What are some of the key problems facing the world's cities in 21st century, and what can be done about them?
Almost half the world's population now live in urban areas and, as cities grow even larger, conditions for civil cities are likely to get worse. This continuously swelling population, if not properly addressed, will lead to several very serious problems. Three of the most critical key problems are increasing pollution, global warming, and worsening social conditions. Firstly, pollution is abundant in cities due to dangerous gases being released into the atmosphere and toxic effluents being dumped daily into streams and rivers. These cause significant pollution of air and water. This sorry scenario is the result of billions of selfish decisions made by millions of uncaring individuals. Next, cutting down of trees and forests to make way for agriculture and human habitation causes destructive floods to occur, animals to be deprived of their habitat and become extinct, and temperatures to rise. Ironically, the participation and support of governments and corporations in the name of development is like adding salt to the wound. Thirdly, having to leave homes for education and/or work in cities is tearing apart family relationships. Gone are the traditional family values like filial piety and closeness of blood relations. Such great increases in the urban population numbers lead to related problems like insufficient homes, lack of schools and poor health and sewerage facilities. Finally, immigration to cities can be likened to fire. If used well, it can spread warmness, Otherwise, destruction of lives and property would result. There must be proactive programmes so that the population, like fire, can be harnessed positively.
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