population, vehicles, and household electrical appliances than rural area. For example, one of my friends said that it was difficult to see stars in the sky in Toronto, but we can see many stars in Sydney almost everyday. However, those points cannot draw the conclusion that the urbanism will stop in the future. The rural areas have to have enough capacity, facilities, and convenience to attract people. Moreover, the population of the world is also ceaselessly increasing. If there were too many people in this planet, they had to live in crowd and share the urban or rural areas. Moving to rural itself cannot solve the problem. Actually, solutions such as low-carbon technologies, low-carbon transport, energy efficiency and retrofitting buildings need to be adopted today. These steps towards resilience and enabling sustainable development in urban areas can support successful climate change adaptation globally.

    • Shiyu Wu (Stephanie) says:

      A lot of tall building and a relatively small number of trees cause the urban heat island effect. The effect and the global warming make urban areas to have a higher temperature. The hot air is cycled in the region and less likely to move out because of the obstruction of tall buildings. Besides, the factories and vehicles emit a lot of waste which result in air pollution. The polluted air is also affected by urban heat island effect. It is stuck by the tall buildings as well. But I believe that technology that strengthens the movement of air can help us to solve the heat island effect in the future.

  23. Lei Ji says:

    The “enclosure movement” is a famous in British history. It forced land-lost peasants to move to cities. Land-lost peasants became cheap labor forces. The urbanization is an ignominious movement in the history. Cities are densely populated areas. Environment (air pollution, land pollution and water pollution) and diseases are becoming serious problems to cities. Citizens have already thought about these situations. I think when economy of cities can not develop too much, citizens will leave. They are suffering from cities for a long time. They are tired of it. Finally, citizens will go somewhere they belong.

  24. Tanya says:

    Might this actually provide Atlantic Canada with an advantage in planning for an economically sustainable future? In Nova Scotia we are not exposed to the acute pain that comes with urbanization (at least certainly not to the extend of large smog-filled cities). Yet, if we reach peak urbanism in the next few decades as suggested, the Maritime provinces might be in a position to welcome those who seek a rural environment. There are some economic imperatives to consider first. Today, Nova Scotia struggles to maintain rural infrastructure, and communities are faced with relinquishing their political autonomy (towns giving up charter status) as a result of a rapidly shrinking tax base. In Newfoundland, residents in rural areas were resettled to places that were more economically viable and connected to infrastructure. So, if this is the way of the future while we may have an advantage, it will require a certain level of planning. Perhaps then we can market our region to ‘just enough’ people. Imagine this slogan: “Come to Atlantic Canada – where you won’t bake yourself into extinction”.

    • Binpeng Li 20142473 says:

      Very interesting response, especially the slogan: “Come to Atlantic Canada – where you won’t bake yourself into extinction”. I like it!

      To reply your comments, if the future really would be the way as it was predicted in the article, I would not worry about infrastructures in the rural areas. I believe if the urban people want to move into the rural regions, they will prepare ahead by constructing everything they need before they come. Also, as the population in the rural area increases, maybe, it will become city again; but this time, perhaps , people may not do things to damage the environment anymore. Another alternative future is that urban people would not give up their cities and city lives easily, they would utilize every possible method to make the city to overcome the environmental crisis. Personally, I prefer the alternative future, since environmental problems may affect a very large region, I do not think the rural area could have a much better environment than the cities do.

  25. Zhaojing Li says:

    With the development of the urban cities, more people would like to live in those places. There is no denying that there are a lot of benefits in urban cities, such as more opportunities to get a job, or lower living cost. These factors are exactly what people generally looking for. However, most people ignored the negative impact of big cities. Problems such as environmental pollution and social issues are not usually considered at first. It is understandable, but social and environmental problems need to be considered as well, because these factors impact people’s living condition. A better living condition is the ultimate purpose of people who pursuing higher income. Imaging that people living in a developed urban city with air pollution or water pollution, and it is hard to find a job,then what would people do?

  26. Binpeng Li 20142473 says:

    The environmental issue is not a new topic any more, for years, people have heard all kinds of news and received many knowledge regarding to this issue; yet, our environment is still getting worse and worse. I guess for some people, they see “global warming” as just only two simple words, but do not truly treat it as a serious phenomenon which could affect us all. So I wonder why people do not see environmental issue as a real problem? Is it because they have not yet experienced a really bad environmental events? Is it because people have so much faith in our technology that they believe eventually, there will be solutions for everything? Or is it because since some other people do not care and protect the environment, so why should “I” care about the environment? While I have no idea what the true answer is, one thing for certain is that we need to change! While the increasing of urban population will inevitably worsen the environment , I guess in the future, from nations to cities, from groups to individuals, the concepts about protecting the environment must be further reinforced, goals should be set, and most importantly, they should be met! It is via a long term change of behaviors and ideas, could we enhance our intensions to protect the environment.

    • Chen Liu 20142785 says:

      I agree with your opinion ,people do not treat the environment as a real issue,just because they can survive,if the bad environment become a big threat for living,every one will take the responsibility of protecting world and live green.On the other hand ,the lack of education is also the main factor of this issues,people do not have enough awareness of protecting environment,the awareness should be increased from people’s childhood,because the best teacher is family ,so the education will affect three generation,if we change the attitude ,and create the more awareness from children by using social media ,it will make big change,and also become more sustainable.

  27. Shiyu Wu (Stephanie) says:

    The article indicates that the increased urbanization is less likely to be continue because of the large amount of material consumption and waste production. A large population, of course, consume a lot. Therefore, less goods or material can be used in the cities. Besides, the large number of people produce a large amount of waste which occupy a large area of land. It can not only bring about the shortage of land, but also the land pollution.
    In addition, big cities are threatened by social problems, and climate change as well. The migration of the different kinds of people is not beneficial to the stability of the society. Crime, inequality, and unemployment are likely to trouble these cities. They also suffer from the climate change. The large emission of fossil fuel results in increasing temperature. Urban areas suffer more than rural areas. The sea and water level increase, and the coastal regions and big cities including New York and Tokyo are in danger.
    The urban areas also encounter air pollution problems. It is because a lot of vehicles are used and a lot of waste are emitted by factories into the air.
    It seems that the urban areas come to the end. The cities located in the coastal regions will probably be submerged. However, the others can develop well after being well administrated and governed.

  28. Chen Liu 20142785 says:

    When people talk about the pollution today ,it will mention the air quality,most people take a view that the industry undermined the environment recent decades,especially in China.They only think the development was so fast and have the negative impact on moral standard and environment.We should observe the things objectively.Chinese people belonged to Maslow basic needs before,they can not have enough food and cloths,they suffered from hunger problem.At that stage ,their basic needs were not met,the government should develop economic as soon as possible ,just focus on industry’s development,they did not have more choices,they had to solve the basic problem first,after the citizen can survive ,the government should concern the safety need of people ,try to create the safe environment for public.For developing economic was in a dilemma ,it created the problem but still have the positive impacts

  29. Qiwei Zhang 20140465 says:

    As global warming as an issue recent years, many solid implementations have been proposed by scholars. However, the common sense says most of the “best way” to do things often compromises to reality. Elite groups can easily using this issue to faster create power control to rest of the world. When emission tax goes to the board discussion, I can see elite groups’ smile on their faces.
    Another interesting topic here is sub-climate created by urbans can change the climate or not, if yes, in what ways and will it influence the way earth ecosystem.

  30. ZIMING FENG says:

    Climate change is becoming more and more serious today, and the CO2 emission is the main killer for climate. Climate change, global warming, makes an obvious and negative impact to countries which rely on agriculture. And most of advanced and developed contries discharge a large percentage of CO2 emission. According to the data from UN statistic common database, North America and Europe account for more than 70% of the world’s total CO2 emissions; however, in Africa, nations rely on the agriculture as a definitely high percentage of GDP only account for 3.6%. Climate change restrict the development of agricultural contries; therefore, these countries should interact with this situation. From the point of my view, there are two basic adaption strategies can be utilized for facing current situations. Firstly, reforming existing domestic crops or importing new species to resist risks and damages which are caused by climate change. Secondly, encouraging peasants to transfer to other industries like services and manufacturing. Moreover, every individual should concern about climate change a lot and try their best to save environment.

  31. Zhe Cao ( Mark) ID20140535 says:

    I think that this topic is really suitable for Chinese students to discuss. Because we all experienced Haze. And we all know a new term: ph2.5. That was horrible experienced for us. We need to wear a gauze mask when we go outside. The Haze is more serious in big cities or industrial cities. Therefore, I think that climate change is really impacting all people of the world. There are some reasons of climate changing: first, based on world development indicators 2012, we can see that the top 10 of carbon dioxide emissions countries are all oil output countries, such as Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates. Over emission of Carbon dioxide is the basic reason of climate change. Second, pollution phenomenon serious, such as water pollution, environment pollution, atmospheric pollution. Third, land is over developed. And people growth fast.

  32. Chengcheng Zhong says:

    As the article was saying, urbanization will lead to global warming and other related environmental issue. But I hate to say, this world have too many people. With the advance in the medicine industries and other associations, people are living a lot longer than our ancestors. Being a social organism, there is no doubt that many would choose to live in the city. For materials for jobs, for resources that are limited to rural areas. Most people know very well of the climate change that is happening, but doesn’t do anything is like when many sees a crime, everyone thinks everyone else will call the police, so no one calls and the victim ends up dead. It is the same with climate change, everyone think everyone else will contrbute to less emmisions of green house gases. But in the end, with the amount of people we currently have on Earth compare to the amount of people trying to st climate change. It is a shame to say of this trend continues, the pronlem will only get worse. So start acting, not just talking.

  33. Euphemia Zhang says:

    The transition movement inspired rural and urban communities in countries all around the globe to transform their economic structure and methods towards sustainability and resilience. If the movement can carry on and spread out in every community, human society would become less energy consuming and bring less negative impact to nature. However, since transition towns started registering on the transition town network, only a few communities carried on with their information updating. It might be too early to judge if transition movement had failed, but the movement hasn’t reached any achievements in the global level until yet. It’s mysterious that human rarely spent enough effort on common goods. Even with the fact that the consequences of climate change will take place in our lifetime, people still lack the determination to transform.

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